Igor was hanging around at the front desk. As soon as he saw me, he came to life, and started in with "the mouth" as Officer Schnauser was fond of saying on "Car 54, Where Are You?" "Is open today?" Igor said. He probably already asked the staff persons. They may have told him they didn't know, considering the summer session is over. The boxing gym is open even during breaks between sessions, but often, staff is unaware that the coach will come in anyway. Regardless of what answer the staff may have given Igor, I'm never in the mood for his questions. Obviously, since I was there, I believed the gym would be open. Why would I be there if I knew for sure it wouldn't be open? "He'll be here when he gets here," I irritably answered Igor, and I went back to scrolling through the music on my MP3 player.
Igor retreated a bit, but I couldn't let it go. "Seriously, Igor, did Alan call and say otherwise to you? So just figure that it's open!" I snapped. I promptly ignored Igor the rest of night like I usually do. But as time passed, I wondered why was I such a bitch to Igor. You know, the older I've become, I have displayed more of "the mouth" as well. Maybe it's the menopause talking. No, I can't completely dismiss Igor's rudeness and inane questions and comments. That's not going to happen. But I can't keep running off at the mouth just because I can, either, because it doesn't always make me look bright. It's like arguing with my late father; he never changed, and Igor isn't going to either. I need to learn to change my reactions to some people.
I sparred with Gene, and realized that Gene moves around a whole lot. I planned my punches, but Gene would move in a different way, and the punch would get lost. Gene likes to clinch just when I'm beginning to throw something. Every time we clinched, I caught a whiff of cologne. "Whatever that scent is, it's nice," I thought. He and I were in the ring for a couple of rounds, then Marcus stepped in.
I've never sparred with Marcus before. He was punching a little harder than Gene was. Not knowing what to expect, I did my usual charging bull routine. Later, Alan told me, "You really got Marcus good." I never think my punches are doing much damage on most of the guys. "No", Alan said, "Marcus was backed up a lot of times." Marcus had commented after our sparring, "You and that right hook!" I told him the story of my maternal grandfather, who had been an amateur boxer at one time. "Well, you've got skills," he said.
Gene told the coach "I don't want to go all out," in regards to working the heavy bags. Alan told him that he had to keep his form up, however, so he'd remember to do so in the ring. He then talked to both Marcus and Gene about what takes place at the Park District boxing shows. "Hillari's had four fights. I stopped one of them and she got mad at me," he explained. "That's true," I laughed, "but I was taking too many hits." "There was more time in the round, but I stopped it when I saw there was a possibility that she could have gotten hurt," Alan continued. "Oh, so those are exhibition matches," Gene said, when he learned he didn't need an amateur boxing license to participate in those shows. Gene talked like he might sign on, but I wasn't sure how Marcus felt about the possibility of being in a boxing show.
It was a few minutes to nine o'clock when Alan announced, "One more round guys and girls!" "Don't you mean women?" I jokingly said. "Okay, guys and ladies," Alan said before returning to using the exercise wheel. Then he looked up and said, "But a lady doesn't throw punches." Marcus got up and asked him to repeat what he said. "I said we only have one more round, guys and girls, and Hillari made a comment about using the word ladies instead, so I said ladies don't throw punches like that and hurt people," Alan grinned. Marcus said, "They sure don't!" and we all laughed. "Hillari, I need you to be an animal in here. Be a lady on the outside," Alan continued.