Its funny when opportunities present themselves. Opportunities usually present themselves when you are ready for them, not when you want them.
Since moving from St. Louis I’ve been struggling to find an adequate gym supporting women’s boxing. One looked very promising, but then unfortunately once I moved here, it was so far out-of-town it wasn’t worth training there after spending the gas money to get there.
The search for a new gym began; by phone at least. One call a drunk man answered slurring. I asked him how much the gym was and he said, “For you its free.” There was a hint in his voice that said he possibly wasn’t taking me seriously. At the time, I didn’t know if it was possibly a promotional thing for the gym; like a first time is free kind of thing like my old boxing gym in St. Louis. I replied in a Polly Anna like regard, “Really?”
(Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “Why did you continue to talk? The slurring should have been your first clue.” To this thoughtful inquiry of yours dear readers I reply, “I like to give people the benefit of the doubt.” That and maybe the man was a professional boxer and had suffered one too many blows to the head, hence his slurring. Some of you are probably still wondering why I continued to talk, because if he was any good he wouldn’t have received so many blows to the head. To that I say, just deal with it, I’m too polite to immediately be rude to anyone.)
The man went on to say something without any discernible syllables or letters, with some slight laughter. I hung up on him. He then realized I was serious, called back, I hit ignore on my phone and he left a slightly more sober message with gym details and prices.
The search continued. I had called another gym I found online and they offered classes specifically for women. When calling this place I inquired with the nice sounding (a.k.a. not drunk) man on the other end of the phone. He questioned, “Are you asking for your children?” For some reason that stung a little bit. Obviously he could tell I was older, and obviously old enough to have children near the age to start training for something like boxing. Seeing as I have no children, I had to realize his question was an honest mistake, and then carried on.
“No, I’m asking for myself.”
“We don’t offer those classes anymore.”
Surprised I asked, “Well but you say you do online?”
“Well we used to but the ladies quit showing up, we just can’t get them to commit.”
Then he went on to say how they, “the ladies”, liked to change it up and do Pilates or Yoga, claiming this is why they quit. I assured him saying, “Well to be honest, I’m very dedicated, I was going three to four times a week when I was living in St. Louis.” (Bear in mind this was before the depression had hit sometime around September.) He had asked what my goal was by going through this training, and I told him honestly; to become an Olympic boxer. He then started to pressure me and asked when I could come into the gym. At that point in time my life was so hectic I didn’t want to make a promise that could not be kept. He then replied, “See, we can’t get the women to commit!” Again I assured him of my dedication, and he realized he had messed up and missed his opportunity to possibly train a female boxer.
After that particular phone call I felt defeated. Again I had entered a world that was not normal for someone like me. Boxing is typically not a female sport, I get that. However, it is no reason to laugh at someone or put them down for wanting to pursue a dream.
In the past couple of months I entertained the idea of getting a new bag and getting a stand to accompany it, however it was a bit costly. Fast forward to last week. My mom and I were having a conversation about points we had racked up on a rewards card. Knowing I had just paid off one of my cards I realized, “Hmmm, maybe I have some points?” I checked and sure enough there was quite a bit on there. Enough rewards points for a boxing bag, or enough for a stand but not enough for both. I still had them send me the rewards in the form of gift cards because I knew at some point I could use the gift cards for something.
Somehow miraculously, today my parents on a whim decided to go shopping at Goodwill. Guess what was there? An elongated Muay Thai like boxing bag, much like the one I was accustomed to boxing with in St. Louis; in the color blue. It’s close to the blue color I recently put in my hair, coincidence? I think not.
Also today, in the mail…were the gift cards. Now that I have a bag, I can get the stand virtually free and get back to doing something I missed, loved and needed to do. I think maybe this was all a planned matter of timing for a path I’m supposed to take in life. Maybe this is someone’s way of saying, “Get back to being you.” Boxing is something intrinsic to me, just as much as writing and doing artwork is. When life is out of balance, it is hard for me to do any of these three things. Something tells me, I’m in the blue (in a very good way) and things are going to start looking up very soon.
What “gifts” have you received in a matter of good timing? Do you think it was by your own work and perseverance or coincidence?