Friday, June 23, 2017

Meanwhile At Mandrake

There was a coaches' meeting held at Mandrake.  Basically, it was for the purposes of picking up this year's T-shirts for the boxing participants, hoodies to award to the most improved boxer in our gyms, and fliers and signs advertising the boxing shows.

When I arrived, Jeff, the coach at Taylor Park, hugged me and said, "The champ is here!"  I had hobbled there on my cane, having taken public transportation to get to the meeting.  Thank God Alan was there because I couldn't have carried a box of T-shirts back on the train.  He'll keep them in his car until I can pick them up from him next week.

Thomas asked me why were the summer camp kids allowed to be in the gym at LaFollette when I'm not there.  I had mentioned to him my concerns about the gym equipment and bulletin boards being tampered with as well as food being dropped on the floor.  Summer camp begins next week.  I learned that kids should not be in any park district boxing gym if the coach is not present.  The idea is to prevent accidents from happening due to kids playing around on the equipment.  I emailed my boss and cc'd the summer camp coordinator with the information I received from Thomas as soon as I arrived home.  I'm certain I will get push back from the summer camp counselor as the kids' presence in the gym has been a touchy spot between her and me for the past two summers.  However, I have to follow the rules of the program I'm working under, and the camp counselor will have to respect that rule.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Straight Right Changes The Mind

Still no sign of David, but Jamire, Iz, and Abraham came to class today.  I was extremely happy to see Iz and Abraham because I was afraid that I would be stuck for the whole hour and a half alone with Jamire.  Don't get me wrong -- Jamire is a nice enough kid.  But the whining about "I'm tired" and constantly making conversation and asking incessant questions to avoid doing training has gotten on my last nerve.  Jamire was also going on about being sleepy and his stomach allegedly hurting, too.

When sparring began, I put Iz and Jamire in first.  Jamire was using both of his fists, crossing his feet, turning his back, and allowing Iz to pummel him every time he was backed into a corner.  It wasn't much better when I put Abraham in.  Abraham caught Jamire with a straight right to the chin.  Jamire crashed to the canvas.

For a second, I thought that Jamire had been knocked out.  His mouthpiece was laying to one side on the canvas.  Jamire wasn't moving.  Abraham and Iz also rushed over to see if he was okay.  Jamire shook his head "no", so I removed his headgear and made him sit up.  Abraham gave him some water.  "Do you want to keep going?" he asked Jamire.  Jamire shook his head again.  I let Iz and Abraham spar for an extra round and told Jamire no more sparring for him today. Iz and Abraham both gave Jamire advice on how to do better the next time.

 At the end of class, Jamire's grandmother arrived to pick him up and I told her what happened.  She smiled, "He just has to get used to it."  Jamire has changed his mind about participating in next week's boxing show, so that leaves me with just three contenders instead of four (that's if David ever shows up).  "I think I need some more experience," Jamire told me and his grandmother.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A More Than Full House

I walked into the Loyola Park field house to find about 25 people lining the hallway for boxing class.  Today was the beginning of the summer session there; LaFollette Park's summer session began a week ago.  "Woo!  There are a lot of people here today!" I said as I walked down the hall.  Several of the new people smiled.

I didn't do much of a workout because I was very stiff.  Most times I can work the stiffness out, but it wasn't happening.  Besides, it was very packed in that small gym, so I thought it would be better to help both Alan and Paul get the new people situated.

William told me that he was going to public school for the first time in the fall.  "I've been homeschooled all of my life," he said.  I know a few kids who are being homeschooled, but I have not come across many teens who have been.  I hope the transition is not too difficult for him, especially since William will be starting high school.

As Alan drove me home later, I told him, "I like my job at LaFollette Park, but I don't dig the office politics and gossip."  After having been caught running my mouth about things I didn't have the facts straight about early on in my working life, I learned to stay above and out of office gossip culture as much as possible.  However, the run-in I had with Tina at LaFollette Park a week ago also proves that despite one not buying into the gossip game, there are others who will not only take the ball but keep running with it while refusing to recognize the path is heading into the wrong goalpost.  We can't really change what people want to believe about us.  But dealing with pettiness and foolishness caused by those beliefs is a pain in my backside.