Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Boxing Gym In A War Zone

Koreon is the new kid whose name I couldn't think of the other day.  Today was the second time Koreon showed up late.  "You gotta show up here on time to get the full hour of practice," I told him.  I sent him off to a heavy bag on the other side of the room to work on the jab and straight right.  My concentration was more on Henry and David.  Barry called me earlier wanting to know who I had for the Loyola Park show.  I weighed Henry, David, and Malik and reported back to Barry.  But I did not weigh Koreon.

Koreon's sister walked in several minutes later.  "You know your brother came in here late again," I told her.  "He doesn't get off school until later," was her explanation.  My thought was "And her point is what?  Their father has a receipt showing what time class begins, and that was explained to him during registration."  Audibly I told her, "I'd like to get your brother in a boxing show, but he's got to get here to train for it.  I'll see what I can do."  However, I made no promises.

Malik was late, too, but not as late as Koreon.  Once again, Malik expressed concern that he has no one to spar with.  If my left leg and lower back were not giving me problems, I would spar with him.  Luckily, Malik plays other sports which is a help to him in terms of stamina.  Based on that, I might let him fight at Loyola Park without the sparring practice.  Malik has had one fight before, so he knows what to expect.


The adult class remains empty at the moment.  I sat alone in the gym reading the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly when Sherina, one of the attendants, dashed into the room.  "We've got to close up the field house.  There's been a shooting in the park!" she said.  "Another one?" I said, shaking my head.  There had been a shooting several days ago.  I quickly grabbed my stuff, locked up the gym, and came upstairs.

"Who got shot?" I asked some staff members who were standing at the crash door that leads to the parking lot.  I was told that it was a man who volunteers with the youth football team.  I had seen the man and his son who is on the team, a few hours earlier.  We had exchanged pleasantries. 

Several kids who were leaving the building were crying.  They had been on the football field when the shooting took place.  I was so shocked that I forgot to ask about the condition of the man.  I got in my car and drove off. 

I work in a war zone.

No comments: