Tom Mann always had a fighter mentality. He states his motto, “You knock me down as many times as you want and I will get up.” He repeats with determination, “I will get up, and I will get up, and I will get up!”
This mindset didn’t develop overnight. A black belt in karate, Tom had to train for years in a number of mental and physical disciplines. But he always had a natural drive to protect himself and control others.
“I believed you could do it on your own. You didn’t need other people. It was me against everyone else. And if I was going to win, it was all on me.”
Tom learned early on that he could only depend on himself. His mother had M.S. and was in a nursing home most of his life. His father was an alcoholic and con artist, in and out of jail from the time Tom was four.
“I never knew from day to day when I was living with my dad, ‘Do I have a place to live? Do I have something to eat? Do I still have my possessions? Or did I lose them all again?”
When his dad was behind bars, Tom lived in foster homes and was physically abused at some.
“I was a piece of property and the state moved me wherever they wanted to move me,” Tom remembers. “People did to me whatever they wanted to do to me. And I had no power to change it.”