my trainer is a small man, lean as a horse, strong as a bull. i recently learned that he's only 23 years old, years my junior and hails from ormoc, leyte. he lives at the boxing gym i go to and earns his living giving lessons in kickboxing as well as mixed martial arts. he earns additional income as well from joining tournaments where he gets paid to fight.
my trainer, i would say, is a proud man. every time we would train, he never fails to build up how his variety of kickboxing (yaw-yan) far excels the others in terms of difficulty, strength, and grace. of course, a conversation about his art would also never exclude a reminder of how deadly yaw-yan can be, how many bones he has broken and joints, dislocated. when in the middle of training and i would fumble due to my inherent incoordination, he would demonstrate the move for me, and add a few flashy moves as well, for added effect i guess. on the occasions wherein i would collapse to catch my breath after an exhausting round with him, he would, i reckon, put up a show for me. he'll take off his shirt and flex his well toned muscles. he'll comment on his leanness and proceed to do some moves, all beautifully executed, all far too advance for me to even dream of achieving.
my trainer is a vain man. 23 years old, earning his own keep, a man from the province with rather provincial ways would certainly not do in the city. he colored his hair crimson, always styled in a semi Mohawk, probably held up by some hair wax he purchased from a store. despite the many clients he would handle in a day, i have never seen a strand of hair on that head of his ever fall out of place. he keeps it impeccable, always careful to check in the mirror every so often. his fingernails are always clean, and his toes, pedicured. he is always presentably dressed, his clothes nicely put together. instead of the usual flip flops his fellow trainers wear on the floor, he struts around the gym wearing his light grey clogs, to which i find so endearing about him since the image always reminds me of a child playing in their parent's shoes. he carries a certain arrogance in his stance, not really offensive but similar to the arrogance of a horse on a canter. it really is more of a natural state of being rather than a contrived display of over-confidence.
my trainer is an ambitious man. on certain times, we would talk about his future in the martial arts. he would tell me that he would like to have his own school, and have students of his own. he joins many competitions and gets himself to fight popular foes to get his name more well known, investing in himself as a product i guess. he trains religiously, in all disciplines he could get his hands on. boxing, kick boxing, wrestling, he has done it all, giving him licence to develop now a mix martial arts program, which at my gym, is also starting to develop a steady following.
yesterday, my trainer offered to sell me a pair of boxing shorts and a shirt from his kickboxing league. the shorts were of of a polyester blend, stiff like it was starched. it bore a camouflage print and was studded with embroidered symbols in alibata. it also bore the logo of his league, a triangular patch sewn on the front. it had no lining. it had no zippers either but was held together with velcro straps. the shirt was a plain black cotton tee with a yellow silk-screened print saying "yaw-yan". he inquired me of my size last week and said that it would be nice to have a uniform for his clients. i was surprised that he actually had the items already prepared for me when we trained last night. after inspecting the pieces, i inquired for their price, to which my trainer gave me the figure. it was high. it was unreasonably high i have to say. i did not hesitate to react to this and jested that maybe he could offer me a discount. i have to admit, i was never really interested to purchase the items from the start and felt that i just needed to entertain him and the idea. however, my rather dissatisfied reaction to the sale somehow got to my trainer. in a hushed tone, he explained and tried to justify the rather high cost of these very ordinary pieces. that they were official gear, that they were discounted already, that they were unique, that they were a means of us showing our unity in the sport. i tried to listen, i tried to understand, but all i could hear or see now was a boy, trying his best to convince me, without begging, to buy his over priced wares.
tomorrow... i will however, be adding two new pieces of clothing to my closet. money can always be earned. oppurtunities to help on the other hand...