Thursday, June 29, 2006

A Week Off

I had a bad cold last week, so I stayed out of the gym. Last night, I returned to find several new people there. Forgot that a new session started. Near the end of the evening, Steve had them do interval training on the heavy bags: 1 minute of non-stop punching, 30 seconds punching at half-speed, then 30 seconds more of the non-stop punching. I never saw people clear out of the gym so fast afterwards. I half-wondered if Steve did that to weed out the people who are not serious about sticking with the workout (smile).

Keith came in with his girlfriend, but alas, did not do a workout. Jermaine introduced me to a friend of his named Muhammad, a big fellow with whom he played football with while he was in high school. Muhammad was surprised that I had also graduated from that school, and was a member of the very first class that graduated from there.

The regular gang stayed late, past 9:00 PM. It was pouring rain when we left, so Steve drove Sadiq and I home. Sadiq won a belt last weekend at a boxing tournament that was part of a tribute to boxer Barney Ross. I am so sorry that I was laid up with a cold--boxing historian Burt Sugar was there. Steve told me that he, Junior and Sadiq got to meet him and talk with him a little.

Unfortunately, Junior lost another fight, so Steve gave him a week off from the gym, figuring the kid needs the time to get his head together. Junior worries before every fight, and during the bouts, he often makes the mistake of waiting to see what his opponent will do. Steve asked me if I knew of any books Junior could read along the lines of setting goals and focusing his efforts. The first author that came to mind was the late Norman Vincent Peale, who was the pastor of a church in New York. He wrote many books about positive thinking. Steve also mentioned some sports psychology books, that I might pick up for myself.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Working Out With A VanDawl

Maria, or VanDawl, as she's known to her roller derby team, came by the gym last night. I showed her around the equipment, taught her the basic punches, and did some medicine ball exercises. She was interested in coming back and learning more. I can now see how boxing would be helpful to a derby girl, especially in terms of developing endurance. I should have told VanDawl that if any of the other derby girls are interested, to feel free to contact me.

Keith and Junior sparred last night. Keith hadn't been working out again for awhile, so he tired out quickly. Keith is bigger than Junior in size, a cruiserweight to Junior's middleweight build.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Surprise Workout

Keith showed at the gym with his girlfriend last night. It was a different woman than the one he used to bring in a couple of years ago. Later, I would find out that she is in her mid-30s. Keith is 23 years old. I ain't mad at the sister--she must be doing something right to pull a young man.

Sadiq also had his girlfriend there last night. She's a pretty, somewhat plump girl, who looks to be part Hispanic. Over the past year or so, I've noticed that is somewhat of a trend, the guys bringing their girlfriends in. The women sit in the corners and watch me and any other woman who is working out with looks of surprise and horror. It's funny to me.

Steve worked me to the point of exhaustion with a combination of left-right, left-right, slip, right-left hook-right, bob, right-left uppercut on the punch mitts. I had to sit down for a couple of rounds to recover.

On the bulletin board was a story about the documentary featuring Barry, Montrell, Michael and Edmund that was in a local newspaper. The article was very complimentary about the film. I had made a mistake earlier when I said the kids competed at the National Junior Olympics; it was actually the National Junior Golden Gloves tournament.

Sometimes, I put things on the bulletin board. Currently, there's an article about a five year old girl named Mia Ellis, who has garnered a lot of attention for her boxing skills. Her dad is a former boxer, and he trains her. In addition to articles, there are numerous pictures of the current boxers, plus ones of those who no longer come in to workout. Steve has pictures of his baby boy up there, and Neil, who hasn't been in the gym for months, has a picture of his youngest child, also a boy, posted. One picture has me decked out in boxing gear while sitting at my desk at my job. Les, my boss, groaned when I asked him to take the picture, but he did it anyway.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Queen of the Gym

Jermaine came in Wednesday night; he goes to college, so he's only in the gym during summer and school breaks. He had two guys with him, who he introduced me to them as being "the queen of the gym." That tickled me! Junior and Steve had said not long ago that if Jermaine was serious about being a heavyweight contender, he could turn that whole division around. For a big, tall guy, he's very quick.

I got in on an interval exercise where you hit the heavy bag as fast as you can for 30 seconds, then hit it normally for 30 seconds, alternating like this during a whole round. Most of the guys went a full five rounds, but I tried it for one. Next time, I'll go for more rounds. It's a very good exercise, and it builds endurance.

Wrote down all of the park district boxing shows for this season. I noticed the last show takes place two days before my birthday in December. They are running kind of late this year, because they are starting in July, rather than June. Our boxing show is in late September. This late spring has become busy for me, and I don't see a slow down this summer. Figured I'd better get the dates into my Franklin Covey before too long.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Learned From A Documentary

Apparently Barry was a wild kid when he was young, according to an admission he made in the boxing documentary I viewed last night. "I was arrested for some minor things and a couple of major things," he said in a voiceover. Pictures were shown of him riding motorcycles down alleys and doing dangerous jumps. He said the cops picked him up in front of his house once, and began to slap him around. His mother ran out, ready to jump the police. "Leave my son alone!" he said she told them.

Edmund, brothers Montrell and Michael, and Lavar were profiled as the film followed them as they trained and then competed at a National Junior Olympics tournament in Syracuse, NY. None of the boys won their matches, but it was a learning experience for them. I found out some things about them I didn't know, as well. I knew Montrell and Michael's mom had passed away, but I didn't know she died so young. She was 37 years old. Currently, their older sister, who's in her early 20s, looks after them.

Steve told me that he and Ellen would have brought Eli to the film, but they thought he might have become too cranky. Steve had Eli outfitted in Everlast boxing clothes. I told him he had to take a picture of the baby wearing the gear and bring it into the gym.