Boxing saved his life.
For Paul Duty, 15, boxing is his passion, his solution and his sanity.
Duty was misdiagnosed and treated for bipolar disorder when he was 6 years old, according to his mother, Carrie Duty.
Unfortunately, he was put on medication that made his symptoms worse, she said.
"He was very impulsive, very agitated easily, couldn't keep his thoughts on one thing at a time," she said.
Carrie wanted a second opinion.
In December 2008, Duty was diagnosed with an extreme case of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), she said.
"Those meds he was on (to treat bipolar disorder) didn't help the ADHD," Carrie said. "As he got older, it got worse. His hormones were going crazy. He would lose his temper at home. He didn't have an outlet."
Duty started training at the University of Boxing in Charlotte with trainers Tony Douglas and Krishna Wainright about 10 months prior to his new diagnosis.
"Originally, when I first started, what I loved about it (was) I got to hit people," Duty said. "It's become more than that. It helped me with school. It helped me with everything. I have good friends and make better choices."
Duty was taking a lot of medication in the beginning and treated like a kid with special needs, Wainright said. He couldn't do jumping jacks, jump rope or exercise.
"Now Paul can do just about anything anyone else can do," he said. "He just needed someone to work with him one-on-one and give him full confidence."
In November 2009, Duty won the North Carolina Silver Gloves Junior Championship, novice division at 132 pounds. The title qualified him to represent the state in the Southeast Coast Regional Silver Gloves Championships in January.
"It took me years to get to where he is now. He progressed so well," Wainright said.
Duty trains four times a week for an hour and a half each day with Douglas and Wainright. Each session in Douglas's garage consists of conditioning and stretching exercises, heavy bag training and boxing techniques.
Although his behavior has improved, there are still tough days.
"I can see it in his eyes," said Wainright, who can tell when Duty begins to feel overwhelmed.
"I come up with something out of the blue just to get his mind to go another direction."
Wainright believes Duty will make it to the national championships next year and the Olympics soon after.
"We feel boxing truly changed his life," said Carrie, who believes he won't be on medication much longer.
"If it wasn't for boxing, I don't think Paul would be able to catch up on all the years he lost on being medicated incorrectly."
Duty is an eighth-grader at Ridge Road Middle School. Other than boxing, Duty spends his time playing computer and video games. His favorite games are "World of Warcraft" and "Fight Night Round 4." He wants to become a professional boxer or a writer when he grows up.
As far as the Olympics are concerned, all Duty can say is: "I'll be there! I'll be there!"