Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Monday's Packed Gym

"You see that it's a full house," I told Alan as he approached the gym.  Several new people were waiting in the hall, including Paul, Robert, Jamal, Brandi, Anna and Sarah.  Wayne, who trained with Barry, came in not long after the door was open.  Matthieu, another guy named Paul who's closer to Alan's age, and Ian, none of whom hadn't been in the gym for awhile, returned.  As I feared, Igor signed up again, too. The picture above shows Ray (in the middle) talking to Robert (in the headgear) and Wayne (on the right).

Robert and Ray sparred, and it was a good match up.  Robert is a MMA fighter who's had a few bouts.  He hung in there with Ray and got some great shots off.  Ray was working Robert with hooks. 

Sarah and I sparred as blonde Sarah (who I had met before at my church) and Brandi watched.  I got one right in to Sarah's head, but the rest of the time, I went for hooks to the middle.  Sarah got me with an uppercut that made me glad my mouth was closed, and that I was wearing a mouthpiece for protection.  I was too worn out to go a fourth round.  Luckily, I wasn't hit in the nose again.  It's still hurting a little from last week when Alan popped me in it.

I asked Matthieu where was his girlfriend Erica.  "She moved out," he told me, and I said I was sorry to hear that.  Women problems seemed to be the norm that night, as Ray's wife was waiting around outside the gym door, and she didn't look happy. 

Reggie joked with Jacob about entering the Golden Gloves.  The schedule came out yesterday.  I printed a copy and taped it up in the gym.  It's uncertain at the point who among the guys will be interested in competing.  They've got a little over two months to prepare for it, if they do.  Jacob would be a good prospect, but that depends on how healed his thumb is.  Ray's in the same situation.  Reggie did well in the prelims the last time he was in; I believe he could go further this time.  Wayne and Robert would be good picks too, if they're interested. 

As I held pads for Brandi, she told me that she had taken fitness boxing before.  There were no bags in the gym she attended.  The coach worked with everyone using punch pads.  "There was only one other woman in that gym, but she never wanted to spar.  We would put mats down for the guys when they sparred.  I'm glad to come here and see several women around," she said. 

Anna, who's from Bosnia, was enthusiastic about her time in the gym.  "It's a good overall workout," she told me.  I showed Sarah how to move as she threw rights and lefts.  Blonde Sarah is unsure about sparring, and Anna had already said that she's not interested in sparring or competing at all.  Brandi might be looking at sparring.  Alan told her, "Hillari would be good to work with during sparring."  It's just a matter of time before Alan tries to convince the other women to get into the ring as well.
Alan never got a chance to workout himself Monday night because there were so many people in the gym.  That's one of the drawbacks of being a coach.  I remember Steve, the former coach, telling me that a few years ago.  But there is satisfaction in showing others about the Sweet Science.  Speaking of coaching, I wasn't able to attend a recent coaches' clinic that was held this past Sunday.  It was in Downers Grove, and I had already missed two weeks of church service due to working for the pet/house sitting company.  I'm one of those folks who still believe in regularly attending church services; scheduling things on Sunday morning is not always good.

I sent an email back to the person who's the head of USA Boxing coordination in Illinois asking if there were going to be any coaches' clinics held within Chicago city limits this time.  I don't have a car, I don't want to rely on Metra and/or Pace to get somewhere, and getting to some suburbs and small towns is difficult, if not impossible, for me.  I need to attend another clinic; the last one I went to was in Harvey, and that wasn't extremely hard to get there.  The gym where the clinic was held was around the corner from the Metra station.  There are hundreds of boxing coaches within Chicago alone, so having a clinic within the city shouldn't be a problem.  I haven't heard back yet, but I hope I do before the Golden Glove signups take place next month.

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