Monday, January 04, 2016
Busy Start To 2016
In the above photo, Alan stands in the middle of the ring at Loyola Park with the new people who signed up for boxing. This week begins the winter session at the Chicago Park District.
Alan, David, and Connor were already in the gym when I arrived. A couple of new people showed up, and I thought, "Wow, that's all?" "Alan, what do you need me to do to help?" I asked. "It depends on how many people come in," he answered. Then a whole lot of people started streaming in. Of the people who came in, there were two who hadn't been in the gym for awhile: Deb and St. Louis. In fact, I had seen St. Louis at Colonel's funeral, and initially didn't recognize him there.
I got in some licks on the heavy bag before Alan turned the newbies loose on the equipment. After that, I alternated between answering questions from the new people and helping the guys who sparred get suited up. One of the new guys decided he wanted to spar his first day there. Alan allowed him to get into the ring with Connor. Another new guy, a second guy in the place named David, also sparred. I learned that David was Alan's third cousin.
Rochelle, another new person, wanted to see some women's boxing matches. "Where can I go to see them?" she asked. "It's hard to find them, because women fighters are not often featured in boxing shows, not even on the under cards," I explained. But I did tell her about the Chicago Park District boxing shows, and the private boxing shows. I also directed her to places on the Internet to get notices about upcoming fights in the area. Next time I see her, I'll remember to tell her about the matches she can see on YouTube.
St. Louis wanted me to throw punches at him while he practiced defense. We were in the ring for two rounds. I had to push myself to keep up with him because he was really moving around.
Tomorrow, I will face my own set of newbies at LaFollette. I hope them and the returning kids all show up so we can get things started off right.