Monday, July 26, 2010

Not Even Half A Round

It was a combination of old age, menopause and the grilled cheese sandwiches I ate a couple of hours before I went to the gym.  I couldn't even finish a half of a round sparring with Evangelina.  I got overheated, and I had to stop.  On top of that, I was nauseous.  "Are you okay?" Alan asked with concern.  Evangelina had a worried look on her face.  I was fanning myself furiously.  My stomach was queasy before I agreed to spar. But in my usual hard-headed fashion, I figured I would just play it off and keep going, if only for one round. 

During the rest of the night, I gave myself excuses to sit down often and/or chatter with the others as opposed to putting in a good, strong workout.  It was truly an off night for me.  Not long ago, I was talking to my niece Jalissa.  "Maybe I'm getting too old to take those hits," I said.  It's something I say all the time, but don't seriously think much about.  "You should think about your health, Auntie," Jalissa told me.  I try to do better.  I exercise two extra days outside of going to Loyola Park.  I cut down on having second and third helpings. But sometimes, I can't shake the feeling that some worse health issue -- other than the ones I already deal with -- is around some dark corner, waiting to smack the hell out of me.  Images of Dad and my sister Cindy laying in hospitals, and my brother Ken arriving DOA at an emergency room play in my mind often. 

But I keep going to the gym, I keep volunteering to spar, and I'm willing to take fights.  Over the weekend, I saw the documentary, Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work.  The legendary comedianne could retire, but she has a drive to keep going on stage.  She mentioned that comedian Don Rickles is in his late 80s and the late comedian George Burns, who died when he was 100 years old, kept going almost to the end.  "I want to be like them," she said.  I could stop boxing (and those who have been telling me to stop for years would love for me to do that), and perhaps find something else to do.  But I have to keep fighting.  It makes me believe that I have a weapon against the unknowns -- health and otherwise -- that wait in the shadows.

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