Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Sparring Before The Fight

It didn't feel as hot in the gym Wednesday evening.  It helped that the wind was blowing a little outside.  I put the fan on medium setting.
Late the night before, I watched some YouTube videos that demonstrated how to use the Maize bag.  I would have practiced what I saw, but I was stiff and sore again from cleaning at church.  Most of my exercise in the gym was shadow boxing, and doing a couple of rounds on the red heavy bag.  I showed Renee how to use the Maize bag.
I did spar with Tommy, who's a southpaw.  Alan said, "Stop moving towards his jab hand and go the other direction!"  When I moved the right way, I was able to pop Tommy with some rights and avoid some of his incoming jas.  But he got me in the mouth once, and I swore to myself that my front tooth was grazed.  It reminded to me to keep my mouth closed. 
Big Andre was the man of the evening again, sparring with several including Alex, in preparation for his fight on Friday.  Alan and I agreed that Alex moves very well in the ring, and throws good punches.  Big Andre pummeled Alex a few times, but Alex answered with solid punches of his own. 
Gene got into the ring with Andre, feeling him out with his jabs. 

Andy got a piece of Big Andre, too, but he had his head down a lot.  "Keep your head up so that you see the punches coming in!" Alan told Andy.

Before John (wearing the light shirt in the photo above) got into the ring with Andre, Alan told him, "If you go easy, he'll go easy, but if you hit hard, Andre will hit hard back." Of all the sparring partners Andre had on Wednesday, John was matched up well with him.  John kept switching hands, however.  "Are you right-handed?" Alan asked, and John answered in the affirmative.  "Then use your left as your jab -- don't switch," Alan told him. 

Jason came in, but DJ stayed at home.  I learned that he and DJ have been married for a couple of years.  He said that she wants to spar again, but not this week.  She has a job interview coming up.    It's not the first time I've heard someone say they didn't want to risk showing up for work, an interview, or a meeting with injuries. I don't blame people, especially women.  Upon seeing a cut or a bruise, some may assume that the woman is a domestic violence victim.  Even after explaining, "Hey, I box, or I'm in martial arts," people may not believe that. 

Tommy asked if the gym was open next Wednesday.  "No, that's the 4th of July," I told him.  "I just wanted to make sure," he said.  "That's a legitmate question, since the holiday falls in the middle of the week," I said.  "We're so hard core in here, we're open on Christmas!" Tommy joked.  "Yep, on Thanksgiving and New Year's Day too," I giggled.  "The gym would be open during Armaggedon!" Tommy said.  "Yeah, people would be talking about, 'We got to get that last round in, come on!'" I laughed.  "Somebody would say when the yellow light comes on, 'Thirty seconds before the end of the world," Tommy chuckled.  We laughed, but that's probably no joke.  There are some hard core boxers out here.

I forgot to mention that I talked with Gabe's father, David, a few days ago.  Gabe had crossed my mind recently.  I see his posts from time to time on Facebook.  "Gabe did graduate from law school, and he got a job -- in Hawaii," his father said.  I'm glad for Gabe, and what a beautiful location to have a job! 

Josh, who hasn't been in the gym in awhile, came in at 8:45 PM.  "Look at who's here at his usual time," Alan smiled at me.  "I was just thinking about him," I said.  Josh only got in a couple of rounds of practice before the gym closed for the evening. 

Finally put air in the tires of my bike and took it out for a spin last weekend.  I believe biking may be my main cross-training plan outside of the boxing gym this summer.  I think my knees have had it with roller, in-line and ice skating, although I keep fantasizing about the fancy moves I used to do.  Biking is hard on my knees, too, but I can do that longer than I can last on skates these days.  But I won't give my quad or in-line skates away in what appears to be a vain effort to keep hope alive. 

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