Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hungry For Sparring

Something is up with the phone service at home again, because I had a delay on getting some bad news:  my late dad's older sister passed away.  My stepmother went up to the funeral, and had left a voice mail offering to drive me up to it as well.  But I didn't get that message until today.  Even worse about getting that news was the fact that I probably could not have gone to the funeral.  I would probably have had to left earlier in the day, which would have meant having to leave work early -- or not go to work at all.  Unfortunately, for a lot of us, the new American Dream consists of working for way less money with no benefits.  I'm always allowed the opportunity to make up for lost time at church.  However, I'm not always able to do so, and lost time means lost wages. 

Tommy (in the red above) faced Jason in the ring.  Professor, who came in Wednesday evening, did a little coaching of both of them before they sparred. 

In this shot, Professor (at ringside, wearing black and leaning on the ropes) watches the action between Tommy and Jason. 

In between rounds, Alan gave Jason some advice as Sara (the woman in white on the left) listened in. 

Meanwhile, Professor gave Tommy some advice.  I could have sworn I heard Professor say to Tommy during the previous round, "Keep your hands up!  Don't hit Jason in his d&*%!" 

I'm not sure exactly what happened in this shot.  It looks as if Jason was covering up after taking a shot from Tommy.  They did have some good exchanges.  Near the end of their last round, Tommy had Jason against the ropes on the far side of the ring.  Alan joked, "Leave all of the hate in the ring!"

I wish I could remember to set the camera out again so Alan or someone could take pictures when I spar. I forget half of the time.  I sparred two rounds with Sara.  She's good about keeping her hands up, but she still has to learn about clinching.  I kept coming forward with punches, and Sara would back up most times instead of grabbing my arms to slow me down.  Personally, I don't like to use clinches much because I know that referees, especially during amateur matches, don't appreciate clinches.  Judges of amateur matches don't seem to care for clinches, either, so I don't make a habit of doing them.  But sometimes it is necessary to employ them. 

During the two rounds I sparred with Sara, I took it easy.  Alan said, "Okay, who's next?  Hillari's hungry for more."  I failed to come completely out of the easy mode when DJ stepped in the ring. It's really hard for me to land very many body punches on DJ.  I usually go for hooks to the head, but then she's taller than I, and it's easier for her to block those incoming punches. 

I managed to get Gene with some hooks to the head when he and I sparred.  Once again, that was not an easy task as he is taller than I.  Gene likes to clinch a lot, too.  Alan kept calling out, "Break!"  After Gene and I did one round, Alan took me out of the ring after discovering I had done four rounds in total.  Andy sparred with Gene as seen in the photo below.

I didn't catch a shot of him, but Igor was watching the sparring between Andy and Gene with a lot of interest.  Alan figured it was probably because Igor learned that Gene is Russian. 

Gene had a good idea.  "Why don't you set up a Facebook page about the boxing gym, and put all of the pictures and videos on there?" he said to me.  I don't know how well that would go over with the Chicago Park District since they already have official pages up on Facebook.  Perhaps I could share some pictures and videos on their existing pages, but I'd probably have to check with the page administrators to see if that was possible. 

The heat was a factor in me feeling lethargic.  I like hot weather, but when the high temps drag on like they have, I have a hard time getting motivated to do anything.  After the sparring and taking photos, I worked out a little on the bags, but the energy wasn't totally there.  A lot of people left early, most likely due to the heat in the gym.  At the end of the night, there was just myself, Alan and Amy.

Earlier, Alan joked that both Andy and I were responsible for injuring his left eye on Monday night.  "Oh, you're gonna put that on us!" I laughed.  Alan's eye was bloodshot, so he did have a valid complaint. 

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