Monday, November 09, 2009

First Time For Everything

Attendance in the gym was light tonight.  Outside of Alan and myself, only Vic, Elvin, Chris and JJ were present.  Rick came in with JJ to continue to work on JJ's boxing style. 

Before we got down to work, the usual group of little boys came in to play in the ring.  Ever since Alan allowed them to do that a few weeks ago, they've been coming back.  I was the gym early because Pastor Roger dropped me off. He and I and several other church members attended the memorial of a guy who used to work as the church's custodian several years ago.  Two of the little boys saw me waiting outside of the gym door.  "Is it open yet?" they asked.  "No, the coach is not here yet," I told them.  Then another of the boys came up asking if Miles had come by.  I didn't know which boy was Miles, but I assumed one he was one of the boys who came by earlier. "He went back to the basketball gym," I said, and the little guy ran off. 
I decided to learn the boys' names when they came back.  The littlest guy is Rashawn.  He looks like he's about six or seven.  The other boys, Savon, Cameron and Miles, are all under the age of twelve, as well.  Rashawn was asking a lot of questions about whether or not any of the heavy bags have ever fallen down.

Igor, whom JJ and I hadn't seen in a long time, walked in with a friend of his.  It wasn't long before he put on a pair of bag gloves and began to hit the 175-lb. bag.  Mary came in and told him that he had to sign up if he wanted to train.  "You're going to be signing up more than half way through the session," she told him.  Igor said it was okay. 

"What's the deal with Igor?  Mary made him sound like he had a problem," Alan said.  "Igor used to drive Steve crazy.  First of all, there's the language barrier (Igor is from the Ukraine, and his command of English is limited), then he asked the same questions over and over again.  Also, he would never spar after he'd said he would," I explained.  Mary told Alan that Igor would be in Monday.

Vic and Alan sparred.  Vic was breathing heavy after one round as he rested in the corner.  "You okay?" I asked.  "Asthma," Vic breathed through his mouthpiece.  He explained to me later that he has had the condition for several years.  "It only bothers me when I exercise," he said. 

I thought I would end up sparring with Vic, and I had already made up my mind to go easy on him.  Instead, Vic came out of the ring, and Alan stayed in.  He motioned to me to come in.  "Why is it that we have never sparred before?" Alan said, as we paced the ring, waiting for the bell to ring.  "I don't know," I answered.  "If you really hurt me, then they'll say you beat up on an old man.  If I hurt you, then they'll say I'm picking on a girl," Alan grinned.  I grinned back, "We can't win either way."  I got some good hooks in on Alan, and he rapped me in the nose.  Afterwards, I rubbed my nose, acting if it was really hurting.  "Aw, I didn't hit you like that," Alan said.  "You did get me in the nose!  But it's okay; it's not broken," I laughed.

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