Wednesday, January 02, 2013

New Year, Fresh Sparring

Amy (seen in this photo working the speed bag) said, "I wasn't sure if anyone was going to be in tonight."  But the gym was open.  I thought Alan and I might be the only two that showed up, but in addition to Amy, Reygie and Andre were there.  A friend of Reygie's named Arnold also came in.

It's still the period Alan refers to as "no man's land", when the gym is in-between official sessions.  Since Arnold was there, and the winter session doesn't begin until next Monday, Alan asked if he wanted to spar with Reygie.  "No!  Hell no! Don't even ask! I just want to watch!" Arnold said.  The way he said it made all of us laugh.  Arnold had to laugh, too.  "I like that answer better than 'maybe', 'I don't know', and 'I'll think about it' ", Alan grinned.  Arnold does plan to sign up for the upcoming session.

As I watched Reygie use the ropes to gain some advantage over Andre as they sparred, I thought, "I wish I could use the ropes like that."  Kenny, who hasn't been in for awhile, is good at doing that, too.  I'm always trying to stay away from the ropes.  Once I get caught against them, it's hard for me to fight to get off of them and back into the center of the ring.  Reygie reached up and got some good shots to Andre's chin and jaws.

Andre (in the white shirt) threw a lot of flurries whenever he caught Reygie in a corner.  Alan kept telling Reygie to grab Andre in a clinch to slow that down.  They sparred twice during the evening for a total of four rounds. 

In-between their sparring, I stepped in with Andre.  Continuing my quest to use my left hand for more than just jabbing, I tried to get some hooks in to the side.  Andre covered up in a manner like Archie Moore.  It wasn't easy throwing the left hooks, not only because of that, but because I kept losing my balance.  Now I know the balance problem is mostly due to my rickety, arthritic knees.  I always feel like I'm trying to balance myself on toothpicks. I was very conscious about how I moved because a) I didn't want either knee to slip like they do from time to time and b) I didn't want to trip over my feet and fall.

Alan kept telling me to "dig, dig!" whenever I had Andre backed in a corner or against the ropes.  It's true that I wasn't hitting as hard as I could.  I was getting tired, and dropping my hands, especially during the third round.  But I did get Andre with a hook to the chin.  "Good one!" he said. 

Arnold (seen here with Alan) watched the sparring action with interest.  I heard him say that he didn't want to get in the ring, but he wanted to do the workout.  But that may change, depending on how comfortable he feels about it down the line.

I wore the high school alumni T-shirt I received when I attended my 30th year class reunion four years ago.  Recently, I went to the annual high school alumni holiday party that's been held for the past four years.  A lot of my former classmates know that I box, and they always ask me about it when I attend. 

A couple of my former high school classmates also attended grade school with me.  When I mentioned that I took a fall on the ice a few days ago, one of them said that I'm the only person they know who can take a fist to the face, but not a slap on the butt from falling.  That was funny to me, and true.

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