Monday, January 29, 2007

Slippin' and Fallin'

On the way to church today, I slid most of the way down the street. It had snowed, and the light dusting covered the patches of ice. A half-block away from the church, I slipped and fell to the ground. Later, I slipped on a bus due to coffee that was carelessly spilled on the floor. I called Les to remind him I had to see the physical therapist again tomorrow, and he joked, "Just don't go rollerblading tonight."

Just as it seemed my right knee was getting better, it seems to have suffered a setback. I was in the grocery store, when my knee gave way for a moment. I had to grab onto the shopping cart to keep from falling.

Jumping rope is still out of the question, although I can do some light bouncing on the old tire in the gym. Squats and "girl" push-ups are impossible because of the pain. The situation has become frustrating. I wish there was some way to speed the healing up, but the cartilage is highly stubborn.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Missing Or Not

Just occurred to me that James has not been in the gym for awhile. He was the one who showed up a week before the Winter session began. He said he had long wanted to take up boxing. He's wasn't the only newbie missing last night.

The ones who did come in, I showed them how to use the speed bag and the double end bag. The women, in particular, were worried about the bags hitting them in the face. The only way a speed bag is going to do that is if you are right up on it. The double end bag is a different story, and there was a new, bigger one up last night. The bladder had gone out on the old one.

Betty and I really want to learn how to work the pads better, so we did that last night. Now I wasn't doing much last night because a slight cold was bothering me, and I wasn't into the overall workout. Working on the pads did work up a sweat, which I needed. I've been concerned about not getting enough exercise ever since my right knee's been jacked up.

Keith was in last night, and actually did a workout. I was surprised. Steve ran him, Mike and Sadiq through various exercise drills last night. Junior is expected back from North Carolina next week, so he'll be in the training mix, too, for the Golden Gloves.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

More Arrivals

Four people who were not in the gym last week showed up last night -- three women and one guy. Steve was working with Mike, so he asked me to show them how to stand, how to get into their guard and the left jab. They all seemed enthusiastic about learning. I was surprised when one of the women, Maggie, asked how soon it would be before they could get into the ring. Based on what I've observed, it is rare that any woman who comes into the gym asks about sparring. Even I had to be coaxed into it, despite the fact that I had done some sparring at Degerberg before I began at Loyola Park.

Raquel is back, but her friend Bregina will probably not return. Both Racquel and Betty said they liked coming to Loyola Park, because it's not a pick-up place like some of the more well-known gyms appear to be.

Didn't get much of a workout last night, but I didn't mind because I like teaching others the basics. Besides, I was a bit tired, and my right knee is still acting funny. I received exercises from the physical therapist I saw earlier that morning. This morning, I did them, and my knee cracked and popped loudly. Sometimes I wonder if this is just the beginning of joint problems that will plague me for the rest of my life. Being sidelined and/or slowed down is not a happy thought for someone who is as active as I am.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Clearing Out Of The Gym

I don't get it. Every session, Steve has a group lesson with the newbies in the beginning of the evening. Afterwards, he tells them they can practice their new skills on the bags. Instead, the majority of them clear out of the gym faster than Speed Racer crossing the finish line in his Mach Five race car. They see the rest of us working out, so I don't know why they think they can't hang around until the end of the night, too.

I believe all of the new people came in this past Friday with the exception of one person. Sadiq came in and did some sparring with Javonte and Rias. No sign of Keith, and Junior won't be back until February. Javonte is looking better and better. He was working with Steve and slipping punches very well.

My right knee was well enough to do step exercises. I wasn't hurting when I woke up the following morning. Still not too keen on jumping rope, running, or doing push ups (I do the so-called "girl" ones on my knees). I'm happy that I'll be able to stand on the stage tomorrow during the charity cabaret show I'm in and not grimace in pain while singing. Later this week, I'll see the physical therapist.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Will They Stay Or Go?

As usual, Steve and I had the usual conversation we always have at the beginning of a new session -- "Who do you think will stay and who do you think will go?" Rehearsal for a cabaret show I'm in on Monday ended early, so I went straight to the gym. Couldn't work out because I was in my street clothes and I didn't have workout clothes with me. But I just had to see who the new people were.

There were six guys and one woman. The sixth guy stood outside the ring and observed as Steve showed the other people basic moves. That guy had told Steve ealier that he wanted to wait until Friday to start. "I don't know if he'll ever come in again. The guy didn't appear to have the confidence to really get involved with the sport," Steve said. I figured that the new woman probably wouldn't be there by the end of the month. Same old story: most of the women who come in don't last. Sarah and Betty were in the gym last night, so the new woman was aware that other females train there. Unfortunately, that is not always enough to keep females coming back. I do what I can to encourage them, but if they don't want to continue, there's not much that can be done.

Betty told me about a combination she saw a boxer dole out to another boxer at a live fight she saw. Jab, jab, followed by two right hooks, the second a little harder than the first. "Blood flew everywhere when the guy was hit with second hook," she said. I have to remember that combination. Indeed, I need to work on more of those, period, "putting the punches together", as Teddy Atlas always says.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Avoiding Surgery

Yay! The doctor told me I didn't need surgery on my right knee. I strained it, and a month of physical therapy should help heal it. However, it was discovered I have arthritis in BOTH knees. "Oh, damn!" as Martin Lawrence would say. Still had a decent workout despite of the feeling of needles being pushed in the damaged knee. I won't be jumping rope or doing step exercises for awhile, unfortunately.

The 150 pound heavy bag broke off of the chain and fell to the floor. Erin and Jose were hitting the bag at the time. We all had fun pretending it was a fallen boxer or a fallen wrestler for a moment. Steve had his foot on it yelling, "WWE! WWE!" I was talking about, "TNA Wrestling! And here is Samoa Joe!" The defective chain was replaced and the bag re-hung. The 75 lb bag was discovered to have sand leaking from it, so Steve and Mike pulled out the duct tape. They really did a good job patching it up.

Keith promised that he would be in next week to begin his training for the Golden Gloves. Seems that he visited the Evanston Boxing Gym, and the coach there expressed interest in Keith fighting for them. Keith turned it down, but he is considering getting sparring there.

I had my dates mixed up: the Winter session starts next week. A guy named James showed up tonight with the intent of signing up. He told me he had intended to come in a couple of sessions ago. I hope he comes in next week.