Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Old Men and An Old Thorn

I was filling up the water bottles at the fountain when I looked up to see Jordan walking into the field house.  My first thought was, "Oh, hell no."  Those of you who have been reading for awhile remember that Jordan was a thorn in mine and Steve's side for awhile.  A friend was tagging behind him.  I quickly finished what I was doing and hurried back down to the gym.  Alan had to be warned.

He hadn't been inside the room for five minutes when he started hitting the heavy bag with no wraps on, as usual.  His friend stood to one side and looked everyone over. Alan was in a conversation with Joe, who was waiting for Chloe to arrive.  I heard Jordan ask Alan about getting a workout in, unaware that the days of freebies is over for the most part.  Alan told him he had to sign up at the front desk.  In what looked like a vain attempt to impress his friend and maybe the others who were there, Jordan pulled down a jump rope.  He only skipped a few times before going back to the heavy bag.  "You do remember the rules about not hitting the heavy bag without hand wraps on, right?" I said evenly.  Jordan gave me a look that I guess was supposed to intimidate as well as impress.  It accomplished neither.  "I can take it," he said, as he went back to hitting it.  "That's not the point.  It tears the bag up," I said in a murderously calm tone.  Seeing that he wasn't going to get anywhere that night, Jordan and his friend left.  Later, I gave Alan the 411 about Jordan's issues.

During the second round that Chloe and I sparred, I found myself becoming nauseous.  It couldn't have been the mouthpiece.  I've finally gotten used to having it in my mouth after all these years.  I had gotten tired, Chloe was laying on the pressure, and suddenly, I wasn't feeling so hot.  Bless her heart, Chloe told me she would go easy, and we finished the round.  "You really gave an old lady a run," I grinned.  Chloe's going straight to the Golden Gloves finals.  She was supposed to have a semi-final fight, but her opponent got pregnant.  "I've never had that happen before with a fight," Joe said.

Sadiq came in, and it was good to see him.  He wants to get another boxing license, which will be his third.  The first was stolen, along with his bag, out of the gym a few years ago.  The second one he used to participate in a show fight, but he never got it back.

Sadiq and Alan sparred, and somewhere along the way, the two men decided to throw bombs at each other.  Alan hit the canvas at one point.  "Are you okay?" I asked from the other side of the ropes.  "It was a slip," Alan said.  Sadiq then got Alan in the face with a couple of solid punches.  When Alan removed his headgear, he discovered he had a mouse under his eye.  "That's going to look real good walking into work with.  It's really going to be something to come home with, and my wife sees it.  She's going to say, 'And how old are you?  Why were you sparring?' " he grinned.

I was accepted as a writer with the Examiner (http://www.examiner.com), so now I've got to figure out what boxing stories to write.  The account of Carlos' Golden Gloves fight will probably be the first article, and I have ideas for the ones to follow.

Anthony and I were the last boxers in the gym at the end of the night.  Alan told us about a traffic incident he was involved in that nearly turned ugly.  Despite the fact that words were exchanged, Alan would have let it go.  But then the other guy said something along the lines of, "You think you're bad?  Bring it on, Pops!"  Some younger men don't get that calling a guy an old man is akin to starting a war.  I heard comedian Steve Harvey on the radio telling a story about a young blood attempting to challenge him.  "My hands may be old, but they still know how to put a hurting on someone," Harvey spat. 

"That's all he called you?  You know how many names I've been called over the years?"  Anthony said, and both he and I fell out laughing.  "I know I shouldn't have let it get to me, but I just don't like being called that," Alan grinned.  Fortunately, the other guy walked away from Alan before any actual punches were thrown.  I would have paid to see that, if it had jumped off.  My money would have been on Alan.  

1 comment:

Just Bynn said...

I came across your blog and just wanted to say that I think it's cool that you're so in to boxing. I've been doing it semi-informally for a while now and have only recently started taking classes and getting more and more fascinated by the sport. My only issue is sparring- at the gym, my only opponents are super testosteronal teenage guys who... don't always provide the best opportunities for me to learn how to spar.