Easter Leftovers

April 21, 2014
Merriam Park, Desnoyer Park, Union Park and Hamline-Midway

9.7 miles

It really felt great to be back on the bike tonight. The last time I rode outdoors was March 30. (Pedaling with the bike attached to a stationary rack in the basement is dull, even with the original Hawai’i Five-0 on TV.)

Such a deal!

Such a deal!

The ride provided some amusing and unusual photo ops, the first a short distance from home. Maybe it’s a Water Utility worker displaying his or her sense of humor or perhaps it came from a neighbor. Either way, I don’t expect anyone is going to grab the hydrant and the eight feet of lead pipe attached to it, no matter how badly they want to.

Easter bunny 1

The Easter Bunny relaxes under a tarp at 2102 James Avenue.

Several blocks away, I had my first encounter with the Easter Bunny. Benign looking at first glance, but a double-take changed my opinion.

Those eyes are creepy!

A sinister Easter Bunny.

He's got giant Peeps in his basket!

He’s got giant Peeps in his basket!

Another Easter Bunny, this one avant-garde, adorned the front yard at 1882 Sargent.
avant-guarde bunny

 

The removal of the hockey rink signals the re-emergence of the ball field.

The removal of the hockey boards signals the re-emergence of the ball field at Groveland Recreation Center on St. Clair.

 

A jumbo high chair, tinted in Minnesota Vikings’  purple and gold, shouts out to all, “Vikings fans live here!” and “This is a bachelor pad!” 672 Fairview Avenue North.

A jumbo high chair, tinted in Minnesota Vikings’ purple and gold, shouts out to all, “Vikings fans live here!” and “This is a bachelor pad!” 672 Fairview Avenue North.

 

This forlorn little park has old merry-go-round and swings and a small climbing area. On the positive side, there is plentiful open space for children to run around. Although it sports no signage, Clayland Park is bordered by Hewitt Avenue and Hewitt Place, Fairview Avenue and Clayland Street.

This forlorn little park has an old merry-go-round and swings and a small jungle gym. On the positive side, there is plentiful open space for children to run around. Although it sports no signage, Clayland Park is bordered by Hewitt Avenue and Hewitt Place, Fairview Avenue and Clayland Street.

(5553 )

Perpetual spring thanks to the green paint on 778 Howell Street.

It always feels like spring here thanks to the green paint on 778 Howell Street.

 

boxing signThe green and neon orange sign blares at drivers, pedestrians and bikers who pass by the otherwise plain former warehouse at 655 Fairview Avenue North. Upon setting foot into Element Boxing and Fitness, an assortment of sounds-the pounding beat of workout music, the clanging of barbells, the thump, thump, thump of boxing gloves hitting pads and the grunts of patrons training-greeted me. So did Cerresso (pronounced sir-EE-so) Fort, co-owner of the club. I could tell that something cool is happening at the 3-year-old business.

Dalton Outlaw (left) and Cerresso Fort (right), owners of Element Boxing and Fitness. Photo courtesy Element.

Dalton Outlaw (left) and Cerresso Fort (right), owners of Element Boxing and Fitness. Photo courtesy Element.

Cerresso and Dalton Outlaw own and run Element, which, according to Fort, opened in 2011 with a simple but important mission. “(We’re) just trying to help change lives. You know, help kids, trying to get them in the gym, teach them something like boxing to keep them from doing negative things.”

Cerresso and Dalton are successful and well-known in boxing circles and their accomplishments give them and their training routines credibility. They target their work with local youth from 6-years-old up but welcome any and all to their gym, “I have a friend, his grandmother comes up here to work out. I’ve got a kids program, adults, a good mixture. With the women, the girls, it’s a good balance and that’s why I love it,” Cerresso told me.

A trainer explains the treadmill to a young customer.

A trainer explains the treadmill to a young customer.

Honing their boxing techniques is the goal for some clients, while many others come to get fit. “Boxing is a good workout, you’re working the full body out. A lot of people watch the ‘Rocky’ movies and see how he trained. If you come here, just do the training piece. You don’t gotta get in the ring and moan and groan with the fights…”

Dalton helps a client with her punching technique.

Dalton helps a client with her boxing technique.

Justin Claiborne is a new client at Element who visits the club almost every day after work. “I just started here a couple weeks ago and I’ve been training with Cerresso. I heard about this gym from a friend and I heard it was a good place. And I heard there was a couple pros (boxers) here and Ceresso is one of them so I figured he was a good guy to learn from.”

Justin Claiborne (left) with Cerresso Fort.

Justin Claiborne (left) with Cerresso Fort.

Dalton and Cerresso, Saint Paul residents and long-time friends, moved Element Boxing and Fitness to the much larger Midway space last June because the growth of the business. In just three years, Element has become the largest boxing club in Saint Paul.

Cerresso and Dalton obviously enjoy their work and are good at it. I’m sure Element will flourish as a business and improve the lives of at risk youths in Saint Paul. Go to Element’s website at http://www.elementboxingandfitness.com/ for more information about the club.

Here is the link to the map of my route:

http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/copy/398302984/

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