Monday, January 24, 2011

Tossing, Huffing, and Puffing

Professor, Kenny, Oscar, and a new guy, Hector, threw the medicine ball around, a drill that lasted several rounds.  If someone dropped the ball, all had to drop and do ten push ups.  It looked like a good exercise.  Of course, I couldn't do it, as my left knee is still out of whack.  Hector got tired, and bowed out.  "Twenty years old and huffing and puffing!  When I was twenty years old, I didn't know what huffing and puffing was!" Kenny remarked.  "I know that's right!  Neither did I," I said.  If only I had the energy and stamina I did back then. 

Alan moved around in the ring with Paul.  It was Paul's first time.  Alan was not hitting hard, but he did tap Paul about the head.  After two rounds, Paul was done.  "I'm amazed at how exhausting that is!" he exclaimed.  "See, I told you it's different from hitting the bags," Alan said.

Kenny sparred with yet another new guy, Danny (not to be confused with the other Danny, who was also in the gym).  Danny is 22 years old, and a southpaw.  Kenny is quick, but so is Danny.  Their style of fighting is similar to each other.  It was very interesting to watch.  Oscar also sparred with Kenny, but Oscar kept leading with his head instead of with his jab. Oscar also had his right hand down too much, and Kenny was tagging him left and right. 

Just to show you how nutty I can be, here is a shot of me with the knee supporter on.  Alan shook his head and said, "That knee doesn't look good.  You could possibly injure it further.  A ligament may be torn."  "My problem is that I'm hard-headed," I told Alan.

It felt like I hadn't been in the gym for ages, but that's because I'm only able to show up once a week for awhile.  I really wish I didn't have to miss the second day, but it's only another month and a half and I'll be back to my regular schedule. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mondays Only

I had half a mind not to go down to the gym on Monday.  Despite of it being Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the gym was open.  I had fallen asleep, and had a hard time waking up.  My knee has improved, but not enough to do any sparring.  The thought that Monday is the only day I'll be able to get to the gym for awhile also bummed me out.  If only that paralegal class I have to take was not scheduled on Wednesdays.  I'll have to do a boxing workout on another day of the week, on my own, depending on how much my left knee can take.

Alan's arms were looking devoid of hair.  "Did you shave your arms?" I asked.  He laughed.  "Yeah, I had my wife help me do it.  It'll look odd for awhile until it grows back in.  I got tired of looking like Teen Wolf.  That's what Leon used to call me," he said. 

Professor sparred with Jamil, and it was a good session, full of left handed action.  I videotaped it using Professor's cell phone.  A new guy, Kenny, went a couple of rounds with Oscar.  Alan kept telling Oscar "Break!" and Oscar kept hitting Kenny anyway. 

I saw a Jordan listed on the attendance sheet.  Alan asked me who it was.  I'm wondering did Mary's speech about "no pay, no play" the other week prompted Jordan to scare up the gym fee.  If it was that Jordan, he didn't come in.  Jordan didn't come in regularly back in the day when Steve was the coach, so. . .

I stepped on the blue scale in the gym.  "Under one-eighty.  Not by much, but under it," I thought.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

There's Always That First Real Pop In The Face

I hobbled down to the gym again Wednesday.  I was wearing knee supporters, one on each knee.  My right leg has really had to do a lot of work since my left knee is still mainly out of commission.  I was hitting one of the bags when Alan gave me a curious look.  "You're not sparring tonight, are you?" he asked.  "Of course not!  I'm stubborn, but not that stubborn," I grinned.

Michael and Jacob sparred; they did three rounds and a half, exchanging some good shots.  "You've got a little blood on you," I pointed out to Jacob when it was all over.  Michael had tagged him in his nose.  Both men were tired, but agreed that it was a good session. 

Eric was sporting a black eye.  "How did you get that?" I asked.  "Jamil", he answered.  They had sparred the other day, but I didn't realize that Eric had taken that kind of a hit.  Later, he made a comment about people maybe not being as wild when they fight without headgear.  "Not to say that I would do that," Eric grinned.  "Me neither.  I'm too old to do that," I said.  "I have to protect this," he grinned, indicating his face as he stepped into the ring. "This is all I've got going for me!"

Josh had come in earlier than he usually does, and he decided to move around in the ring with Eric.  Josh was rather tight in his movements.  He also kept picking his front leg up as if he was going to kick Eric.  Both Alan and I had to warn Josh to keep his leg down.  I recognized the pattern.  When I was taking martial arts and boxing classes back to back, I often had to remember not to use movements in one discipline that belonged in another. 

Suddenly, Eric popped Josh in the face with a right.  The round was far from half-way over.  Josh had to stop for a minute.  "Take a few deep breaths.  You're alright," Alan told him.  Josh had sparred a few times before, but that was the first time I had saw him experience a hit like that.  The action continued, and Josh was done after that round. 

Oscar, whom I hadn't seen in months, came in.  Alan said, "Oscar is a good fighter," and I agreed.  He and I sparred often.  We were a good match because we are about the same height.  "You know, he fought for a few years in Mexico," Alan continued.  That would explain why Oscar always appeared to look like he really knew what he was doing.  Oscar plans to return to the gym. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Maybe I'll Be The Bionic Woman

After church this past Sunday, I was on my way to Dominicks when I was hit by a car.  The driver, who was extremely upset and mortified, checked to see if I was alive, as well as a couple of bikers who witnessed the accident.  I was bruised up on my left side.  The main damage was to my left knee, which had gone out a few days ago in the gym.  Now it's badly sprained.

