Saturday, December 30, 2006

Eli Visits The Gym

Steve had his son with him, explaining that his wife thought he wasn't going to be working that evening. She had gone to a party for a friend. I wish I had my camera with me, as Steve had Eli in his arms, putting the boy close enough to the heavy bags to throw a few punches. "He likes to jab, but I'm trying to get him to hook off of the jab," Steve joked.

Yale came in. He used to train at the Loyola Park gym years ago when the late Harlein Holden was the coach. I held pads for Yale and he did the same for me. I had a good workout, despite the limited mobility in my right knee.

Found out a little more about the situation with Sadiq's belt, and why his wife has possession of it. There is some martial discord going on between him and and his wife. That's a shame because he and Lauren haven't been married very long.

I believe next week begins the winter session for the Chicago Park District, so they'll probably be a lot of new faces in the gym. I have to see a doctor about my knee earlier that day. Hopefully, I won't show up to the gym on a cane.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Viewing Rocky

Both Gabe and I had seen the new movie Rocky Balboa. That character is like a celluoid patron saint to a lot of boxers. Gabe slipped and told the ending of the film to Steve, who exclaimed, "Man, you just ruined the movie for me!" Steve said he'd still like to see it, however. The movie is not one of the best in the series, but it does what it is supposed to do -- tie up the 30 year old movie series. Kinda of hard to believe that I was 15 years old when the first Rocky movie premiered.

Sparring was intense Friday night, with Sadiq, Gabe, Nate Sr., Jovan and Lavar participating. None of the other women came in, but even if they had, my right knee still wasn't stable enough to do a lot of jumping around. The guys exhibited a lot of energy, and they did a lot of good work.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Light Attendance

It appears that I haven't written here in awhile. It's a combination of forgetfulness and nothing much going on because of the lull during the holidays. Junior went out of town to see his mom, and several others are out right now, as well.

Raymond, who had originally trained under Barry, has been coming in more often. I overheard him asking Erin if she and I were the only females who come to the gym. Erin told him there were a few others, but they haven't been in recently. Betty had some minor surgery, and was in last week. She may not have come in last night because of still having to take it easy. Breagina disappeared some time ago, and Racquel has not come in for awhile. Lan will be back to her military duties in January, and she might already be gone. Helen dropped out again, and other new women backed out early on, as well.

Raymond did some light sparring with Bovino after Steve bragged about him having fast hands. It was true; Raymond's fists were flying. Not bad for a guy who hasn't been in regular training for three years.

Steve asked if I wanted to spar with Erin, but I begged off due to my right knee still being jacked up. It's been ten days since I slipped on the ice on the way to church. My knees is still stiff, swollen, and painful. It has been hard going trying to work out properly because I can't move around like I want.

Sadiq said his wife took the belt he won at the Barney Ross tournament back during the summer, and for some reason, she won't give it back. That sounded odd to me, but not wanting to get all in his business, I didn't ask Sadiq why.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Birthday At The Gym

Some of the guys asked me why did I come to the gym on my birthday. "You could have gone to the club," Sadiq said. Way too cold this past Friday to get all dressed up to go out. Besides, I liked that I spent the evening of my birthday down at the gym. I hadn't planned anything for that day other than being off from work and buying a new pair of roller skates. A rather low-key day. We were there until a little after 9:00 PM, so I got in a good workout, especially on the double end bag.

Sadiq was fine when he came in, but his stomach started giving him trouble. He was laying down most of the evening. Bad thing about that was that he still had to go to his night job later. Junior had called Steve to say he wasn't coming in. It was too cold for him to ride down on his bike. Junior is rather frugal, so paying money to ride public transportation was not an option for him. The only other woman who was there was Sarah. She said she wouldn't mind sparring with Erin, but Erin didn't come in that night.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Bangin' At Brooks

Junior's arm has been bothering him, so he didn't take a match last night at Brooks Park. Mike and Sadiq weighed in, but neither were successful in getting a match. Sadiq had one lined up for a minute, then it disappeared. That left teenagers Montrell and Lavar to represent Loyola Park.

Lavar showboated quite a bit during his match, but he got the split decision. I believe he was fighting one of Brooks' fighters, and it looked as if the other boy had tired Lavar out, especially during the last round. The crowd was not happy as they booed him afterwards.

Montrell's match ended quickly. His opponent was knocked to the canvas by what appeared to be a series of punches. The other kid was out of it for a second, and had to see the paramedics on duty. After several minutes, he was okay. "I wanted it to go to full three rounds," Montrell said afterwards.

Kitchens was there, but he didn't have the pictures he took of me with the Secretary of State several weeks ago. As usual, I had just enough money in my pocket to pay him, but I'll have to wait until I see him again. Steve teased me by saying, "There's your boyfriend." He really would have been teasing me if he had heard the photographer greet me earlier by saying, "Hi, pretty!"

Steve dropped Sadiq off at his job after the boxing show ended. He's a night clerk at a motel that sits in an area of town where many motels line the street. Sadiq explained that a lot of hookers, johns and drug dealers come in to rent rooms. Management doesn't like to rent to them, but when business is slow, they have no choice.

Steve's son, Eli, was in the car earlier when Steve picked me up from work. He looks more and more like his dad every day. The baby has the most adorable puffy cheeks, too. Eli was smiling for a long time, then he was crying on and off. I noticed he was furiously rubbing his eyes, and guessed correctly that he was attempting to fight off sleep.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Tournament Style

Steve had some of the guys sparring in a tournament-style manner this past Friday, to get them used to what that is. Junior and I scored the matches along with Steve.

Jose was in at one point against Sadiq, who promptly popped him in the nose. That session was stopped because Jose was bleeding on the canvas. Tall Joe had a session stopped on him, too, after he was overwhelmed by Sadiq. Unfortunately, Tony did not come that night, although he seemed very enthusiastic about participating in the sparring sessions.

Danny surprised me by telling me he sings in the choir at his church. He also said that he enjoys the services. I never think of any of the guys as being particularly religious, except for Muhammad, who is a Muslim. Occassionally, Junior will ask me questions about God and the Bible, but he admits he hasn't been to church in a long while.

Raymond, a guy who trained originally with Barry, showed up with a friend of his named Alexis. It appeared that Alexis was hyped up about going to the gym, but once she got there and found out what was really involved, she backed down. Raymond and Steve talked with her, and I tried to be encouraging, but it didn't seem to do any good. I doubt that she'll return.