Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Summer's Early Warnings
I found this nice photo of George, who runs the boxing gym at Garfield Park, talking to a fighter in the corner.
Time went fast on the first day of the summer session, which was a blessing in more ways than one. A guy shows up with his son, whose name was no where on the attendance sheet I had. "Could you go up to the front desk and ask them to print out a receipt for you?" I asked. A few minutes later, he returned with a receipt which confirmed that once again, one of the staff signed up yet another extra kid in the eight to 12 year olds' class without informing me first. Now I have twelve kids. I'm only supposed to have ten.
The twelfth kid in question -- James -- has already shown me an attention deficiency problem. I had both him and Donovan, another new kid, in the ring going over basics. Several times, James was looking at the ceiling, over to side, everywhere else in the gym except at me. I kept clapping my hands to get his attention. Finally I told James that if he doesn't get focused, he'll pay for it in a regular fight by getting hurt. When his father came back in at the end of the hour, he caught James goofing off instead of doing floor exercises. James' dad said, "I knew it. . ." as he shook his head.
Another woman walks in with her kid, a boy whom I have seen running around the field house for most of the year. She wanted to sign him up. Someone up at the front desk told her to talk to me to see if I would be willing to override the registration system to let her son in. After allowing two extra kids in the class, someone finally thought it was a good idea to see if it was okay with me to let another kid in. Wow.
She showed up with her son on the first day of a class that is free expecting room to be available. I told her no in a polite, professional manner. "I just wanted him to have something to do for the summer," she said, then immediately tells me her son is also signed up for summer camp. Her son has something to do; he's not going to miss out. I don't need thirteen kids in that class. I shouldn't have twelve.
Xavier showed up early with a couple of his buddies, one of whom was old enough to be in the adult class. I asked his buddy to pay for the class at the front desk, and told Xavier to come back when the teen class begins. When he came back, Xavier asked if another one of his buddies could come to the class to help train him. "Nope, not unless he actually signs up for the class or applies to be a volunteer," I replied. I had a feeling some of his buddies was going to pull something like that. I had already cut that off at the path.
Ariel, a thirteen year old girl in the teen class, is a newcomer to boxing. But she appears to be very athletic, and she picked up on the basics quickly. Her mother appears to be a lovely person who is very encouraging of her daughter being in something positive. Unfortunately, the other girl who is registered for the class did not show up -- that's already a discouraging sign. I want Ariel to get sparring experience in, but I'm not so confident about putting her in with one of the boys. I don't know if she would even want to spar with them.
Speaking of the teen boys, all of them didn't bother to show up to first day of class either. I see Ben signed up again, and already, Ben is missing training time. I've already decided I'm not going to buy the usual excuse of, "I don't think I'm ready," when I bring up next week's boxing show to him. Either he'll take a fight in that show, or plan on not taking a fight in any show, period. Ben skated by with that all last year, but I don't want to deal with it this time around.
When the adult class started, Chevron, Xavier's buddy, showed up. So did Tyler, and a couple more guys who were also buddies with Xavier. I took Danny and Chevron in the ring to show them basics. Xavier starts giving orders to Chevron. The other guys start lounging. "Hold up. Don't you all have something else to do?" I asked Xavier and his buddies. No response. "Wait a minute. I know you all heard me. The adult class is going on now, and y'all can't be hanging around in here. I'm not trying to be hard, but I have to do what my job requires me to do," I continued. They left without further incident. Using the gym as a hang out spot? I don't think so, that's why I shut it down before that becomes a habit. I told Xavier to tell his cousin Terence to get himself to the gym if he wants to be in next week's boxing show.
Danny and Chevron were the only two who showed up for the adult class. Looks like I'll have yet another adult class with low attendance -- again.