I can’t decide what makes the chickens squawk and mutter on some days and be perfectly silent on others.
For the past couple of months I’ve been doing boxing training in a mostly empty gravel lot (see photo below), located at the edge of a neighborhood of sagging student-housing Victorians. I’m sort of behind an ancient International House of Pancakes – with nice graffiti – near the railroad tracks.
Oh, and chickens.
I didn’t even realize the chickens were there at first, hidden away like they are in a tiny coop behind a two-story cinderblock apartment box, just past the dumpster. As I said, they were silent those first few times I got out there to train.
The gravel lot is rarely used, but it does provide a handy cut-through to a sprawling urban park nearby, and I have had to get used to the periodic gawker, catcall, or unhelpful comment from the students hiking past.
It’s weird to walk out in the middle of the dirt and gravel, sling down my gear bag, and start to shadowbox all by myself. Jay, who is training me, will quietly comment, “Just ignore them,” as people pass us by.
So I work, and wipe the gritty sweat out of my eyes, and blink rapidly to clear my vision when we raise a cloud of dust with our sparring. I sprint from the blue dumpster to the metal shed and back, then shadowbox for my recovery period until Jay calls the next sprint in 30 seconds. And I ignore the occasional “Stick and move!” comment from passers-by.
But one day I thought I heard a chicken crowing. An odd sound, to a woman who has lived much of her