Monday, May 13, 2013

Refusing To Be Sidelined

Recognize the guy in the above picture?  It's Jack Palance who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in City Slickers (1991), a movie which also featured comedian Billy Crystal.  Did you know Palance had also been a professional boxer?  He fought under the name Jack Brazzo in the late 1930's.  His achievements in the ring included 15 victories and 12 knockouts.

I forgot the camera at home in my haste to hobble down to the gym.  Yeah, my left knee is still acting up.  It was fine when I woke up this morning.  Later in the day at work, I took a misstep as I went downstairs to check on cleaning supplies.  My knee went "Ping!" and I was back to being in pain again.  For a second, I thought to stay at home.  Alan told me that perhaps I should have.  "What am I going to do at home?" I said, typical of someone who's not a domestic type.

Vachel and Sarah were in attendance at the gym, but there was no way my knee was going to take all of the movement that sparring requires.  I shadow boxed, hit the heavy bags, and worked on the speed bag instead.

Amy sparred with Sarah.  She was pushing her sister back a lot with both fists.  Yet she did get in a few shots to Sarah's face.  Amy was turning away to avoid Sarah's punches; both Alan and I reminded her not to take her eyes off of her sister.

Vachel had the same problem I do whenever I spar with Sarah; trying to get around Sarah's long reach.   Vachel got frustrated. A few times during the action she just stopped and stood.  "What's wrong?" Alan asked the first time she stopped.  The both of us thought that perhaps Vachel had been hurt.  "I keep hitting air.  I hear you two telling me to get in close, but it's hard when she keeps hitting me in my 'effing face!" Vachel said.  Alan explained that she had to work her way in with jabs, then duck low and hand out body shots.  "I don't know how to do that," Vachel sighed.  She was concerned with coming in low with Sarah being able to still throw shots at her head.

Alan got into the ring briefly to show her what he meant.  Vachel was able to reach Sarah with some jabs, straight rights, and right hooks to the body after that.  However, she wasn't any less frustrated when their sparring session ended.  "I'm sorry for cursing.  But it was just so hard to get close to her!" she said.  I told Vachel how I always have to fight inside when Sarah and I spar.  I'm too short to do otherwise.  I explained to Vachel that while she may take some hits, she has to remember to keep her hands up going in.

Gabriel and Sebastian did some light sparring without headgear on.  Sebastian backed Gabriel up against the ropes.  For a minute, I thought Gabriel was going to flip backwards over the ropes and crash onto the floor. But his brother backed up a little, and Gabriel was able to slide out of the line of fire.  One of Sebastian's fingers was put out of joint during the last time he and Emmanuel sparred.  "It doesn't hurt, but my finger just feels numb.  It's going to be awhile before it gets better," he told me.

Doug was the only other person who showed up at the gym, making for a small crowd.

I wore a knee supporter to the gym.  It's still on as I type this.  If I thought it would fix my current knee issues, I'd wear the thing all night.  The pain killers I took before I went to the gym didn't do much help.  I had been drinking a honey and cinnamon concoction -- a recipe I got from Facebook -- for a few days.  It seemed to help for a minute, but then I was right back to being and feeling disabled.  As I put my sweatpants back on at the end of the evening, Alan observed, "Hillari, you can't even move your leg."  "I can barely bend my knee," I said.  Amy and Sarah noticed my limping around.  "This is just another part of getting old," I told them.  The constant problems with both knees, which seems to get worse as time goes by, is probably something I'm going to just have to live with for, well. . . .the rest of my life.

Another stab of pain happened as I was getting out of his car later.  The left side of that knee was hurting last week, now the right side is hurting.  I keep thinking there's fluid building up inside, too.  "Maybe you shouldn't come in on Wednesday," Alan said, looking very concerned.  "I hope there's not knee surgery in my future," I told Alan, but who knows?   I keep coming back to this: common sense would tell most to not go to the gym and to take a rest.  But I'm stubborn when it comes to being sidelined with injuries.  I just refuse to sit out.

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