Friday, March 31, 2006


Rios showed up tonight. He's a swarthy guy who, like so many others, used to come around on a regular basis until other things in life intervened. Keith came in again, and even did some light pad work, but that was it.

I held pads for Ben for three rounds. Holding the pads (punch mitts) is something I need to practice more. It is a skill. If done correctly, it can be like sparring. Pads have to be held right to cut down on possible injury. If the other person is a hard puncher, like Ben, the person holding the pads has to hold them in a way to absorb the inpact properly.

There was a bit of a high in the gym coming off of Junior's win last night. Some of it rubbed off on Joe, who asked Steve if he was ready to have a match. However, Steve told Joe that if he had to ask, he might not be ready yet. The city-wide Park District championships are coming up, and Steve is looking at putting Saddiq in. Saddiq worked on his jab tonight, and it looked better.

I told Steve about me looking into signing up for a white collar boxing match in September. I was advised to check if those bouts are sanctioned by USA Boxing. I remember being told by someone else that they were not. Something to consider, especially if I got jacked up badly. There would be no protection insurance-wise if that is the case. Steve thought that there might not be the age restrictions in white collar boxing like there are under USA Boxing.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Closing Up Shop Early

Ellen came by to pick up Steve, so the the gym closed up earlier than usual. Got to meet their son, Eli, and he is adorable. They gave me a ride home, and the little guy slept the entire way. Now that's I've seen him, I think he looks a lot like Ellen.

Earlier in the evening, Keith stopped by again, looking like he wanted to get back in the game, but not quite sure how to do that. Gabe came in also, stating that he was going to St. Andrews tomorrow to watch Junior's fight. Steve had a copy of Junior's preliminary fight, and all the guys in the gym were crowded around Steve's laptop to view how he took out his opponent.

I'm a little nervous for Junior because I want him to win, especially after being accused of cheating last week. I think he can pull it off.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Last One Out Of The Room

Steve had told Mike to take the night off tonight. Mike lost his bout on Thursday, so he won't be going on to the semi-finals. He took a few hard shots and tired out early on. His opponent was tall with a long reach. His opponent was also out of the Evanston Boxing Club, an outfit who seems extremely lucky in winning matches.

The other Mike, the tall one, showed up briefly tonight in a pair of sandals. He asked Steve to step outside to talk to him, and I instantly got the feeling something was wrong. When Steve came back, he announced that Mike had quit the gym. He had told Steve he was very busy (he's a student) and didn't want to approach the sport half-assed. A few of the other guys made fun of the fact that tall Mike didn't come back in to say goodbye, but I understood--it was a pride thing.

Keith showed up again, and so did Mort, who hadn't been in the gym for I don't know how long. I remember how he slipped his phone number to my niece. I keep thinking that Mort might make a better boyfriend than that character she's mooning over now.

Steve hadn't slept much over the past couple of days. The combination of being at the Gloves and having a newborn son at home took its toll, so he jetted for home early. I closed up after all the other guys left. It's a nice feeling being the only one in the gym. I pretend that that it's my own personal workout space. I wish I could afford to have something like that at home.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

He Punches, He Wins

The Golden Gloves is never without a bit of drama. After watching the unusual moves of his opponent, a guy from a place called Korea Gym, Junior figured out how to catch him with his punches. The guy went down twice, and the referee stopped the fight in Junior's favor. The coach of the other guy raised all kinds of hell, accusing both Junior and Steve of cheating.

The coach maintained that Junior was an open fighter and should not have put up against his guy. Steve easily proved otherwise, but the Korea Gym coach kept running his mouth. It got so bad that Gino, one of the refs, was also accusing Steve of misdeeds. Just an ugly scene.

Mike's fight is tomorrow night. Seems there are a lot of guys in his weight class and the officials had to double up a lot of the fights.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

A Woman's Best Friend Is Her Heavy Bag

This week has been horrid. I didn't make the roller derby team, my landlord didn't check that I paid my rent and gave me an erroneous eviction notice, my boss and I had an arguement. What else is a woman to do? Go to the gym.

Every woman should have access to a heavy bag. Nothing like pounding out one's anger on it. You just envision whoever or whatever it was that pissed you off and then beat the bag into submission. I thought of taunts while I hit the bag. For the roller derby team: "So I'm supposedly not good enough even though I've been skating for 30 years? Take that!" For my landlord: "I'm taking your ass out for not posting my rent payment correctly for the third time!" For my boss? I danced around the bag and threw my hardest punches until I was so tired I had to sit down, catch my breath, and calm down for a round or two.

