Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Taking It Personally

I was poised to get a good shot of Alan and his son talking in-between rounds of Matt's sparring session with Rojan.  Then they both noticed I had the camera and started clowning.

Note in this photo that Matt is not wearing headgear, but Rojan is.  Matt later complained of being out of shape (although he looked fine to me).  He didn't want to knock anyone out, but he wanted to throw hard enough punches so that the other people (he also sparred with John) could feel like they had been hit with something.

Loyola Park gym was fairly packed the other night.  As usual, LaFollette Park gym was not.  Donovan has gone out of town, so only Tayjon and James were in the kids' class.  But James may be more of a leader than I think.  Both him and Tayjon walked into the gym together.  James was giving Tayjon instructions about what they were going to do at football practice after wards.  Upon hearing that Donovan was not going to return until later in the week, James told Tayjon, "Make sure you bring your mouthpiece tomorrow."  James let him know that he has plans to spar.

Turns out that Jaelen, like Tayjon and James, is also on the football team.  I saw him wearing his uniform.  The younger boys manage to make it boxing, but the teen class, which Jaelen is in, goes on the same time football practice does.  Tayjon and James have been leaving early to go to football practice, too.  I think their season starts next month.  If they sign up for the fall boxing class, that will have an impact on how often they can actually come to class.  The best I can do is to recruit more kids to cover the spots the boys will not often be occupying.

Ariel came in, but she told me her mother couldn't attend the adult class that day due to a prior commitment.  I showed Ariel various ways to get out of the corners when pinned in by another fighter.  We also went over how to grab someone's arms and elbows to slow down or stop a barrage of punches.  She really wants to learn the ins and outs.  I remain disappointed that the others in the teen class don't show up regularly so she can practice her skills on them.

Alan suggested that I don't take it personally when people slack off like that.  But most times I do.  I still suspect that one of reasons Xavier hasn't been in is I refused to allow some friend of his to come to the gym and help train him.  In my gym?  I don't think so.  I also think Xavier thinks his friend, whose credentials appear to be suspect, can do a better job than me, probably because his friend is male.  I wish I hadn't allowed Ben's cousins -- who don't even live in Chicago -- to take the last two open spots in the teen boxing class.  They don't come in, and even if they did, Devin and Lacey still wouldn't have enough time to train for the boxing shows.  Those two will be gone back to their home state by the end of next month.  Ben has the advantage as he has been there for months, but Ben has only been in class two times since the summer began.  Plus, Ben has numerous excuses for not wanting to take a fight, and I'm no longer interested in hearing those excuses.

Mike, the kickboxing instructor, told me he has the same problems regarding attendance.  During the fall and winter, people are present, but as soon as the weather starts showing signs of warming up, people suddenly become busy doing other things.

I learned that Kentrell, the obnoxious kid whom I have banned from the gym, has been working the nerves of some other staff members as well.  Good to know that I'm not the only one who has low tolerance for Kentrell's antics.  It just makes it easier for me to make the ban stick.

This week, I will turn in a request for a flier announcing the fall boxing class.  I sure hope I get the fliers back early.  I could hardly use the fliers for the summer class because by the time they showed up, class had already started.  Thank God for word of mouth, because I might not have had anyone in the summer class at all.

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