The story of Jake continues… {Due to feedback from readers, this chapter has French to English translations}

“…Rising up, back on the street…did my time, took my chances…”, ‘Eye of the Tiger’ blared from my Blackberry, and almost woke up the entire male dorm floor.

“Eye of the Tiger” is set as my alarm. It is also my ringtone for when anyone except my girlfriend calls. When she calls, it plays “The Bitch Is Back”.

It was very early, the sun was not yet up. It was 5:45, or 05 h 45 as they say in Quebec.

I was to be at the Underdog Gym by 7 O’clock, but I wanted to walk there, and grab a bit to eat first. It is not good to eat immediately before exercising, but if I eat now, I will be okay once I get there.

I did not feel like making anything, so I was hoping something would be open in the Place Dupuis.

I hurried out into the cold morning. According to the weather application on my Blackberry, it was only two degrees. Two degrees! It is only November! Wow, does it ever get cold in Montreal! I am glad I won’t be here during winter.  {35 degrees Fahrenheit}

Did did a fast walk, or slow jog to the Place Dupuis. Fortunately, the A&W is open for breakfast at 6 O’clock.

“Bonjour.”, I said happily to the woman behind the counter, “S’il vous plaît, saucisse et les œufs sur un petit pain. ”  {Good day…Sausage and eggs on a bun, please}

“…et le café. Lait et édulcorant.”  {…and a coffee. Milk and sweetener}

“Cinq quarante quatre, s’il vous plaît.”, she said with a smile.  {Five fourty-four, please}

 I gave her six dollars, and she gave me the change as I waited for my food.

After I finished my sandwich, it was almost 6:30, and I knew it would take at least fifteen minutes to get to the gym, and I did not want to be late on my first day.

I arrived at the gym just a little before seven, and the damn place was shut! Damn it! Coach Jim was supposed to be here by now. 

There I was standing on St. Catherine Street, early on a fall morning, freezing my tail off! 

I walked around to that back of the building to see if there was a way I could get in. 

The gym was on the second floor, and there was an abandoned store on the first. I noticed the door to the abandoned retail space was ajar.

I managed to find my way into the old storefront. I know its trespassing… True or false? I care?

The room was completely empty. I looks like this had been vacant for a very long time. I was surprised that the gym did not want this space.

At the back, I found a small washroom with something indescribably disgusting in the toilet. Beyond the bathroom, I found stairs going down and up. Well, up is the only way to go.

The top of the stairs exited into a small hallway with an empty office room on the right, and the other side…a bricked up doorway! That’s fine, I could search around for a sledgehammer, smash down the bricks and enter the gym from here, then just put back all the bricks after…

…or I could just go back downstairs and wait for Jim.

By the time I got back to the front of the building, Jim was there, “Vous êtes en retard!”  {You are late!}

“Fuck you.”, I said very quietly.

“Puisque vous êtes en retard, vous pouvez commencer avec une centaine de push-ups.”, Coach Jim said with anger.   {Since you are late, you can start off with one hundred push-ups}

He continued, “Ensuite, faites trois tours de saut à la corde, puis boxe de l’ombre … cinq tours…”   {Then do three rounds of jumping rope, then shadow boxing…five rounds…}

He paused to take a short breath, then continued, “Je veux cinquante sit-ups, un certain travail médecine-ball, puis de quatre tours sur le sac…Compris?”    {I want fifty sit-ups, some medicine ball work, and then four rounds on the bag…Got it?}

“Je suppose que.”, I said.    {I guess}

Jim gave me a dirty look, “Puis six ou sept tours de sparring lorsque les autres gars arriver ici, et encore une centaine de push-ups pour être un sage-cul.      {Then six or seven rounds of sparring when the other guys get here, and another hundred push-ups for being a smart-ass}

What the hell just happened here? This coach was cool yesterday!


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