Saturday, February 25, 2006

Rock Falls

Last week, we saw a video of some of the things that happened in Rock Falls, IL not long ago. Junior's fast hands took out an opponent in the first round. Mike, on the other hand, took some hard punches from his opponent, and didn't do so well. Junior won all of his matches. I wish a many a day I had the speed he has in his hands.

I think I have my mother's hard right hand, though. She punched me a couple of times that I remember when I was eleven years old. Both times was because I was smarting off. I don't know why she was mad during the first instance , but she snapped "Do you believe that I'll kick your ass?" What possessed me to answer "No", I will never figure out. Her right hand darted out like a hamster avoiding being a snack for a snake. I was standing in front of my bed. The force of the punch literally flipped me over the bed, and I crashed against the wall behind it and slumped to the floor.

The second time was a few months later. She yelled at me to clean the baseboards in the kitchen again, because apparently, I had not cleaned them right the first time. I've always hated to do housework, and I believe one of the reasons why is because Mom put so much emphasis on it being done all the time. I grumbled under my breath, not checking to see if she had indeed left the room before I started complaining. The next second, I found myself on my knees. That little woman had rabbit punched me in the back of my neck. I put my hand there, and when I pulled it away, my fingers were covered with blood. There is still a scar there to this day.

Despite of that, I do advocate spanking children if needed to curb bad behavior. I don't believe in drawing blood out of them, however.

Blood On The Floor

The ring in the gym is flat on the floor. Behind that is a exercise mat. I was laying on that, doing crunches, while Michael and Ben were sparring. Michael comes by and stands over me, saying something about blood, but I couldn't make out exactly what he said. His mouthpiece was in. I thought he meant he was bleeding. Then he said, "No, Ben is bleeding." I sat up to see Steve attempting to stem the flow of blood from Ben's nose. Emmmauel, who had come into the gym that night, was spraying cleaner on the various spots of blood that had been splashed on the floor of the gym.

Blood is not uncommon in the gym, but it was a little shocking to me last night. Ben has sparred before, but he had never been cut open. I didn't see the punch that produced the crimson, but others who did said it wasn't that hard. However, it was damaging, as Ben had to go out to the men's room to clean up. When he came back in, I noticed he was checking his face in one of the long mirrors in the gym. I thought, "He's going to be swollen tomorrow." I asked him, "Are you okay?" while looking at a streak of blood on his dark T-shirt. "I'm good," he said, but his face was red.

Michael told me he had a headache ever since he took those punches from Saddiq on Wednesday. "The school's clinic is closed until Monday", he told me when I suggested that he should see a doctor. Michael is a college student. "Try one of the city's free clinics," I said. "That may be a slight concussion."

Steve announced that his son will officially be two weeks late in being born as of this upcoming Tuesday. If the boy doesn't come out this weekend, Steve and Ellen's midwife has suggested they induce labor. "I thought it was going to happen the other night because she was having a lot of contractions," Steve said, "but I went back to sleep. I thought, 'We've been through this a few times, so I'm not going to get excited.'" "You would have woken up if you suddenly felt wetness and found her water had broken," I joked. I hope their baby is born this weekend. I can imagine that Ellen is not comfortable.

Junior and Mike (the other Michael who is married to a Swede), went more than five rounds in the ring during their sparring session. Mike is in good shape; however, at the end of it, he was more tired than Junior. I understand that Mike works out very hard, but Junior, who is about ten years younger, has energy to burn. I sparred with Junior once, and I was tired as a big dog afterwards. "You are too fast for me," I gasped.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Good Hitts

Had a good workout tonight. One of those nights where my energy was high, which was amazing, considering how I dragged around work today.

Michael and Saddiq got some sparring in, and Michael kept forgetting to keep his chin doen. Of course, he got hit a few times, and bled a little. "I'm going to send a picture of myself to my mom," he told me. "She's going to have a fit when she sees your face!" I exclaimed. "It's okay, she's in Texas," he grinned.

No baby yet for Steve and Ellen. He joked that their son was holding on to the inside of the womb in an effort not to come out. It's a waiting game at this point.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Six For The Cause

Steve sent me an email saying that he was going to stay home with his wife. I was thinking earlier this morning that would probably be a good idea if he did that. Better for him to be near his wife when the time comes, then having to make a mad scramble out of the gym.

The guys who came in tonight were Junior, Michael, Saddiq, a friend of Saddiq's, and Danny. Junior mentioned that he liked a horrible popular song that has the hook, "I'm in love with a stripper". Michael was saying he didn't think the song was that hot. I used to bring in a lot of old school tapes to play, but the young guys weren't that into the old school songs. Also, I got tired of hearing the same old stuff. Most of the popular music the guys like to listen to is not that good, but the heavy beats are appropriate for a workout.

