Friday, March 31, 2017
Derek brought his kids in for sparring today. One kid became very gassed out. Derek told me the kid, a 14-year-old, likes to smoke. "Can't do this sport and be a smoker," I told the kid.
I learned that Derek actually signed up 15 kids for the youth class. Fortunately, even though the staff member who took the registrations took a while to put the names in the system, they did put three of the kids on the wait list. The class can only hold twelve. I know that the 21 who have signed up (that's including the six currently signed up for the spring teen class) won't all show up every day at the same time. I told Derek to bring along the three who are on the wait list.
Once the sparring was done, Derek asked the kids about some things they would like to see changed in their neighborhood. He also told them about some things he had gone through as a young man. Derek was once a gang member who ended up doing some time. But he changed his life around and decided to help kids in the area not to make the same mistakes. I really liked how he interacted with the kids in that way.
The other day, Steve pulled me aside and told me he would not order women's chest protectors for me. "I don't want you to get hurt like that," he told me. "It's not for me. I don't spar with the kids. It's for the girls who spar and who might participate in matches," I said to him. Steve was relieved. "Oh, for a minute, I thought those would be for you!" he said. I haven't sparred at Loyola Park in awhile because of my gait problems, but someday, I'll get back to that. But I cut out sparring with anyone at LaFollette. I never felt comfortable sparring with the youths in the past so I've cut that out completely. They need to spar with peers to get experience, not with the old lady running the gym.