Thursday, November 30, 2006

Branding and Tats

After a week off for the Thanksgiving holiday, it was back to the training in the gym. No sooner had I got inside, Junior announced that he got a tattoo. Mike's ex-wife is a tattoo artist, so Junior got a hook up on a free one. It is a tattoo of a bull, and it looks very nice. He had just gotten it done on Tuesday.

Tony came in with Bovino, a big guy who not only had tats but brands on both of his arms. He explained to me that one was the ancharchy sign, one was a design he made up, and another was a symbol reflecting his Serbian heritage.

I had a very energetic workout last night. Maybe it was because of the time I had off that I had so much of it to expend. A doctor's visit I had the day before propelled me to work a little harder. I ran out of my high blood pressure pills, and I was required to see my doctor before I could get another refill. He had to check me out to make sure I was still doing okay. "Your chloresterol is high, your blood pressure's a little high, and your blood sugar is slightly off." Damn, I thought to myself. That's all I need, having diabetes on top of hypertension. I figured that I wouldn't be able to dodge the high blood pressure bullet--my dad and his mother had it, too. However, they and my maternal grandmother also had diabetes. The doctor's words to me were another hint that I need to stop goofing around and take better care of myself. Daily insulin shots do not sound appealing to me, so I have to work harder to avoid having to deal with that situation.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Tony's Request and Lan's Return

Yes, this is a picture of me, taken some time ago for a church bulletin board. I have plans to actually post some pictures of the gym on here soon.

Tony, the MMA pro, asked if Steve would work his corner during an upcoming fight he has. "Man, I don't know anything about MMA!" Steve told him, but Tony assured him there would be a cut person in the corner also, who is experienced with MMA bouts. Steve agreed to do it, and I'll be curious as to how it turns out.

Lan came in last night, and it was so good to see her! She is fresh off of doing military duties in Missouri. She explained that she will be attending officers' school in a few months. Lan said that she hadn't been doing much in boxing since she was gone, but it didn't seem that way. Her work on the bags looked as if she hadn't missed a beat. Steve told her that she and Racquel would probably be well-matched sparring partners, as they are about the same weight.

Junior came in with a new haircut, given to him by Mort. "It looks terrible!" he kept saying. Mort had cut all of Junior's hair off. A little peach fuzz was left, but other than that, it looked fine to me.

Amazingly, the radio stayed on the station I put it on the entire evening. Not that I care if one of the guys changes the station. It's a running joke to me to see how long before they notice the station is not playing the constant hip-hop they like. I had it on the smooth jazz station, and a Luther Vandross song came on. Tommy said, "That's Luther! I still miss him!" "So do I," I said. Tommy walked over to Jermaine, and told me, "Watch this." He asked Jermaine who was singing on the radio. "Gerald Levert?" Jermaine answered. Both singers are now deceased, true enough, but Jermaine wasn't even close. Both Tommy and I fell out laughing. "These young folks don't know anything about old school music!" he said.

Monday, November 13, 2006

MMA Knockdown

Tony, a guy who is a professional MMA fighter, came by the gym Friday night to get some boxing training in. If you've seen MMA matches, such as the Ultimate Fighting Championships, you know that boxing moves are a small part of that. He ended up sparring with Sadiq. I was working on the double end bag, so I wasn't paying much attention, until I heard several people go "Whoa!"

I looked up to see Tony on one knee on the canvas. He was holding his ribs. Sadiq had retreated into a nearby corner. "That was a hard body blow," Junior said. "You can't hit someone while they are on the way down," Steve told Sadiq. "Is that illegal?" Sadiq asked, and Steve confirmed that it was.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Highway Robbery

Junior was straight up robbed out of a decision that should have gone to him. He had a match out in Michigan City, IN on Saturday night. The video of the match clearly showed that Junior was superior to the kid he fought. However, the kid's stepmom was one of the judges. She can be seen on the tape at the end of the match, writing on her score card, not looking into the ring. I wondered if she had watched any of the match at all.

Racquel brought her boyfriend Ken in with her last night. He was curious about the gym and wanted to check things out. I could have sworn I heard some disappointed sighs from some of the single guys. Racquel is very pretty, and I know some of them had been checking her out.

I held pads for a new guy. Didn't get his name. He kept mixing up his punches, throwing a left when he should have been throwing rights. He had an excuse because he's a beginner; what was bad was I wasn't even catching that he was doing that initially. My dad used to tell me, "I wonder where your mind is at," and sometimes I wonder myself. I really wasn't doing a good job of observing. Have to work on that.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

One Tired Chick

I feel better today, but last Friday, I was dragging like a big dog in the gym. Good thing Steve didn't do interval training, or I would have been out for the count. That flu really zapped my strength.

Found my copy of a book of workouts by famous boxers. Should have brought it in to work today to make copies of some of the information. In 2007, I have to step up my game. I've said that before, but now that I'm doing a little coaching, I don't think it looks good for me to be a little butterball. I was on the scale last Friday, and I did lose about five pounds. The weight loss has to continue at this point. Don't I want to be off of my high blood pressure pills? Yes! Do I want the diabetes that plagued my dad the last 20 some odd years of his life? Nope!

The guy who wrote the boxing workout book really put an emphasis on roadwork. He insisted that one should get up early to run. If one lives in the country, or in some area that has guaranteed low crime, yeah. Not in the city in the dark before the sun comes up. That is a daytime activity only, in heavy populated areas, or inside on a track. I don't like to run anymore, which is a shame, really. I loved to run when I was a kid.

Steve suggested that I jump rope in my apartment. The ceiling is high enough, but there's a fan there, too. I see myself tangling the rope in it, and the lights on the floor. The landlord would make me pay for the damages, of course. The laundry room would be a good spot if the floor wasn't hard unforgiving concrete. It's back to the power walking DVDs for the fall and winter. Now if I can only figure out why my DVD player suddenly refuses to show anything in color. . . .

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Sidetracked By The Flu

I spent most of the week holed up in my apartment, suffering from the flu. I did not go to the gym on Wednesday, but I did go last night. It was a tough workout, as I was still weak from being ill. Crystal did not show up, so I figured that she may have received not-so-good-news from her doctor. Haven't officially heard anything, so I'm still wondering.

For the second Friday in a row, the gym was packed. Sadiq and Mort were pounding each other during their sparring session, no matter how many times Steve told the both of them to work with each other. People let their emotions get involved, figuring, if they get hit hard, they're going to return equal firepower. Jason also sparred with a newer guy, a tall blond whose name I can't remember yet.

Junior held mitts for several people, and they were impressed. "I know he's good in the ring," Rios said, "but I didn't know he was also that good on the mitts." It's been at least a year since the last time Junior held mitts for me, and yes, he does have a skill with doing that. He was amazed that Raquel did several rounds on the mitts. "She never got tired!" he exclaimed. I need to hold mitts for people more often so I get better at that.

Got on the digital scale and noticed I lost about 5 pounds. Steve pointed out that I always say I've lost a little weight everytime I get on the scale. "The weight is going down at a glacial pace, but it is moving," I told him. Some of the weight loss was probably due to the fact that I was sick, but I was still eating. I just wasn't eating the usual junk.