“It’d be easy for me to go back to my old life, but I know where that old life leads you. You’re either behind prison bars or six feet underground.”
Terroll Lewis has lived a crazy life. Growing up on Brixton’s Myatt’s Field estate, he was surrounded by gang culture, and like so many other young people, he found it hard to resist the lifestyle. By the time he was 15, he had already joined a gang, been stabbed, shot at, and was selling drugs.
A chance to play professional football offered a way out, but the lure of an easier life — the promise of girls, money, and cars — led him back to South London and the notorious O.C., or Organised Crime, gang.
Violence and drug dealing were the norm in O.C. and Terroll soon paid the price for his involvement with a stretch in prison. But while the association with O.C. endures through the ink on his skin, Terroll has long since turned his back on this world.
These days Terroll’s giving something back; Block Workout, a street-gym he founded in his old neighbourhood, gives young men an opportunity to follow a different road to the one he took during his adolescence — helping them develop their minds as well as their bodies — and the chance to live a better life.