Thursday, May 16, 2013

Alan Spars Again

This picture is of Kevin's headgear.  Kevin hasn't been to the gym since around Christmas of 2011.  One of the last times I saw him, he asked me to keep this headgear in my locker, so I did.

Alan came in late.  The only other people around outside of the coach and I were Gabriel, Andres, Eric and Jackie (friends of Andres), and Igor.  Eric came in to specifically spar with Andres.  They had a rough sparring match, with both men (who are both heavyweights) taking rocking hits in their faces.  Eric said he hadn't sparred for a long, long time.  A few times, Eric had to stop to take deep breaths.  Jackie recorded the sparring.  I thought I had captured a few pictures of them with my camera, but I kept getting a "memory full" message.  Later, I would learn that there were some older pictures from February of this year that were still on the camera.

"I'll spar with you if you let me wear that headgear," Alan said, referring to the headgear in the photo above.  At first, I thought the coach was joking, but then I saw him pull a mouthpiece out of his bag.  Alan hadn't sparred in nearly a year, having told everyone that he was going to cool it because of an injury to his left eye that happened the last few times he sparred.  Before I could question if he was sure he wanted to spar, we were already in the ring.

The headgear did a good job of protecting his face and eyes.  I aimed punches there a few times during our four-round sparring session, and my gloves slid over the grill.  After being popped a few times, especially when my hands were down, I quickly remembered Alan's way of moving in the ring.  I was hitting air again, throwing punches when either a) Alan was not close enough to make an impact, and b) after Alan had already moved out of range.  I got backed up in the corners, but I would throw shots to the body, and try a few uppercuts.  I even grabbed his arm to hold him so I could deliver hooks to Alan's side with my other hand.  Yes, doing that move is illegal, and if a referee was there, I would have been warned about it.

Backing up into a corner again, I tripped over my own feet and fell.  By that time, Mannan (Mohammad) and Gabriel had stopped to watch what was going on.  "Are you okay?"  Mannan asked.  "Oh, yeah, I'm okay," I answered, as Alan helped me to my feet.  My left knee was much better today, but that fall set off another "ping!"  Fortunately, it subsided.  That time when we got into a clinch, I really let go with throwing hooks and uppercuts on the inside.  But Alan's longer reach and better experience still did me in.  A pop to my mouth rattled me, a pop to my mid-section shook me, and a hook to my right side caused me to stop and bend over.

Afterwards, Alan once again stated that he believes I hit him harder than I do anyone else with whom I spar. Mannan piped up with, "Hillari hits as hard as some dudes," echoing when Kenny told me some time ago that I hit hard for a female.  Alan wasn't crazy about some limited vision issues that the headgear creates, but overall, he thought the gear was okay.  "Thinking about sparring again, or was that just a one-time deal?" I asked.  "I'll talk to my eye doctor and show them that headgear, but I'll try it.  I'll start by sparring with people I'm heavier than" -- meaning myself and Sarah -- "before moving up to the guys again," Alan said.  "You're not going to tell Riva that you got me with that hook to the body. . . .she'll curse you out, Alan," I smiled.  "I'll tell her," Alan smiled.

Hmm. . ."Hogan's Heroes" is on the TV.  My father and I used to watch that show together when I was a toddler.  It also means that it's past 3:00 AM, and I need to spar with insomnia so I can go to sleep.

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