Written and Photographed by Doreen Dawkins
Edited by Kyra Dawkins
Although Jerry Page makes his presence known at Thompson Recreation Center, he is an employee of Beatty Recreation Center. If you can train weekday mornings, Beatty might just be the place for you.
You may remember when Jerry Page won a silver medal at the 1983 Pan American Games. Or perhaps you’ll recall when he won the light welterweight gold medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics.
At first glance, I pegged Coach Page as a laid back introvert who only pipes up in conversation when directly addressed or to laugh at others’ comments. As it turns out, that assumption is accurate to a point. But Coach Page is an authoritarian when it comes to the gym. Here is a warning to the females: the gym is not short of boxing “experts” who are all too willing to offer their “expertise” to new people, especially females. If Coach Page is not at the gym when you go to workout, a way to get rid of the “experts” is to ask them about the specifics of their supposed success. Also add that you will be sharing their suggestion(s) with Coach Page. Usually that’s the end of that. They mumble something under their breath and “get ta getting”. Whenever one of the “experts” approached me while Coach Page was there, all he had to do was say “Hey” and the “help” left the gym.
If you work out with Coach Page at Beatty Recreation, you need to bring your own wraps and pair of gloves. I started with the Title Classic gloves. After a couple of weeks they started to tear. I currently train with the 14 ounce Title gel gloves. They seem to add extra cushion and my hands feel more comfortable during the workout. As you train, Coach Page will suggest what you should be doing, but will not insist. He will tell you that, out of his experience working with different coaches, he believes the best way to workout is to do the most difficult part of the workout first and to end with the easiest part. So the order should be general warm up, then box, then work on the heavy bag, then shadow box, and finally jump rope. Coach Page’s training philosophy is there is no point in being at the gym all day wasting time. He will tell you, “If you see the heavy bag is available, get to it!”
A word of caution: just because Coach Page appears to be laid back and small in stature, do not, I repeat, DO NOT challenge him to a few rounds. I made the mistake of calling him out since I wanted to work out and my primary coach was not available. We agreed to compete the best 2 out of 3 matches. When I showed up for the first week, I believed we were only going to spar to the body. Ummm... wrong. Coach Page was hitting my head gear. I rarely get hit in my head gear, so I wasn’t exactly a fan of that. However, Coach Page let me win and all was right in the world. Being the trash talker that I am, I started taunting him. The following week when we competed, he just about knocked me out the ring. As a matter of fact, I stepped out of the ring during the second round and was told to “get back in the ring” because he wasn’t finished….” The third and final week Coach Page “beat me a fool.” I will NEVER, I repeat, NEVER get in the ring with him again.
In my opinion, Beatty Recreation Center is wonderful place to workout . It offers a great workout room and an adequate boxing area. From an adult boxing perspective, the reason to go to Beatty is Jerry Page. But a final warning, don’t challenge him to a fight!