Thursday, September 27, 2012

Colonel Returns

Charlene, who hadn't been at the boxing gym for several sessions, returned on Wednesday night.  I like Charlene's speaking voice.  She has a very light, ladylike way of speaking that I think would serve her well if she was to do voice over work.  Charlene asked me to go over some technique with her since it had been awhile since she'd been there.  While I was helping her out, Colonel walked in.  I was extremely glad to see him, and I gave him a big hug.

"I missed out on getting some big money," he told me.  Colonel was going to take a temporary consulting job in Afghanistan.  He had been in the military during the Vietnam War, and sometimes, he's asked by the military to come in on projects and lend his expertise.  But health issues interfered, and Colonel couldn't pass the physical.  I could tell that he had lost some weight, but for a 65 year old guy, Colonel looked good.  He also helped Charlene with her stance, punches, and wrapping her hands while he was there. 

Matt saw Colonel with Charlene and assumed correctly that he was a coach.  "He doesn't coach for the Park District, but Colonel has coached elsewhere," I explained to Matt.  Matt introduced Pedro, who had missed the first day of the Fall session.  Pedro said he hadn't boxed in a long while, and needed refresher lessons.  "Hillari knows what she's doing, and you can also get help from most anyone else in her," he told Pedro. 

The first sparring match of the evening involved Sarah and I.  We were going at a slower pace.  Alan liked that, and told us to keep it up.  My objective was to give Sarah more work, not so much to practice myself.  I'm not sure how well I'll do this Friday.  I felt sluggish and sore when I woke up Wednesday, and I didn't go in to work.  I rested most of the day (well, if you call playing on the computer resting), and tried not to move around much.  I felt somewhat okay to go down to the gym, but I was still dragging.  Sarah and I did two rounds and a half (we started the first round in the middle).

Rich and Jake were at it again in another sparring session.  I was wincing at some of the hits they doled out to each other.  There were full-on hard shots being thrown to their heads and faces.  I was so busy trying to get the picture above that it didn't occur to me that maybe I should get back from the ropes -- they were that close to me.  Another second, and I might have been hit by accident.

Rich sounded like he was interested in getting matches, period.  Alan and I were trying to figure out the weight requirements that deemed a fighter a light heavyweight.  We finally figured it out, but it seems like the numbers change depending on where you're looking for the information.  I think the amateurs' weight classes are a little different than those of the professional boxers, and those are different from the international amateur weight classes. 

In this photo, Alan gives advice to Adam -- the guy I couldn't identify in the photos on Monday.  He sparred with Jake, and I recorded the rounds with Adam's cell phone.  Adam would like to fight on Friday.  That's the first time I've heard of a new person coming in a few days before a boxing show asking to participate in it.  Alan told him what to bring, what to wear, and when to show up. 

Bo, the guy in the picture above, was watching Adam and Jake spar in-between working out on the double-end bag. 

I heard Bean (on the right in this picture) giving Bo some strength training advice later on.  Bean is a trainer.  He's in decent shape for a guy who is 55 years old. 

Throughout the rest of the evening, I helped Charlene.  Outside of sparring, I didn't do much of a workout.  Lately, I've been really, really feeling like the middle-aged woman that I am.  My mother's recent death was a bit of a wake up call.  Ma's stroke was caused by high blood pressure.  I didn't know she had it, and I don't think she did, either.  Twenty years ago, Ma told me that her blood pressure had tested high a few times when she'd gone to the doctor.  She gave the impression that the doctors had said something to her about the results, but Ma dismissed their concerns.  She never trusted doctors completely, insisting that her home remedies were better.  Dad, who also had high blood pressure, cursed about what doctors would tell him, too.  Maybe they both would have lived a little longer if they had listened to advice.  I've been looking at my diet recently and making changes so that it is more low-carb and low-salt than it has been.

Alan asked about the height of Meg, the firefighter from Hamlin Park whom Sarah has a match with on Friday.  "She's a little taller than I, but Meg is shorter than Sarah," I told him.  I told Sarah that I lost all three matches I had against Meg.  But it's not like Meg can't be beat.  I saw her lose a match at Brooks Park late last year.  Meg likes to come in throwing bunches of hard punches, then darting back out.  I can't move as fast as Meg, and by the time my brain registered that I needed to cover up, duck, or slip punches, it was too late to avoid them.  But Sarah's height and arm length will be her biggest advantages over Meg. 

Most of the new people returned on Wednesday, but I did notice that some were already missing.  Mary asked me to look out for a guy named Roman.  Roman had allegedly expressed disappointment about the gym.  It sounded like Roman was expecting a lot of one-on-one instruction, but it's a Chicago Park District gym.  The coaches do their best to get around to everybody, but they can't focus exclusively on one while forgetting the others in the room.  I think I remember the guy; he arrived with a woman on Monday maybe about ten or fifteen minutes after the gym opened. 

Alan had all the newcomers in the ring for group instruction like he always does at the beginning of each session.  Roman asked me if he and the woman should go into the ring.  I thought it was obvious that's what they should do since they saw and heard Alan giving instructions. Instead I said, "Yes, all the new people should if they've had no prior experience with boxing."  Later, I saw them hanging outside the gym door, watching everyone else, then I looked up again, and they had gone.  There have been many who've come through that gym, unsure of what to do.  But most of them would eventually ask others for help.  I don't think that happened in this case.

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