Chase Iron’s a promising Native American boxer with a devastating uppercut and a destiny to become a champion. The entire boxing world sees Chase’s potential to turn pro, but undiagnosed depression and the pressures of the spotlight stands in his way.
After he washes out, Chase becomes a small-town celebrity on his reservation. But instead of training to get back on the circuit, he fights his demons by guzzling down cheap liquor. When his family stages an intervention, Chase hightails it to the lights of Minneapolis to live incognito.
But Minneapolis offers no solace. Chase is haunted by his dreams of going pro, and the broken promises he made to his family and tribe. He meets Colin, a Native American drummer who’s band is on the verge of superstardom. Colin shares the same struggles as Chase, but uses his pain as motivation to live his dreams. Inspired by his new friend, Chase battles to stay sober and gives boxing another shot. But after winning his first thirteen professional fights, the crushing blow of his father’s death threatens to send him back to the bottle. With his depression ever present and the nearest liquor store within reach, Chase must rise above his shortcomings to keep from ruining his chance for a million dollar payday and a shot at Mike Tyson.
Complete at 90,000 words, THE DISTANCE is a coming of age story that combines the contemporary, stark reality of THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN with the heart and guts of MILLION DOLLAR BABY.
I am Lakota and Ojibwe and am from the Red Lake Indian Reservation. In research for this story I spent twelve months training alongside a professional boxer, learning first-hand realities of the boxing world.