No matter how many times I admonish T1 about hitting his sisters too hard during sparring, it happens anyway. Both Tough and Talky were crying after their brother went upside their heads. T1 apologizes to them, but then turns around and gloats about it. "My sisters are scary," T1 often says. The next time, I'm going to tell him that his younger sisters are going to get tired of the abuse and turn on him. That's my youngest brother did after years of my younger sister and I beating on him.
Cash and Money showed up for the teens' class. I had seen them the night before in a place where I shouldn't have been -- McDonald's. Besides the company's habit of underpaying their employees, their food is not what it used to be. Not to mention the food is unhealthy. But I was hungry and that was the nearest place to the field house to go. Cash and Money recognized me from the gym, and we sat around and talked for about a half-hour. The next day, the two sparred in the ring. A good time was had by all.
I feel I've become more comfortable around the kids than I was when I first started out. The yelling I had been doing has gone way down. Also, I've been encountering youths who seem to really have an interest in the sport, as well as an understanding. Gone are most of the kids, like Princess, who treated the program like a playground. I gave Princess' mom a permission slip to sign her daughter up for boxing again, but I haven't seen Princess back in the gym. Maybe she won't return.
The other day, I sparred with whom I believe was the youngest person I've been in the ring with: Curly. Curly is 11 years old. My mid-section and sides were aching afterwards. I told him that he did well, which Curly did. But I didn't let on that I had been hurt. I also sparred with his older brother Marine, who is 14 years old. The difference between the two was that Marine was not putting full power behind his punches.
Steve, the field house supervisor, is going to look through the boxing equipment catalog to see what the field house budget can afford to get for the gym. I keep up with the inventory, so I know what is needed. However, no matter what I previously said to the kids about getting a Cobra bag, I don't want one in the gym. I'm tired of the kids squabbling with each other over who is going to use it -- like they did with the one that is now broken -- while they ignore the heavy bags. The kids can't get it in their heads that a Cobra bag is not a toy, either. I'm not going to waste the park district's money by getting another one that's going to be out of commission in a few months, or perhaps weeks.
What I really want is kettlebells. But I'm afraid of the kids hurting themselves and each other with them, whether by accident or more likely, because of playing around. Kettlebells offer more of an overall body workout just like boxing does, so I have to try them in the class. I'll just have to really stress the proper use of them.