Thursday, September 30, 2010

Giving A Knee

Now I am even more aware of being hit in my eyes.  I sparred with David last night, and got popped in my left eye.  On Monday night, Evangelina got me in my right eye.  Perhaps I will need quad-focals (I already wear tri-focals) after it's all over with.  Alan had told David "you can hit her" when I was in the ring, but when Erica got in with David next, Alan told him to take it easy.  "Why did you tell him to take it easy on her, but to beat me?" I laughed.  I also sparred with Jeannie, but very lightly.  I let her get more hits on me than I did on her. 

I need to call Barry because he has a DVD of all the fights that took place at the boxing show last Friday.  I'll pay for a copy, if that's the case.  I really need to look at my fight again.  Cynthia, a staff member at Loyola Park, told me that I had given Andrea a knee during our fight.  "You were fighting her like she had stolen your purse and you were doing MMA!" she laughed.  "I gave her a knee?" I said, shocked.  "I was hoping the referee didn't catch it," Cynthia continued.  If that happened like that, I glad he didn't see it, either.  That could have been either a point deduction or a disqualification.  It was not intentional, believe me! 

Ralphie had good news: his wife gave birth to a boy, whom they named Gabriel Rafael.  "I'm Rafael, my dad is Rafael. . .I decided to give that to him as his middle name," Ralphie smiled.  Mother and child are doing fine, as they say. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Walking In As A Champ

On the way to the gym, I ran into a neighbor, Ginny, who was out walking her dog.  "You did what?  I forbid you to fight," she said when I told her about my fight last Friday.  She was so surprised that I had actually got into the ring.  She asked me my age, and said, "That's about the same age my daughter is.  You have to be careful!"

It occurred to me that I was the only one in the adult boxing program who won a match at last Friday's boxing show.  Everyone who didn't see the match was congratulatory when they found out about the win.  "The most beautiful part of your match was when you touched gloves with your opponent, and she thought she was just going to back up.  Then you hit her right after you touched gloves," Professor said.

Earlier in the day, I showed as much of the fight as I could to Jena and her cute little boy, Nico (Nicholas).  There were Internet problems at work.  "Looks like you were pretty aggressive there," Jena said.  I kept coming forward, but so did Andrea.  After church service on Sunday, Ann took one of my hands and said, "I can't believe you hit people with these little hands.  You're tough and feminine at the same time!"  Pastor wondered if I knew what the scores were for my fight, but I didn't ask about them. 

Alan asked me about doing a rematch at Hamlin in a couple of weeks.  Unfortunately, I have to take a final in one of my Paralegal classes that night, so I can't do it then.  But we'll probably go to Fuller, Seward and Brooks' boxing shows as they come up.  I'll be happy to do a rematch.

I sparred twice, with both Evangelina and Erica.  Erica got me hard in the chest and the stomach.  "That must come from sparring with your cousin Carlos," I grinned.  Alan commented, "This is the first time that only the girls sparred in the evening." 

Charlene and Jeannie did some very, very light sparring.  Alan stood in the ring with them, giving directions, as they wore no headgear or mouth pieces.  Jeannie was flinching when Alan was showing her how to throw her jabs.  Jeannie was putting her punches all the way out, but both Alan and I reminded Charlene to extend her punches. 

I'm still sore from Friday, and now I'm sore from sparring tonight on top of that.  I need to take Terry's (a woman at my church) advice and get a hold of some green rubbing alcohol to soak in.  I know I'm going to be hurting a lot in ten and twenty years because of boxing.  I can at least do something to ease some of the pain today.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Eighth Fight

Tonight was Loyola Park's Annual Boxing Show ("Boxing Explosion").  There were only about ten fights, and the crowd was small.  The gym where Antonio trains was also having fights tonight, which may have accounted for the low attendance.  My fight was the eighth of the night.  Before leaving the house, I painted my nails red.  I thought it would be fun to box with nail polish on. 

Marquis' fight was first.  He hung in there, but the other kid got more pops in on him, so the winning trophy went to him.  Eric's fight was the third one, I believe.  He won his bout, but I was so busy pacing out of nervousness that I didn't see much of that bout.  Professor had a fight; he ended up on the canvas twice, and taking eight counts despite making a good effort. 

