Thursday, November 19, 2009

Countdown To Brooks Park

This past Monday, Jamil and I sparred.  Jamil had told me some time ago that he didn't feel comfortable sparring with women.  Alan had talked him into it by saying, "You're just going to be moving around."  He and I didn't do any real damage to each other, but we got in the aerobics.

When I walked in the fieldhouse, Rashawn, Savon, Cameron and Miles were at the front desk.  "Yay, the boxing gym is open!" they exclaimed when they saw me.  I smiled, but Mary was behind the desk, and she looked concerned.  Carol was going to open the gym when the boys ran ahead of her.  "They're not supposed to be in the gym," Mary said.  "Alan let them come in and play a few weeks ago," I explained.  Mary shook her head, as the boys came back to the front.  "You all can't go in the gym when the adults are in there.  Talk to your dads and ask them if you can sign up for the kids' boxing program," she told the boys.  Mary had Carol grab some ping pong equipment in an attempt to distract the kids from going into the gym.  "Their time in the baskeball gym is over, and the boys are waiting for their older brothers to finish playing ball.  That's why they're hanging up and down the halls," Mary told me after the boys went around to the ping pong table. 

I hadn't been inside the gym two minutes when the boys came rushing in.  "We saw the door being opened," they said, as they reached for the gloves and headgear.  "Remember, Miss Mary said that you all can't come in," I gently told them.  "Aw, why not?  We like to play in here," the boys said.  Truthfully, I don't mind Rayshawn and his friends being in the gym.  They don't bother anyone, and when asked to come out of the ring so the adults can spar, they do so without complaining.  They are nice kids.  But Mary has concerns about them getting hurt.  Regardless of the fact that I keep an eye on the boys, there is always the specter of possible liability issues. As I was trying to explain to the boys why they had to follow the rules, Mary came in and told them to come out of the gym. 

I got to the gym a little late Wednesday night to find Alan and Johnny already there.  "It's going to be a quiet night again like Monday, huh, Hil?" Alan said.  Ralphie came in, and that was it as far as attendance.  Johnny and I took turns sparring with Ralphie.  The timer is normally set for three minute rounds with one minute rests.  Alan set it for two minutes rounds instead.

None of us knew that until Alan told us.  I was wondering why I didn't feel as tired after doing a couple of rounds with Ralphie.  "I thought the rounds seemed short," Ralphie commented.  Alan figured it was a good way to help us work on our stamina.  We thought it was easier on the canvas, so we did extra rounds.  I ended up sparring for three rounds, something I hadn't done in awhile.  Brooks Park boxing show is about two weeks away.  "We're going to amp it up, right?" Johnny said to me.  We're going to have to, as there are a lot of competitors who will be at that field house. 

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