Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Taking Turns With Leina and Vachel

 Emmanuel (on the left in the gray shirt) and Arnold have a conversation in the above photo.  Arnold wondered where all the regulars were.  Most of the new people weren't in the gym, either.  But enough were there to do round robins of sparring.

St. Louis was the go-to guy as he got in the ring with Nathaniel and later with Arnold (shown above).  Arnold hadn't been in the gym for awhile.  "I'm out of shape!" Arnold kept saying.  Like so many people from time to time, Arnold had been busy with things that kept him away from the place.  Arnold owns a preschool.  He just brought a new building for expansion purposes, and he's been busy getting that place ready.

St. Louis and Nathaniel go at it, in a shot I got of them as I leaned through the bottom ropes of the ring.

Alan had to remind St. Louis to take it easy a couple of times.  I think St. Louis is used to banging in the ring.

"Stop with the sound effects!" Alan told Vachel while she squealed as she sparred with Leina (finally got her name right).  Leina kept good form as usual, even as Vachel was rushing her and backing her up.  I learned that Leina is an architect who designs schools.

I noticed that Leina was pawing at Vachel sometimes with her left jab.  Vachel would let her hands go wildly at times.   Both weren't bad at slipping and ducking some punches.

Vachel always sees the hooks I throw from miles away.  I tagged her once with a right, and I think that was the first time I was able to get in sort of a hook on her.  Her headgear flew off, but that wasn't because of me; it wasn't fastened tight enough.  But she made sure I wasn't going to get another hook in again.  In the photo here of Leina and myself (I appreciated Arnold taking the photos), it looks as if it was one of the times I caught her with a right hook.  

I was daydreaming for a minute while Vachel and I were in the ring, and she clocked me with a right hook.  Leina has some solid hits, so there was no time for me to be unfocused. I tagged her with some jabs, rights, and a few more hooks, but I didn't think I was putting that much pepper on them.  But Leina stopped several times to take a breather.

Amazingly, I made it to the gym that night.  That morning, stomach cramps woke me up. "I thought I didn't have to deal with this monthly cycle stuff anymore," I thought to myself.  Luckily, it wasn't that, but let's just say I had to sit in the bathroom for awhile.  When there was no relief after a half-hour or so, I called Pastor to let him know that today was not going to be my day.  Sometime after noon, I began to feel a little better, but it was a few more hours before my digestive system completely calmed down.  

Emmanuel asked if I had seen Keith.  "I haven't seen him for a long, long, time," I answered.  The last I knew, Keith was still living in Evanston.  "Keith was the last guy I lost a fight against.  I always wanted a rematch.  Alan put me in with Keith knowing that Keith was 205 pounds to my 178!"  Emmanuel said.  "Come on, the Park District would not have allowed that match to go on if they knew there was that much of a weight difference," Alan protested.  "When we weighed in, Keith told me what his real weight was.  After we got into the ring, I found out that Keith was a southpaw.  Jay kept telling me to step to my right, and it finally clicked, so I was stepping on Keith's foot and getting those punches in.  Just as I was getting into my groove, the fight was over," Emmanuel explained.  "Those Park District fights are only one-minute rounds.  That's why you've got put it all in," Alan said.

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