Evangelina's fight was number four and she was up against Meg the fire fighter.  I didn't get a chance to give Evangelina tips ahead of time, since I had fought Meg twice before.  She did well against Meg the first round, but the second and third rounds belonged to Meg.  I kept yelling to her, "body blows!" and Alan kept yelling, "Keep your punches straight!"  Meg picked up another win.  Below is a picture of Evangelina and I in the gym after the boxing show was over.

I met my opponent, Andrea, before our match.  She was wearing a very cool "Fight Like A Girl" T-shirt.  I have a shirt with the same saying, but hers has a rose on it instead of a boxing glove.  We looked to be matched evenly.  Alan said that we both were about the same weight.  But when we got into the ring, and I was staring at her from my corner, she looked a lot more buff than pudgy little me.  "I just may get my ass whipped," I thought.  Alan rubbed my shoulder.  "You know what to do.  You've done this before," he said. 

I kept throwing punches throughout the first round, but I didn't think I landed anything of importance.  The nerves caught up with me when that round ended.  The mouthpiece felt like it was choking me, and I thought I was going to be sick.  Alan was giving me instructions, but all I heard was "body blows" and "Are you okay?"  I was winded, but I went back out for the second round.  Andrea cracked me in my head a few times, which was a hint to me to keep my hands up.  "Come on, Hillari!" I kept hearing Alan yelling, while Cynthia, a staff member at the field house, was yelling, "Get her, Hillari, get her!" from the other side of the gym. 

Alan gave me a look during the rest period between the second and third round.  Later, he told me he was thinking of stopping the match.  I had a feeling that was on his mind, which is why I kept insisting I was fine, when I was close to upchucking.  I was determined to suck it up and make it through the third round.  I kept coming forward, landing punches where I could manage.  Andrea leaped in with several bombs of her own.  Thankfully, the minute finally ended (the amateur matches are one minute per round), and I dragged myself into my corner.  "That was a close fight," Alan grinned, but I thought, "Nah, I don't think so."  After hugging my opponent and shaking the hand of Bill, her coach at Hamlin, I stepped to the middle of the ring, prepared to take another loss.

My mouth dropped open when my name was announced as the winner, and Kitchen, who had refereed the bout, raised my hand in victory.  A few years ago, Anna, who used to attend my church told me, "You're not a fighter because you've never had any fights."  Alan told me as he drove me home, "Hillari, you were a gym rat.  Now you're a fighter."  Willie had held pads for me to get me warmed up before the match.  "You didn't throw many jabs, but you kept moving," he grinned.  Several other people said I never let up on Andria, but I didn't feel I had been as aggressive as I should have been. It is so true that battle plans are forgotten once the bell rings.

But I got the win.  Alan joked that I should bring my trophy to church service.  After he pulled off after dropping me on corner up the street from my house, I said, "Praise God, praise Jesus, all day, forever!"  I was still in shock that I actually won. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cuffed In The Ear and Hit In The Eye

There was a good crowd at the gym tonight.  Erica, Adam, Cole, Marvel, Fatima, Jamil, Jamal, Eric, Professor, Evangelina, Kyren (I'll get her name right, yet), plus new persons.  They were David, Jennine, and a tall African-American woman with a delicate voice who's name escapes me at the moment. 

Evangelina and I sparred after Professor and Jamil did.  She got me square in my right eye.  "Oh, no, no!" I thought.  The room went hazy for a moment.  It figures.  I just got the all clear on that eye during a follow-up appointment with the eye doctor yesterday, then I get hit in that eye.  Evangelina loves uppercuts, and I took a good solid one to my mid-section.  Then she had me backed up in a corner, and I slipped and fell.  Earlier, Alan said that she may end up fighting Meg, the woman I fought twice last year.  After the sparring session, I told Evangelina, "You should use that punch to the gut if you end up facing Meg!"  That hit nearly took me out. 

Alan then took out the punch doughnut out and worked on punches with both Evangelina and I.  During my second round on the doughnut, Alan caught me with my hands down.  He reached out and cuffed my right ear.  It stung, and I kept my hands up after that.  During the last 30 seconds of that round, Alan kept yelling at me to keep throwing punches.  I did, but it was not easy.  I laid down on the canvas afterwards.  "One, two, three. . ." Alan grinned, pretending to count me out.  Cole gave me my glasses, which I had laid on the storage bin in the back.  "This is so you can see while you rest," she laughed.