This past Wednesday, there was another of those moments when everyone in the gym froze. Junior hit Mike hard enough to knock the wind out of him during a sparring session. Mike groaned and crumpled to the canvas. He recovered, however, and finished out the time. I'm looking forward to seeing both of them compete in the Golden Gloves next week.

Tonight, Keith dropped in. "You stay out in Aurora?" I asked him. I remembered he had a girlfriend who was out that way. "Naw, I'm still in Evanston, but it's hard to get around without a vehicle," he said. "Yes, Lord, don't I know it," I said, agreeing with him. Last year at this time, I was driving to and from the Golden Gloves in my own car.

Judging by how frosty my boss and I have been towards each other most of this week, asking him if I can leave early for the Golden Gloves will probably be a waste of time. What did he tell me during our arguement the other day? I gave him a suggestion as to how I could get a rather difficult task he gave me and he tells me he didn't want to hear it. I'm always complaining and being "rude and insubordinate", he said. Another hard pop on the heavy bag. The chain holding the bag jerked angrily in the air. I do the work, regardless, don't I? I get things done, DON'T I?
My right hand smashed into the bag over and over.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

No Cigar As Usual

After enduring the obnoxious people who were riding the trains on their way to a St. Patrick's Day parade in downtown Chicago this past Saturday, I made it to Windy City Boxing Gym to renew my boxing membership in USA Boxing. I was told straightaway by the head of the local boxing council that there was no Masters Division this year. No surprise there.

I ran into a referee who also takes pictures at the amateur matches. Brought a couple of pictures of myself, Steve and Junior that were taken at the match at the Sabre Room a couple of months ago. Junior has a hard expression on his face. I think the picture was taken after his opponent attempted to start a real fight with him after the bout.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Junior gets carried away sometimes during sparring matches. Last night, he popped Saddiq in the face. Saddiq's eyes turned glassy and he slumped down to the floor of the ring. All action in the gym stopped to see what happened. Fortunately, he was okay. It was a little scary how quickly it happened.

My right wrist, right shoulder and right knee have been bothering me for days. I can't blame it on the fall I took in the roller rink last week anymore. Probably have been hitting the heavy bags too hard or improperly. My knee is a mystery, however. A sore spot appears there on and off. Have no idea what causes it or why. I've been thinking about having someone look at my knees for some time now. Arithritis keeps crossing my mind.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Weird R Us

Mary told me that some guy had been coming in this week asking to use the gym. She had taken his name and number, and told him she had given the message to Steve. The guy showed up around 6:00 PM on Friday, long before I arrived. Mary had already explained to the guy that Steve was out because his wife just had a baby. It seemed to her that the guy had not listened to nor believed her the first time. He told Mary that he allegedly had been calling for some time to inquire about boxing. He assumed that she would open up the gym for him simply because he wanted to work out, despite his not having paid for the class. I assured Mary that I would keep a lookout for that character, just in case he showed up. Always at least one oddball who shows up with a jones to workout each session.

Guys on hand in the gym: Danny, Big Corey, Saddiq, Junior. Plus, there was a Hispanic guy who had trained in the gym some time ago. I can't think of his name. . .he brought a friend with him to check things out. A quiet night. I was taking things a little easy because I was somewhat not into the workout. It happens. Some days you're feeling it, and other days, it's like going through the motions. Also, I didn't want to wear myself out very much before roller derby tryouts on Sunday.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Finally, Danger Is Here

Received an email from Steve stating that his and Ellen's son had been born this past Sunday. He actually gave the middle name of "Danger" to the child. Actually, that goes along nicely with the boy's first name, which is Eli. If their son becomes famous, he could always be known as Eli Danger. That is cool.

On hand in the gym: Junior, Andrew, Saddiq, Sarah, and a friend of Sarah's who came in to observe. Gilberto brought in two women, one of whom appeared to fascinated by what she saw. "Yeah, I can do this," she said, but she didn't ask enough questions about what was involved. Her friend didn't say much, so I don't know how interested she was. It remains to be seen if either of them will sign up.

I was still a little sore from a roller skating mishap that took place on Monday. I was showing off while skating backwards, slipped, fell, and my head bounced off the floor. I hurt my left shoulder, too, but I was able to work through it. Turned out to be a very good workout after all.