Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Boxing Frustrations Galore
As I watched the 12 years and under class as they leaned on the ring ropes, I wondered to myself, "What am I going to do with this group?" It's just about middle of April, and the park district boxing shows are closer than the kids think. Yet I seem to be facing one obstacle after another in getting kids ready for competition.
The other day, I found a mouthpiece on the floor in the men's washroom. I had given out a couple of mouthpieces to kids who didn't have them. I threw that mouthpiece out, thinking it couldn't be saved nor cleaned properly because it had been on the washroom floor. The following day, Suave told me his mouthpiece probably slipped out of his backpack, because he couldn't find it. The one I threw away was probably his. But I have no more mouthpieces to give out at the moment. I'm waiting for the ones the park district ordered to come in. In the meantime, Suave won't be allowed to spar until he has a mouthpiece.
Jermaine's whining and slacking off have become highly annoying. His mother usually comes to the gym with him, and Jermaine doesn't listen to her anymore than he does to me. Finally, I told Jermaine that he needs to stop giving his mother word-for-word every time she tells him something. "I would have been laid out on the floor if I was always talking to my mother like that," I said. Yet Jermaine's mouth kept running.
Both Jermaine and Davon shrink when they are sparring. As soon as the pressure is put on them, they sink into the ropes, turn their backs on the other person, and drop their hands. "The other person is not going to stop throwing punches because y'all did," I keep telling them. The fact the kids keep doing that tells me I'm not being heard.
Ben, who's in the teen class, has been doing the same thing lately. This has been especially true when he has to face Xavier. I get the feeling that Ben always wants to "win" his sparring matches. No matter how many times I explain to all that sparring is practice, it just falls on deaf ears.
Justen got in the ring to spar with TJ and then stopped in the middle of sparring. "I forgot I shouldn't be sparring today because I have a knot on my head," he said. I was irritated, but I was too frustrated to argue. "Just come out of the ring," I grumbled.
Shynla, who hasn't been in the gym in over a week, decided to show up on a sparring day. I couldn't work with her because I had to deal with the issues the other kids had with sparring. I didn't ask either her, or her dad who was with her why she had been absent for several days. I hoping that both understand that she's not going to learn the sport well if she's only showing up to class here and there.
Of course, she's not the only one. In addition to the ones whom I've never seen in the class, there are several others in all three of the classes who keep doing the "now you see me, now you don't" routine. None of the teens showed up yesterday, and Bennie, who is in the adult class, showed up after being AWOL for several days.
A woman who has been telling me for about a year that she was going to sign up for the adult class, finally did so. "Can I bring my kids in here?" she asked. I believe she has four of them. Suspecting that she might want to have the kids work out with her, I explained that the kids can't be in the gym when the adults are there. Then she tells me she can't show up every day. I don't know, y'all, but if I'm paying for a class, I'm going to be there every time the doors are open. I like to get my money's worth when I'm paying for anything. But maybe others just don't feel like I do.
Then I was late the other day to the field house. It's a long ride from Rogers Park all the way to Austin, and if CTA does anything wrong, I'm jacked up. As soon as I got there, the field house supervisor told me the parents were grumbling. Steve explained to them that I was on public transportation. From what he told me, that didn't go over well. If those parents are driving everywhere, of course, they didn't want to hear that. Most who drive have zero sympathy for those who have to deal with public transportation problems. My reaction is usually to ignore drivers' lack of understanding about that, because, honestly. . . .unless they are going to buy me a car and pay all the expenses involved with that, I really don't want to hear their opinions.
I want things to work. But when everybody else ain't on board. . . sigh.