That didn't stop me from a) grocery shopping that day, b) making crock pot chili that night, c) going to work the following day, and d) going to the gym last night.  Alan called me before I left the house to say he was going to be late.  I told him about the accident.  "Maybe you shouldn't come in tonight," he said, but being my usual hard-headed self, I hobbled down there on a cane.  Pastor Roger had his comments earlier as well. He saw me limping at church earlier on Sunday and cracked, "I thought it was boxing, not kickboxing".  The next day he said, "Hillari, what's going to happen when you're 60 years old?  You're almost 50 and on a cane now."  "I keep telling you that I'm a tough built woman," I replied.  After all, I was at work the day after being pummeled by moving tons of steel and knocked a foot back onto the concrete. 

Alan shook his head as I limped around the gym all evening.  "Stop it.  You can hardly walk.  What are you going to do?" he said.  "I can hit the equipment," I said, and I did, being very careful not to turn my left knee much.  I kept remembering that line from the opening credits of the TV series "The Six Million Dollar Man".  "We can rebuild him", Oscar, his contact person at the agency said.  If I keep on getting injured, doctors may have to make that statement regarding me.  But I'll be like Jamie Summers, "The Bionic Woman", instead.   Walking with a cane is no kinds of fun.  It takes double and triple time to get anything done and to get anywhere.  I'm wearing a knee supporter today; it helps somewhat. 

A rare thing happened last night: Danny sparred.  I think that was only the second time I've seen him do that.  Danny is very content to just do the workout, but Leon talked him into moving around in the ring.  Leon also sparred with Jamil and Jacob.  Alan kept urging Jamil not to back up into the corners.  He also told him to grab Leon's arms to slow down the bigger man's flurry of punches.  "That the same thing I keep yelling at you whenever you're in the ring," Alan smiled at me. 

There won't be any sparring for me for a long time.  I can also forget about that fight that was tentatively scheduled for this month.  Alan had just called Bill to see if there was an opponent ready, but my knee will take at least a couple of months to feel halfway decent.  I base that on when I sprained my right knee twice in 2005; it took a long time to get right. 

Thursday, January 06, 2011

My Left Knee Had An Opinion Last Night

Just when I thought no women would come in this session, Angela showed up last night.  She used to go to Clarendon Park years ago.  Alan told me later that he remembered her taking boxing there. 

Sadiq returned again, and I was glad to see him.  He gave me some good encouragement while I was in sparring with Michael.  I was in the middle of throwing a right when my left knee decided to go out.  Michael apologized, because he thought he had knocked me down.  "No, it wasn't you," I told him.  Common sense would have told anybody else to stop sparring at that point, but I kept going.  Michael had to keep reminding me to direct my punches up.  Too many of them were dangerously going below the belt; I grazed him once.  "I'll wear a cup the next time," he smiled. 

Jordan showed up.  I had a bad feeling that he would sooner or later.  "I'm not going to nag, I'm not going to argue," I thought to myself.  As soon as Alan came in, I took the water bottles away to fill them.  Mary passed me on her way to the gym.  I could hear her giving her speech to people about paying the gym fee.  When I came back to the gym, Jordan was gone, so Mary's speech must have ran him out.  That won't keep him out permanently, however.  Jordan will sneak in at some other time because that's how his brain works.

Paul is the name of the fourth new guy.  I'm assuming that he, Frank, and Alan are all around the same age.  Frank was saying on Monday night how the workout was tough, and Paul was saying the same thing last night. 

I know it's tough based on how I was limping today.  It wasn't that I was really hurting, but I could not move fast at all.  My lower back felt out of sorts as well.  I brought a cane from the drug store. Figured that I will need it sooner or later. 

Josh came in, fifteen minutes before closing time as usual.  Alan said, "I can't say anything because he's paid up," but the coach did shake his head.  Josh wanted to spar with me, but I was spent from going around the squared circle with Michael. 

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Staying Sore Longer

On Monday, Alan said to me, "Look at the attendance sheet."  Only three new people signed up for the winter session, plus one who wasn't on the list, all men, no women.  Those are the lowest numbers I've ever seen for January.  I didn't get the fourth guy's name, but Frank, Jacob and Steve are the names of the other three.

Leon came in and announced that he signed up.  Sadiq stopped in to say he switched jobs and wanted to try to make it back to the gym.  Erin emailed me via Facebook and said she wanted to know the days the gym was open; she's hoping she can come back in.  I was surprised that Josh didn't come in -- either on time or late.

Michael (with glasses) and I sparred.  A hit to the eye, a hit to the nose, a pop to the chest, then a fall to the canvas really did a number on me.  Today, I was moving slow at work, then found out that neither of the first aid kits -- the one in my office and the one in Pastor Roger's office -- had any aspirin.  I had thrown out an old tube of Ben Gay a month ago, so I had to go up to Walgreens.  Instead of Ben Gay, I brought Mineral Ice.  When I got home, I took a long hot bath.  A cup of green rubbing alcohol was poured into the water to help soak my sore muscles. 

Unfortunately in a couple of weeks when paralegal classes begin again, I'm going to have to miss a day out of the gym for several weeks due to a class.  I've already set aside another day for exercise to make up for missing out at Loyola Park.  I seem to stay sore longer these days, but I can't cut down exercising.  The scale told me I was 183 pounds this morning -- too damn big for someone who is only five foot one.  No sooner than that I manage to get under 180, the weight starts creeping up again.  I never want to be 210 again.  That was when I was at my heaviest.  But I'm slowly realizing that I have to exercise according to what my aging body can do these days.