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The Oak Lawn Tales – Kickboxing

Lajos and I continued to meet for dinner and other occasions, but we were in no way “dating.” In some ways, the concept of dating Lajos was like the concept of dating Owen Wilson; they were both fantasies to me. Lajos was the guy at the party everyone wanted to take home with them, and I was quite content with the fact that he was even socializing with me. To ruin my happiness by trying to push for more was out of the question. Note that this didn’t mean that I wasn’t crazy about him, or that I would have done anything to spend more time with him.

In addition to being a very smart computer programmer, Lajos has been working to become a fitness instructor. Instructors need to take classes and pass certification to teach at gyms; they won’t just hire anyone who looks good in spandex (though Lajos passed that qualification with flying colors). My friend Manuel told me that Lajos got a job as a kickboxing instructor in a new gym that opened in downtown Dallas. At this time I was at a gym that was near work because I had a discount, and while it was a great facility with great equipment and a friendly staff it didn’t have a Hungarian kickboxing instructor who made me feel funny like when I climb the rope in gym class. It was time to join a new gym.

The new gym was built on top of a parking garage and with giant glass windows on all sides and was located in the heart of downtown. In the mornings you could watch the sunrise over the Dallas skyline. It was quite a bit more expensive than my prior gym, but it was about five minutes from my home. It was fancy and upscale, like many things in Dallas. At that time I was interested in building muscle over losing weight, so taking a kickboxing class really wasn’t something I was interested in, but I was interested in the instructor so I figured I’d give it a shot.

If you haven’t figured out that this story has a “crash course in wackiness” component associated with it, you have obviously not watched enough sit-coms. Lajos was very new as an instructor, and he didn’t understand that his class did not know the steps and that he was doing a terrible job teaching them. To make matters worse, his thick Hungarian accent, which is so adorable, also made it impossible to understand anything he told us. Most classes would begin with him rushing through the instruction, the class half mumbling that they couldn’t understand, the music would start, and… chaos. I’m not a coordinated guy, and my attempts to mimic the motions looked positively elderly (WiiFit would say my WiiFit age was 98). I came to these classes to spend time with Lajos, but I certainly was not impressing him with my lithe dance skill. Thankfully, no one else in the class was either. One evening, I was the only person who showed up to class. Lajos asked “What’s going on? They never have attendance problems in the morning class?” to me. “Oh, maybe there’s an event going on,” I responded; I wasn’t about to tell the truth.

I was never able to execute a kickboxing routine at anything more than a third grader level, which I find an insult to both my Hispanic and gay heritage. Lajos did improve as an instructor, and he expanded his repertoire of classes too. I’d like to think I was there when he first started, and helped support him during his early teaching years; that I also enjoyed watching him run kickboxing examples in his cute fitness gear is beside the point.

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