Thursday, June 27, 2013

And The Headgear Went Flying

Earlier in the day, I thought to myself that I wouldn't be surprised if Igor showed up at the gym.  Sure enough, Igor came in with a receipt in hand proving he signed up for the session.  John was really working the tear drop bag, even between rounds.  Igor was standing behind John, staring at him.  John didn't notice how close Igor was.  I wondered why Igor was so interested in John's activity.

Luckily, there were paper towels in the gym.  Gabriel sparred with Matthew.  Matthew was knocked to the canvas once.  The second time Matthew took a rough hit, he stopped sparring with thirty seconds to go.  Matthew's nose and mouth were bloody.  "Was I going too hard?" Gabriel asked me.  "A little," I answered.

Tony and John sparred, and Tony kept turning his head away from John.  Alan figured Tony must have taken a good punch the last time he sparred and became gun shy.  "I've never seen him turn his head away like that before," the coach said.

Alan was doing his usual moves, especially with constantly moving his hands.  However, Gabriel just waited on him, and planned what punches to throw back.  Alan backed Gabriel in the corners a few times, but Gabriel kept his cool.  A few times, he spun out to avoid Alan's onslaught.

I had another rough sparring session with Alan.  The coach always has troubles with the hockey mask-like headgear.   Near the end of the first round, I hit Alan with a couple of right hooks, and the headgear flew off.  Alan got right back into action, with his guard up, telling me to keep going.  I didn't want to hit him without the headgear, because truthfully, Alan shouldn't be sparring without the type that he had on.  Fortunately, we only kept fighting for a few seconds before the bell rang,  Alan put the headgear back on for the second round, and banged me up with a series of punches that left me against the ropes.  The coach got me in a clinch, and said, "Breathe."  I was okay, but I was overwhelmed there for a few moments.

In the above photo, Tenzin and Yadria work on the red heavy bag.  Franco is the guy to the left, and John is on the right.

I commented that several people were missing.  "It's only the second week of the session, and people are already out," Alan said.  Colonel came by briefly to show off the gorgeous new custom-made BMW he brought.  Kenny's still working on his book, so he didn't come in.

Gabriel and Franco asked me about the upcoming Chicago Park District boxing shows.  "Will I get my a#% kicked?" Gabriel laughed. I explained how fighters just have to show up an hour before the shows start in order to try and get matched up for a fight.  I assured him that there are usually plenty of guys who show up to Hamlin's boxing show who are tall and lanky like Gabriel is.  Both Franco and Gabriel were concerned about the fighters at Hamlin because they heard about the reputation they have.  I told them that Garfield Park has some good fighters, too.  "Hamlin is a pro/amateur gym; lots of pros hang out there," Alan told them.

"I don't want to have a fight stopped on me.  That situation would be embarrassing," Gabriel said.  "I know.  I've had a few fights stopped on me," I said.  "I'm sorry to hear that," Gabriel said.

The problems with my knees keeps me wondering if I will be able to take a fight.  In addition to feeling a little nauseous and out of sorts at work earlier in the day, both of my knees did not want to cooperate while I was walking.  My knees usually hurt every day.  Maybe I'd better stock up on Epsom salt and use it a lot.

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