Long before he was the new face of power lifting, world record holder Larry “Wheels” Williams was one of approximately 11,000 children living in foster care in New York City. From ages 7 to 12, he bounced among homes, after his mother lost custody of him. At first, he lived with his grandmother, but eventually he was spun full-time into a system of strangers taking him in, and then booting him out. At the age of 12, and no longer in school, Williams walked away from the boroughs of New York City and sought out his mother on the French Caribbean island of Saint Martin, where he lived seaside with her for the next three years.
There were two options for school on Saint Martin, one with instruction taught entirely in French, and the private school full of English-speaking rich kids. Williams couldn’t attend either, so he lived without an education, and with few friendships. Although he had his mother now, he felt boxed-in by the sea.