Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Decision For Now

Just talked to Mary. . .we agreed that until a permanent coach is in place, the adult boxing gym should remain closed. Both of us had concerns about safety, people roaming in and out, and people trying to get free workouts. Mary is hoping that the fact the gym is temporarily closed will place urgency on the Park District's human resources department to hire someone for the position. The last time both Mary and I checked, Steve's old job is still not posted online.

Hopefully, it won't be too long before things are up and running again.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Closing

Friday night, which was the last night of the Spring session, was quiet. Foster and Carla came in. Later, Manny came in for a little bit with his little daughter.

Mary and I were talking earlier that evening about how to handle the upcoming Summer session. Steve's job has still not been listed online yet. Mary was hoping that maybe it'll show up on Monday. Even if it does, it's going to be awhile for the applicants to get through the hiring process.

Judging by the past, summer is usually the time the gym has experienced the most problems with people thinking they can just roam into the gym. The fact that word has gotten around that Steve is gone has kept a lot of people away. It has also given the idea to others that they can come in and get free workouts. Jordan was one example. He wasn't even signed up for the spring session at all, and he stumbled in the other week. Jermaine's friend Antoine didn't cause any problems when he came in. Mary wasn't happy when it appeared that Antoine had been told he could come to the gym for free. I know the guys who have come in for awhile, like Jermaine, don't mean any harm when they invite their friends to the gym. However, Mary doesn't want anyone in there who hasn't paid.

When Steve was there, he would keep the gym open during the week or weeks in-between sessions. I opted not to come in next week, so the gym will be closed. After that, it's up in the air. I don't want to disappoint the guys who have been coming in for awhile, even those who come on-and-off. But in the absence of a coach, and the fact that attendance is normally down in the gym during warm weather, closing temporarily is looking like the best option. In the interest of safety and keeping drama down, it might be better not to give some hard-headed youths or strange adults a reason to be in the gym on Wednesday and Friday nights.

The guys who are serious about the sport have gone to other gyms for workouts and sparring on other days in the past. They'll continue to do so. I've spent time up at JABB myself, and I plan to check out Chicago Boxing. Those who were aligned with other gyms but came up to Loyola sometimes -- like Paul and Brian, for example -- will continue on at their home gyms.

It bothers me, but I can't think of another solution right now.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Surprise, There's A Girl

Know how I know that I love boxing? I can have fun in the gym even when I'm not training.

Earlier this afternoon, I stopped into the gym. The kids and teens are in the gym on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Barry asked me to stop by sometimes when they are there. Normally, Barry doesn't have many adults hanging around when the kids are in the gym. The adults aren't allowed to work out with the kids (except for Nate Sr., who held pads for Nate Jr. today). It can be a distraction.

Some of the kids I knew and/or recognized like Man-Man, Nate Jr., and Kenny. There were a few other kids there that I hadn't seen before. I was surprised to see a girl working out. She looked no older than eight or nine years old. The girl was keeping up with the boys, and she was the only female in attendance. It reminded me of all the times when I was usually the only woman in the gym. There have been a few girls in the youth program, usually teens, but they didn't seem to hang around for long. Today was the first time I have seen a little girl in the gym.

Barry is very good with the kids and teens. He keeps his eye on everything that goes on. He had the younger kids going through circuit training, where they switched between equipment and various exercises. The kids under 12 finished training by 5:00 PM, and then it was time to work with the teenagers. Kenny, Man-Man, and a kid named Steve sparred (Nate Sr. stepped in at one point to spar with Man-Man).

I learned that a former Loyola boxer named Turan had his first pro fight recently. He has another coming up soon in California. Barry was going to check the stats later to see how he did.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Annoyance Free Workout

I was ready to snap on Jordan if he did anything out-of-pocket tonight. Fortunately for him, he didn't show up to the gym. I was in the gym alone for about ten minutes when Jermaine came in. Jermaine invited a friend of his named Antoine in, and Carla and Tommy came in.

I had a good workout tonight. Not having to stand on my feet cleaning for four hours at church definately gave me a big burst of energy. Instead, I had an interview for a job that I doubt that I'll get. It was for an office manager at a medical office. The head doctor in the place called several people in for an interview at once. He came out and gave us all an overview of the job, and what was expected. Then another person took us in one by one to interview us for a few minutes a piece. I hadn't been to an interview like that in a couple of decades. That was for some boiler room sales position, if I remember correctly.

In between working out, Antoine asked me to show him some techniques. I was more than happy to help him out. It was refreshing to work with a guy who appeared not to be bothered by taking boxing tips from a female.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Wii and A Dinner

Mike took Steve, JJ and myself out for dinner earlier this evening. We all met up at Mike's condo. Brian stopped by for awhile, but couldn't join us to eat. He had to pick his girlfriend up from the airport.

Mike has a Wii game. I've been intrigued by those, but never saw one close up until today. We started off with the boxing game, where I was beat down by Steve a few times. The next game was tennis, where Steve, who plays tennis a lot, did well against Brian, myself and Mike (JJ was using Mike's computer to look up boxing info on the Internet). The last game was bowling, where to my amazement, I beat the guys. The Wii is actually good exercise, because you are not sitting to play, like with Play Station or XBox. You're moving around with the controls in your hand, and working up a good sweat.

Mike presented Steve with a very nice warm up suit, which had "Golden Gloves, 5 Champions" embroidered on the back of it. The five champs represent JJ, who won the Golden Gloves twice; Mike, who won this year; Mort, who won a couple of years ago; and Antonio, who won a trophy last year.

Brian revealed that he waited a week to see the doctor after hurting his thumb while sparring with JJ some time ago. I didn't realize that Gio had pulled on Brian's thumb in order to ease some of his discomfort that day. Brian's thumb is broken in two places, and he has to wear a cast for a few weeks. He's hoping that it heals up well enough before the Ringside Boxing Tournament, which is in August. That's the second time that JJ has accidently broken bones on somebody during sparring. The other guy who was hurt was Josh, and that was a few years ago. Josh had his nose broken.

We watched a few fights: part of the EliteXC MMA special that aired a couple of days ago on network TV; JJ at the Illinois State Tournament; when Jeff was a contender at the Golden Gloves back in 2004. After that, we went to dinner at an Argentinian steak house. Very good, although I was stuffed and couldn't eat everything. I ended up leaving half of some very delicious flan dessert behind, and taking half of a filet mignon home.

Steve and Ellen did find a home in Buffalo, NY, big enough for them and little Eli. From how Steve described it, it sounds like it sits on a very cool, tree-lined street. The couple will have a BBQ on the beach here later this month, another going away party.