Cold as hell outside this night, but I don't mind walking to--and sometimes from--the gym, no matter what the weather is. I used to take the bus sometimes, but that seemed like such laziness to me. The gym is only 15 to 20 minutes away walking, and these days, I could always use the extra exercise.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Two Guys Return and Contractions

The two guys, one of whom had been in Iraq, returned to the gym after their brief absence. One of them told Junior that he could get him into a club. Problem is, one has to be 21, and Junior won't be twenty until this summer. "Man, I'm going to be on the door, so I will comp you," the guy told him. "You got a real looking fake ID?" Sounded very illegal to me, but then I remembered I had a fake ID when I was Junior's age. Used it to get into a disco that was over a restaurant in downtown Chicago during my lunch hours. That was strange, a disco open during the day time. Ah, the early 1980's were fun.

Saddiq was the new guy in class today, and I showed him how to do some footwork. Steve worked with Junior for awhile, but had to go early and leave me in charge of the gym. No baby yet, but Ellen has been having mild contractions. "Doctor says it's normal," Steve explained. Having never had a child myself, I have to take his word for it.

Laura sent the article she did for her class about myself and boxing to Steve and I. She did an extremely nice job in capturing the gym and the people who populate it. I sent a copy to Margaret, the choir director at my church, and she commented about how observant Laura was, especially in regards to her descriptions of what goes on in the gym. I am curious to hear how her professor will grade her work.

Saw a tape of Junior and Mike's fights when they were at the State Championships last month. Mike got dusted by a blow to the chin from his opponent, and he lost. Junior dominated the guy that was in front of him, and the referee stopped it, giving the win to Junior. Junior's opponent was doubled over at one point, and extremely wobbly when the ref checked to see if he could continue.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Two Guys

Two stocky guys came into the ring on Wednesday. One of them told Steve that he hadn't been out of the military very long. I know that they signed up for the class--I observed them at the registration desk. They were nowhere to be seen on Friday. Some people are like that. They like the idea of boxing, but putting the work in is another thing.

Told my stepmother about the sparring session I had against Sarah on Wednesday. Steve kept telling me to move, and I kept standing there like a statue, taking the punches. Funny how I can stay on my toes while working on the bags, but once inside the ring, I start plodding like Frankenstein's monster. She told me about a relative of hers who recently experienced having an aneurysm. "You have to be careful taking punches to the head like that!" she said. "Things like that could happen." I told her I had head gear on, but that never convinces anyone that my brain is safe from injury.

Lan is gone for awhile. She was going to be in on Friday, but unfortunately, there was a death in her family. Friday was her last day in Chicago for awhile; she's off to military training for a few months.

Danny told me he studies psychology. I knew he worked, but I didn't know that he was also going to school. "I don't know what I'm going to do with my degree," he said. "I'm twenty, and have my whole life ahead of me, but I'm confused. It seems that a lot of people in my generation are about where they are going." I remember being confused when I was his age, too. "You can take advice from everybody," I told him, "but in the end, it has to be your own decision."

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Champions All Around

Some sad news to report: Steve's beloved water dragon passed away. Appears that his pet had been sick, but had not showed major signs of distress. Usually, water dragons live for a long time, so this was a shock to the coach.

Two champions in the gym this week: Junior, still high off of his success at the IL State Championships, and nine year old Diego, who won a state championship several weeks ago. It was reported that another state champion, Montrell, did well against his opponents at the Nat'l Silver Gloves, and is on his way to winning the whole thing.

I guess Leslie and the other Cassandra gave the gym up. Neither of them have been seen since the first day of the current session. Corey and Andrew still come in, although Andrew was not there last night. Didn't see Cole and his roommate Nathan, either. Nate Sr. came in and went some sparring rounds with Steve and the other Corey, whom I shall refer to as Big Corey. Soft-spoken Joe came in, and so did Danny. I was the only woman there, as Lan is still away.

Diego's parents and siblings have been picking him up from the gym. Dad wasn't there yesterday, but his mom showed up with two girls who looked like the boy's older siblings. He appears to be the only boy. His mom looks so young. I wonder if she is even thirty years old yet.

I told Steve and the guys that I put my name in to try out for the Windy City Rollers, a local all-female roller derby league. "Oh, shit!" Junior exclaimed. "I bet your boss had something to say about that," Steve grinned. Les had told me earlier that he thought I was "bent on self-destruction". Sometimes I get the feeling that my boss never takes chances and has always lived his life as carefully as possible. A friend on a childfree message board I frequent wrote after I announced it there, "It amazes me that you're this soft-hearted, kind Christian woman who can beat the shit of anyone easily. I love that for some reason!" I got a good laugh from that.

Put feelers out on a masters boxing group, letting people know that the Chicago Golden Gloves start next month, and registration will be soon. I would love to get a match this year, but I've been disappointed repeatedly. Even if I only managed to convince some male masters boxers to get involved, I will be satisfied. The local LBC has got to recognize that masters boxers do exist and promote the tournament to us a little better than they have been.