Monday, January 06, 2014

Boxing In The Artic

Another brutally cold winter's day in Chicago, but that did not slow down the activity of the gym.  It was another long walk for me down to Loyola Park as my left leg is still not 100 percent.  But this time, I didn't use the cane, and I was bundled up.  "I made it!" I announced after hobbling into the gym.

Today was the first day of the Winter session.  A quick check of the attendance sheet indicated that quite a few people signed up.  However, only six actually came in, including Alicia, who works in the office of a foot doctor I used to see regularly before I was laid off from a previous job several years ago.  Alicia had a friend with her, another woman, who had her cute 10 year old son, Edward, with her.  Edward plans to start going to the youth boxing program this week.

Ben, the one who wears a beard, returned to the gym.  He had been out for awhile because he had a son, who is now nine months old.  Cute kid; Ben showed me some pictures and videos he had on his cell phone.

Sam, Sean, and Lyndsey were a few of the other people in the gym.  Lyndsey was very turned off about using the gloves in the gym.  "I'm going to get a pair of my own," she said.  But the staff had initially told her that she wasn't allowed to have her own gloves.  They told her it was because of liability issues.  That was news to Alan and really news to me since I've been using my own bag gloves for the past twelve years.

"How many women have come in here and said they wouldn't spar, and did so anyway, and loved it afterwards?" Alan asked. me.  "There's been several," I answered.  Lyndsey was not convinced.  "I don't want to get hit in the face," she said.  Then I didn't make things sound anymore appealing by telling her about a) the time Ieisha knocked me out with a right hook, b) the time Alan bloodied my nose with an uppercut, and c) the six Park District fights I've had.  I'm thinking that Alicia may try sparring because she really enjoyed the class tonight.  But I'm not so sure about the other women who have signed up for the gym.

I shadow boxed in the ring for a few rounds.  When I came down the stairs connected to the ring, I noticed the steps were a bit slippery.  Hopefully, I will remember to put some tape down the next time I'm in the gym so that no one -- especially me -- slips and falls.

Alan did something that he's never done before since he took over the gym in 2008.  He drove me all the way up to the door of my apartment building after the gym was closed for the evening.  I really appreciated that.  Oh, I would have limped down the street and made it home if Alan had let me off at the corner like usual.  But as cold as it is tonight -- and it won't be any warmer tomorrow -- and judging by the fact that most of the neighbors on the block did not do a good job of clearing away the snow, that was a blessing to be dropped off at my door.

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