Thursday, May 23, 2013

"I Don't Want You To Box Today"

 In this photo, Kenny (on the left) gives some boxing tips to Marcus.  Kenny told me how he bragged to people about an overhand punch I gave to Katie, a Golden Gloves winner, when she and I sparred a few weeks ago.  "Hillari, you really delivered that b&*$% to her!  Didn't you hear the people at ringside going 'Damn'?" he said.  He went on to tell me that the more I practice that punch, the easier it will be to throw it.  But getting the punch in is the hard part.

My left knee was wrapped up in a knee supporter again.  I don't know exactly what's going on with it.  It feels good for awhile, then "ping!" there it goes again.  Alan saw me as I was walking up to the field house.  He had just parked his car.  "How's your knee?" he asked, and I replied that my knee goes in and out.  Colonel and Sarah noticed how much I was limping on it, and they commented about it.  "Get some Epson salt, hop in the tub, and soak it until the skin is wrinkly," Colonel suggested.

Dante, the kid in this photo, hopped into the gym, wanting to talk to Alan.  Dante explained that he has been boxing since he was seven years old.  When he told Alan, "I boxed at Clarendon for four years," the coach was skeptical.  Clarendon Park's boxing program has been closed since 2008; that's when Alan took over as coach at Loyola Park.  "Some friends and I box on the outside of the field house in the park," Dante explained.  Alan gave Dante, who is 14 years old, the opportunity to move around in the ring with Kenny.  The coach couldn't resist it, especially after Dante declared that he boxes like "Money" as in Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Dante moved around a lot while sparring with Kenny.  Kenny was able to get in a lot of direct hits simply by timing Dante's movements.  But Dante wasn't bad; he had energy for days.  Colonel, Alan, and Kenny all encouraged Dante to start coming to the gym on the days when Barry is coaching.  Colonel and Alan also advised Dante to cool it with the bragging about skills.  "See, when guys hear that out of someone, they want to test a person," Alan said.

I was prepared to spar even though my knee was still wobbly.  But Alan had another idea.  "I don't want you to box today.  Stay off of that knee," he said.  Kenny wanted to spar with me; we were going to only use our left hands, working jabs, hooks, and uppercuts.  I figured, oh, I can do that, it won't be too much stress on my knee.  I told Kenny I was fine, but Colonel and Alan both chimed in and said, "No, she's lying!"  "Church lady, you're not supposed to be twisting the truth!" Colonel laughed.  So that was the end of that.
Sometimes, hard-headed people like me just have to be told to take a seat somewhere.

Using Kevin's old headgear, Alan decided to spar with Sarah.  They started off easy at first, but it wasn't long before the sparring turned into a mini-war.  Alan would catch Sarah with a jab to the face, she'd come back swinging hooks at him.  Alan would pop her with a few uppercuts, she pepper him with jabs and right crosses.  They kept getting tangled up, and Kenny and I would alternate on calling out, "Break!"  Every time Alan would get in a direct hit on Sarah, I was exclaiming, "Ooh!  Ooh!" like Joe E. Ross on the old TV show, "Car 54, Where Are You?"

Sarah didn't back down from Alan.  She kept coming forward and throwing punches the entire time.  The both of them were pretty much spent after three rounds.

Memorial Day is Monday, and I have to make a decision about whether or not to continue cooking.  Usually, the oven does not go on from that day until early October.  But since I don't eat out very often these days, I might have to change that rule.  It is an opportunity to eat healthier during the warm weather season, however, so I can just switch to lighter fare like salads, for example.  However, I don't make my own salads very well.  Some people will shake their heads and think, "But, Hillari, that's an easy meal that few can mess up."  But believe me, anything involving food and recipes, I can easily mess up.  I'll probably be buying a lot of pre-made salads from the grocery stores to be on the safe side.


Terrye Toombs said...

You are a lot braver than me! I'm allergic to pain. :)

Paula Jones said...

I'd love to box.