Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Room Full of Men

Last night, Anthony asked what happened to Shay.  She hasn't been in for weeks, and she hasn't been heard from.  Joan disappeared after sparring with Shay and getting her lip cut open.  I thought LaShawn was going to come by, but she didn't and Evangelina didn't come in.  So that left me in my usual position as the only woman in the gym.

I ran into Mike L. while walking to the gym.  His friend Jack has gone back to college in St. Louis, so we won't be seeing him for awhile.  Mike is gearing up for getting in some sparring soon, but he wants to wait for a minute.  He just got a new teaching job and doesn't want to start off showing up to work with bruises on his face.  I don't blame him.  It's a trip explaining to people at work why the bruises are there.  If one is a woman, there's the extra problem of people thinking one is a domestic violence victim.

Jamil was quick while sparring with Anthony.  His game has really been improving.  He got in a lot of solid head and body shots.  But Anthony is no slouch, either.  He's learned to calm down a little while in the ring and pick his shots.  Later, Jamil sparred with Ralphie, and he slowed down a bit.  "I need the bucket," he said, and for a second, both Alan and I thought he was going to throw up.  But he was fine. 

I forgot to bring my boxing gear to work today.  I was running late -- again -- so I hopped on my bike in order to get there on time.  The second boxing bag I have, just like the other one which I carry to the gym, is too unwieldy to carry while riding a bike anyway.  I rode the bike for about an hour and a half after work to get some exercise in.

On my way out of church, I spot Pastor and Mark, the intern, returning from lunch.  Mark called out, "Frazier!" which is his nickname for me.  He asked about when I was boxing next.  "I'm supposed to have a fight in September, but I don't know if my eye is going to be okay by then," I replied.  "I heard you telling someone about your eye earlier this morning.  I hope it's okay," Mark said.  "So do I.  I want it to be fine by the time the fight happens because I'd like to win this time," I said. 

Pastor Roger remained silent during this conversation.  Almost seven years ago, when he first took over the pulpit from the retiring Pastor Shackelford, I told Pastor Roger that I boxed.  He had sort of a funny look on his face then.  Sometime later, after I really learned how conservative he is, I asked him was he okay about me boxing.  He said he was fine with it.  But then, this is a guy, judging by other things he's said regarding women, would probably prefer it if more women stayed in traditional roles.  Don't get it twisted -- I'm not knocking him.  I've always liked the guy from day one.  But I always think that while he's probably known many tomboys in his life, Pastor Roger has never come across one like me.  And one who's involved in one of the toughest sports in the world, at that.

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