Later, I told Alan about the cuffing. He looked dismayed.  "I didn't hurt you, did I?" he asked.  "No," I laughed, "but it reminded me of my dad hitting me like that when he got mad about something I had done or not done." 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Beginning of Fall

On the way to the gym, I was a little disappointed because the sun is not out as it used to be.  It won't be long before the clocks have to be turned back then things will really get depressing in terms of the weather.  But it's a new season at the gym, which means new blood in the place.

The new people are Cole, Marvell, Fatima, Kyran (don't quote me on the spelling) and Jamal.  Alan was really impressed with Marvell's hands.  "He has big, solid hands," Alan said.  Alan joked with Cole trying out sparring, just after Evangelina and I got into the ring to spar.  "On the first day?" I joked with Alan.  "I think I'll go along with what she says," Cole smiled.  Most of the people who were in the gym the last time returned, including long, tall Kevin, who hadn't been in for a few sessions.  Carlos, his cousin Erica, and Adam were no-shows, however. 

Throughout the two rounds that Evangelina and I sparred, I kept thinking to myself, "Keep your hands up!"  Fortunately, I took few hits to the head, and more importantly, none to my eyes.  But I did catch one in the kidneys and one in the gut.  "You did get some good hits in, but you have to go more for the body," Alan told me later.  It is so hard to be an inside fighter if you can't easily get around your opponent's arms.  I'm hoping that whomever I'm matched up with on Friday has short arms.

Professor wants a fight this Friday, but he was thinking that maybe he might not be matched up if someone near his weight can't be found.  He proposed to Jamil that they fight on Friday if neither of them gets a match.  "Oh, no!  I ain't ready for that kind of action yet, man," Jamil said, referring to how intense Professor fights.  "That's not unusual for two people from the same field house to fight each other at a boxing show," I told Jamil.  A few years ago, I witnessed two teenaged girls, who were both training at Garfield Park, participate in a match at Garfield's boxing show.  On top of that, the girls were related to each other -- they were sisters.

I made an event page for my fight on Facebook, and invited people.  Of course, most of the church folks indicated they don't want to go because they don't want to see me get hurt (or see me hurt someone else).  My niece, Jalissa, may have moved to Chicago by then, so maybe she'd be able to go. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Summer Cold Problem

Didn't go to the gym Wednesday night because of having caught a late summer cold.  I was at home both Wednesday and Thursday, trying to rush the sickness away.  I went to work this morning, so I feel somewhat better, but what a pain. 

Another pain -- it appears that someone has walked with two radios at church, one of which I used whenever I worked out in the church's gym.  I was coming down with the cold Tuesday, but I was going to do a workout.  Then I noticed the radio I use was not in its usual spot.  I had planned to transition back to working out at home with DVDs come next month due to time restraints brought on by my going to school.  I also didn't want to drag my gear back and forth once the weather got cooler and the sun wasn't out as much.  I guess I'm going to do that transition earlier than expected now.  

Professor left a message on the Internet for me that he plans to fight in Loyola Park's boxing show next Friday.  He asked me to let Alan know.  I called Alan and left a message on his voice mail.  Now there's just the matter of finding someone to match Professor up with. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Monday's Workout Time

Alan and I were the only ones in the gym for almost an hour last night until Jamil came in.  No one else showed up.  Next week begins the fall session, so I guess they'll all come in then.

I had a good workout, and one of the toughest I've had in awhile.  I told Alan that my right eye was good for the time being.  He had me working with increasing intensity on the heavy bags, and on the punch doughnut, which he held for me.  Later, Jamil and I did burn out (interval training) on the heavy bags.  I was worn out and sore, but it was good for me. 

Today, I will concentrate more on the cardio aspect.  I have to make up for lost time, since I was wasn't sparring between eye doctor appointments.  I have a follow-up eye appointment next week; here's hoping that turns out well.

Bill at Hamlin told Alan that he had a beginning fighter to match me up with for Loyola Park's boxing show next Friday.  Jamil wants to fight, but Alan told him there may not be a match for him, depending on who's available.  Anthony may fight, and Alan also put Evangelina's name down as a possibility.  It's up in the air whether Barry will have many kids lined up for the boxing show, because so many of them have not been in the gym lately.  There's not much time left to train.  

Thursday, September 09, 2010

A Cool, Quiet Night

Fall seems to be starting early, as temperatures in the day aren't as hot, and the nights qualify as jacket weather.  I wore my Ringside sweatjacket to the gym last night, but I probably could have worn an even heavier jacket.  At least the gym was not the sweatbox it usually is this time of year.  I didn't even have to put the fan on.

