Monday, September 26, 2016

Goodbye, NYU Coles Sports Center

My old college gym is being torn down.

I chose NYU for its film school, but I probably spent most of my time at Coles.

My first week at NYU, in the Fall of 1982, I went to the student employment office to find a campus job. I saw a posting for a Weight Room Monitor, walked down to Coles, and was hired on the spot.

My supervisor was the wrestling coach. He said I looked like a wrestler. I hadn't planned on wrestling in college, but I said, "Well, in fact, I was pretty good in high school."

I invited a girl from my dorm to watch our season opener. I lost. But I ended the season with a 16-5 record. It helped that we wrestled schools like Yeshiva and Stevens Institute of Technology.

The photos below are from late 1982, in Coles. Coach Peckett is standing in front of the bench.

I only recognize one teammate from the photo below: Constantine von Hoffman, standing behind the chairs.

One time in the off-season a guy came to the wrestling room and asked me to wrestle. I said sure. About two minutes into it I thought, "This guy is horrible. It's almost like he's never wrestled before." It later dawned on me that he was gay and just seeking a little physical interaction.

My abbreviated wrestling career at NYU compelled me to continue wrestling after college, and eventually to move to Iowa to train with Gable and the Hawkeyes. That's where I met Jennifer. It wouldn't have happened if I hadn't taken the student job at Coles. So there is that.

I should mention the skinny dipping incident. The statute of limitations has passed.

It was at the end of my senior year. My friend managed the equipment room and had keys. We knew some girls on the swim team. There were probably a dozen of us. We stripped down and giggled and shushed each other and splashed around in the darkness, even jumped off the high dive a couple of times before panicking about the noise we were making.

Nothing bad happened. No one ever found out. But I can only imagine the insurance liability. 

Stupid kids.

Goodbye, Coles. You were a good gym.

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