Wednesday, April 07, 2010

"You Put Your Face In Front Of The Fist!"

A good sized crowd was in the gym Monday night.  Chloe and Joe showed up, but she and I didn't spar.  I'm assuming that Joe planned that she have a light workout, like most coaches will plan when their fighter has a bout coming up.  It's not always a good idea to spar very close to a match because of the possibility of the fighter becoming injured.  I promised Chloe that would go see her compete at the Gloves this week.

Another new woman named Toya came in.  She had a lot of questions about the gym and the sport in general.  "I think I'm going to like this!" she said.  I went over left jabs, rights, and movement with her and Cynthia.  For a long time, we were just talking and laughing.  Alan came over and grinned, "You all have been standing around for 20 minutes.  Hillari, you've got to make them work!"  I also showed them how to use the bags in the gym.

Alan and I sparred after Carlos and Jamil.   I accidentally stepped on his foot.  That's a habit I have most times that I spar.  It's a footwork error I need to correct.  Then Alan stepped on mine, and I lost my balance and fell to the canvas.  "Two can play that game," Alan grinned through his mouthpiece.  "It was an accident!" I protested.  He kept motioning for me to aim for his head, which I did reach a few times.  He caught me in the mouth once with a punch.  It was a wake up to me to keep my mouth closed.

I felt a lump inside my lower lip later on.  Upon closer inspection in the bathroom mirror at home, I saw a red bruise.  "Humph. . .he got me good there," I muttered to myself.  When I pointed it out to Pastor Roger at work the following morning, he pointed out, "Well, you put your face in front of his fist!"  "This afternoon, I'm going to work out in the gym," I told him, referring to the good-sized gym that is in the church.  "That's fine.  I don't know why more people don't take advantage of it," Pastor said.  One reason is that there is no gym equipment available.  Oh, there is a basketball hoop, but not everyone plays ball.  It would be nice if there were extra funds to put some used equipment in there, but the Haitian church uses that room for their Sunday services.  I suppose we could find a place to move and lock up the equipment somewhere in church.  But if it's too unwieldy to keep moving back and forth, the other congregation may not appreciate the equipment being in the way, as well as being a distraction on Sunday mornings.

Shortly after the Pastor left for a lunch meeting, I pulled out one of the church's boom boxes, threw on some James Brown and the JB's CDs, and worked out for a little over an hour.  It was slow going in the beginning.  My mind wasn't really focused, and I could feel my blood sugar dropping.  I had a bowl of sugar free oatmeal earlier, but that had long burned away.  After several rounds (I had brought my individual timer with me), I put more energy into the workout and actually had a good one.  Pastor returned near the end of the workout. I was waiting for him to admonish me about blasting the JB's on the boom box.  Pastor is not a fan of worldly music, not since the 1980's anyway.  But I like my workout music to be mostly old school R&B and pumping.  I remember when Anna, a friend of mine, and myself were roller skating in the church gym before a new floor was put in.  I had the JB's on the boom box that day, too, but she decided to switch the music to a steady stream of gospel choir songs.  "You can't skate off of that," I told her.  I like a lot of Christian music, don't get me wrong.  But I do like other genres of music, and it's not my preference for workout music.  

There are showers upstairs in church on the third floor.  I didn't bring soap, a towel, or a change of clothes.  I'm so used to going straight home from Loyola Park and taking a shower (or laying down, depending on how tired and/or hurt I am after the gym).   I want to make a regular habit of working out in the church gym, so next time, I'll be better prepared. 

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