All right.  It looks as though we’ve finally made it to the other side and are going reopen at last.  As long as Santa Barbara follows the state’s lead, we will be opening our doors for classes Monday, June 15th.  With that opening, for your safety and to satisfy the city’s public health requirements will come several schedule and cleaning modifications and protocols.  Read on to find out what those will be.  I apologize ahead of time for the distastefully dry prose.


Class Schedule: Please check the website for the specific class times.  The main difference is that all classes will be one hour long with 15 minutes between classes to provide adequate time for cleaning and for people to leave the gym before the next class comes in.  The idea is to keep the gym and equipment as sanitized as possible and to cut down on traffic during the transition between classes. 


Class Size:  For the time being, classes will be limited to no more than 10 people per class.  This, again, is to cut down on crowding and to help maintain proper social distancing.  We will be implementing online software for signing up for classes.  


Online Classes:  We will continue the online boxing classes Monday through Friday at 4pm and the conditioning classes every Sunday at 10am.  Those classes will also be available for attendance in the gym.  Along with implementing online software for signing up for classes, you can also purchase classes either on a class-by-class basis or a monthly membership using Vagaro.  Obviously, if you are already a paying member of the club, those classes will be included in your membership.  


Cleaning: This is where things are going to get, I won’t say sticky, as that would be antithetical to cleaning, but somewhat arduous and annoying.  All bags and equipment must be wiped down by whoever’s used said equipment after every class.  No exceptions.  We will have spray bottles of disinfectant, disinfectant wipes, and towels strategically placed around the gym to facilitate this.  We will also be mopping the floors and disinfecting the commonly used surfaces throughout the day.  While we are all too aware of what a pain in the butt this is and apologize for it, it is, for now, unavoidable.


Gym Traffic: Again, for the time being, we need to make every effort to restrict the number of people in the gym at a given time.  Essentially, what that means is, if you’re not in the gym to work out or coach, then you should not be in the gym.  Most of you usually want to get in and out as fast as you can anyway, so this, for the most part, should present no particular inconvenience or hardship.  What it does mean is no parents or friends will be able to wait in the gym while their children or friends train.  Unless you are bringing your child in for his or her trial lesson, please drop them off and pick them up outside the gym.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.


Open Gym:  While in the past I have been lenient about letting those with Open Gym memberships train on their own during classes or for their preparation time to bleed into class time, for the at least foreseeable future, that will not be the case.  Those with Open Gym memberships will need to do their training strictly during non-class hours and time both their entrance and exit preparation, such as getting dressed, wrapping up, showering, etc., so that it does not cross over into the scheduled class times.  Again, the idea is to limit the amount of traffic in the gym, both so people feel safe and to satisfy the city’s public health guidelines.  It should be obvious, but I’ll say it anyway, Open Gym members are required to follow all the cleaning protocols as those taking the scheduled classes.


Masks: It is beyond me how, but somehow the wearing of masks has become a point of contention.  I will not be tendentious, or only a little, regarding the use of masks and its attendant controversy, but I will say this: the city’s requirement regarding the use of masks is that you must wear one upon entering the premises, may remove it while you are doing whatever business you may be doing within the premises, and must again don it to exit the premises.  That is the city’s requirement, and far be it from me to doubt the wisdom of those entrusted with our safety.


In Conclusion: This is clearly all a giant pain the ass.  Those who know me well, know just how much I resent and resist any form of change.  I still do jumping jacks and toe touches.  That said, I am a boxing coach, and whatever opinion I may have regarding public health issues in general, let alone dealing with a specific virus, pandemic, what have you, is, well, worthless.  So, in all sincerity, in an effort to do what’s right and best for all, and not simply what seems convenient to me personally, I am willing to be dictated to by those who know more than I.  The next couple of months are going to require an adjustment and some patience and forbearance - believe me, no one needs more reminding of that than I - but we came through the lockdowns and are now at last able to get back to some form of business.  With any luck, a few months will see us through this latest phase and a return to all our more normal and beloved daily aggravations and pleasures.  Bear with us as we fumble our way to making this next phase workable.  In the immortal words of the great Mills Lane, “chin down, hands up, and keep moving forward.”  Thank you.