Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Day Before Thanksgiving. . .and Hanukkah

I learn something new every day.  Liam Neeson, an actor who appeared in such films as Darkman, Schindler's List, and Taken, began boxing lessons at age nine.  Neeson eventually became Ulster's amateur senior boxing champion.

I'm always watching old clips on YouTube of James Brown.  One of the clips was from "Soul Train", and Brown told host Don Cornelius something about having boxed in the past.  Sure enough, the "Hardest Working Man in Show Business", did have a brief boxing career.

In addition to Alan and myself, John and Igor came in.  That was it.  John played his iPod via the radio/CD/tape player in the back of the room.  Instead of Colonel's mix of 1950's, 60's, 70's, and early 80's tunes, we heard a mix of sports themes ("NBA on NBC"), TV themes ("The Streets of San Francisco") and classic and newer rap by Eric B. and Rakim, Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, Snoop, Lupe Fiasco, and others.  Alan usually says he doesn't listen to new music.  But he had John and I laughing when he said he did like Li'l Kim.  "My son had one of her CD's when he was younger, and I used to listen to it," Alan grinned.

Igor begged off sparring again with the same excuse that was always given to the previous coach: "Next week!"  No surprise there.  I really wanted to spar with Teacher John after he and Alan did a few rounds with the punch shield.  My mouthpiece was choking me again, so I took it out.  But I kept coughing.  Finally, I threw up in the spit bucket.  I had some spicy Jamaican beef patties for lunch; hadn't eaten those for months. I believe my stomach gave me a hint that is another food that needs to come off of my diet. Unfortunately, I had to take the gloves and headgear off.

John wished that Matthew had come in so he could get some sparring with him.  There's a park district fight in early December -- I think it's at Brooks Park -- and John wants to get a trophy that he can take with him to South Korea.  John will leave after that to go back and teach there for six months, and to reunite with his wife, who is currently teaching there now.  It'll be for bragging rights.  John trains at a gym overseas, and he'd like to put a trophy up alongside the other ones that are there.

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