Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Beginning Of A Long Break

I ran into Danny on my way to the gym.  He's been living in Florida, going to school studying Business Management.  Danny is now 26 years old.  He's only in Chicago for the summer.  I told him about the gym still being open with Alan (in the photo above) at the helm.  He told me he'd try to stop in, but he didn't make it in Monday evening.

Gene came in, wondering where everybody was.  Outside of Alan and I, Amy and Igor were in attendance.  "We always tell people the gym is open even though the session is officially over, but that never seems to be communicated well," I said.  "Looks like Gene is going to be your sparring partner today," Alan said, and Gene smiled.

During sparring, I thought to myself, "What would Claressa Shields do?"  The night before, I discovered a podcast -- Women Box on iTunes -- that chronicled Shields, Marlen Esparza, Queen Underwood, and several other female boxers' journeys through the Olympic trials.  Shields said, "I ain't afraid of no man, I ain't afraid of no girl," when questioned about if she got nervous before fights.  I tried to be fearless like her in the face of Gene's long arms.  Alan pointed out that Gene often leaves his right hand down, and it's easy to get a left hook in.  I couldn't get the left one in, but I did get one right hook in that surprised Gene. 

Gene covered up a lot, giving me a chance to get some other punches in, but often we were in clinches, forcing Alan to call "Break!" each time.  Later, Alan showed him how to get in on someone but block incoming punches at the same time. 

As usual, Igor took an interest in watching Gene while the sparring was going on.  After Igor left, Gene told Alan that Igor had asked him about sparring.  I shook my head.  "Igor always asks, but he never does it.  I gave him the option of either sparring with you or Hillari, but he didn't take it," Alan said. 

Amy kept up her routine of jumping rope, hitting the uppercut bag behind the ring, and doing crunches.  Gene (in the photo above), Alan and I were working the heavy bags.  I was popping the black heavy bag with left and right hooks during one round.  When the bell rang to end the round, I commented, "Now if I could only throw left hooks in the ring like I do on the bag!"  Alan agreed.  "Keep your hands up, stay relaxed, and just throw the hooks.  Have to take some of the punches to get some in.  If people keep covering up in anticipation of the incoming punches, they'll never get their punches in," he said.

Eckhart Park's boxing show is this Thursday, but no one in the adult boxing gym has plans to go.  Loyola Park's boxing show is late next month, and as far as I know, I'm the only one looking to get a fight at that event.  The Fall session starts three days before that show, and there's no way any newbies starting then will be prepared to compete there -- unless they've been boxing awhile elsewhere. 

Alan joked about having a salami sandwich for lunch along with ice cream from Dairy Queen.  Gene laughed, "It shows!", and Alan patted his stomach.  I had the nerve to have two hot dogs, a large order of fries, and a Hawaiian Punch for lunch.  The hot dogs upset my stomach for a minute later on that afternoon.  Bad food habits are hard to break.  I thought about having a slice of bread with peanut butter and a banana for dinner.  The George Foreman grill was pulled out, and I made two grilled cheese sandwiches, drank blueberry Mio, and had two sugar free fudge Popsicles.  Next time I go grocery shopping, I will stock up more on healthier options, preferably ones that I don't have to cook, of course.

Alan and I were talking about Krav Maga, a self-defense method.  The coach knows a guy who teaches it. "I haven't taken a self-defense class in a long time.  I'd like to take another one," I said.  "You box in here.  Do you really need to take one?" Alan said.  "I took one way back in high school," I told him.  I think I got an 'A', if I remember correctly. "Would you say that you're better at self-defense now?" Alan asked.  "Yeah, I know more about it than I did when I was sixteen years old," I said.  "If you do stuff like boxing, then you know self-defense methods," the coach said. 

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