Alan was not in the gym last night because of Rosh Hashanah.  Ralphie was surprised to learn that Alan is Jewish.  "Oh, I knew that Josh was, but I never knew that about Alan," he said.  Josh, a rabbi, was also out that evening.

Carlos was outside with his cousin Erica and her friend Adam as I walked up to the field house.  He's was out of the gym all summer due to his work schedule.  "I'm gonna be back in next week," he told me.  It was good to see him, and to hear that news.

Anthony and Eric made up the rest of the participants in the gym last night.  No sparring took place because Alan was out.  The radio was on, tuned to WGCI-FM, as usual.  Anthony shook his head.  "Is this what they call music nowadays?" he said.  I had to agree with him.  As I've mentioned here before, the only time I hear that particular radio station is when I'm at Loyola Park.  I don't put it on at home or at work.  I echo the thought of a button I see from time to time: "It's not that I'm so old, but today's music really sucks." 

Even with the radio on, there was a quietness in the gym.  The rest of the field house was as quiet as a tomb.  Basketball season is over, so no kids or teens were filling the halls.  Mary and most of her staff were in a meeting that ended awhile before the gym closed. 

My workout was deliberately slow and measured, as I focused on really throwing punches correctly, in particular, uppercuts and hooks. 

Monday, September 06, 2010

Sniffle and Sneeze

No boxing tonight due to Labor Day.  I could have gone down to the church's gym and got in a workout, but choose to spend time with Glynn and Margaret's cat, Esther.  The problem is, cat dander and kitty litter aggravates my allergies.  Oh, I can take over-the-counter medicine, but it takes awhile to kick in.  I've gone through a lot of tissues today.

It seems that I should be sniffling and sneezing all the time at Loyola Gym.  The place does have a dry, musty smell, and there is dust.  But I guess I've been going there for so long that I'm mostly immune to it. 

I have half a mind not to work out at the church's gym tomorrow, but if I don't, then there's just Wednesday.  I doubt that I would have another chance to get in an extra workout this week.  It's too close to Loyola Park's boxing show on the 24th for me to slack off.  A friend at church, Jena, was amazed to find out that I have no idea who I will fight on that night.  "Usually, people don't know until they get to the fight," I told her.  There's also the possibility of not having a match made at all.  I've been in that situation too many times before, which is why I was so thrilled to finally have the two fights I did late last year. 

Friday, September 03, 2010

Seeing To Box

Wednesday was another night of limited sparring action, as only Anthony and Jamil got into the ring.  Randy begged off sparring, stating that he wasn't keeping his hands up enough, and wanted to work on doing that. 

I suspected that a lot of the people who were in the gym during the summer session assumed that the gym wouldn't be open during the break period.  That's probably why the number of people have been so light lately.  Some of them will return later this month when the Fall session starts and be surprised that they could have come in during the break.

Carlos's cousin returned to the gym along with a friend, a very good looking guy named Adam.  They signed up for fall, but I told them they could get a workout in that night.  The only thing they wouldn't be allowed to do was sparring.  Carlos's cousin said that Carlos would be returning to the gym soon.  His work schedule has kept him out lately.

Josh showed up ten minutes before closing time wanting to work on pads.  We worked with the punch doughnut instead.  "Ten minutes is better than nothing," he stated, but the time frame doesn't allow for much of a workout either.

I had another eye exam yesterday, a more comprehensive one, at the Illinois Eye Institute.  The floaters in both eyes are something I'll have to live with.  They are more of the result of aging than injury.  The doctor, a very bubbly woman, said that she saw nothing in my right eye that looked serious.  Both her and the student doctor, Tracy, suggested something that Alan has told me time and time again:  to keep my hands up and not take so many knocks to the head.  They told they were glad that I had come in to check out the white flashes (which have stopped) in my right eye.  If anything else seems out of place, they told me to call them.

It appears that I'm good to go for having a match on September 24th.  I left a voice mail on Alan's cell to let him know.  Time to intensify the workouts that I've been doing in and out of Loyola Gym.  Not easy to do with all the reading and homework I have to do for school (plus other obligations), but I want to be as ready as I can.  Especially if I'm going to be fighting someone from Hamlin Park again.