Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Brandy Returns

Alan holds the bag for Brandy in this photo.  She returned to the gym, and is planning not only to spar again soon, but to participate in the upcoming Chicago Park District boxing tournaments that are coming up soon.  It was great to see her there again.  She can really punch.  I remember that time she nearly knocked me cold during a sparring session that took place right before she competed in the Golden Gloves a couple of years ago.

Amanda returned to the gym as well.  She hadn't been there for a few years.  If I remember correctly, Amanda has had some boxing experience before.

Two more new people arrived at the gym.  Andrew is the guy looking surprised in this photo.  He turned around just as I snapped the photo.

Diana was the other new person; her back is to the camera as she attacks the body snatcher bag.

I was the go-to girl in terms of sparring with the other women.  "I've got a lot of sparring partners for you," Alan said.  I started out with Vachel, who still squeals and screams during sparring.  I had my mouthpiece in while in the ring with her, but I spit it out after I had done a couple of rounds.  It's been awhile since I've sparred on a regular basis, so I have to get used to having it in my mouth again.  Afterwards, Vachel said, "Wow, six minutes in the ring is a long time for a woman to stay in the ring."  Professor smiled and said, "Some men can't last six minutes in the ring. . . .if you know what I mean."  Both Vachel and I laughed.

My next opponent was Stephanie.  Alan kept teasing her.  "I heard you have boxing experience," he said.  "No, I never said that," Stephanie smiled.  "Hillari, didn't you put in your blog that Stephanie had boxed before?" Alan asked.  "No, I wrote that she does know how to punch a little because she was raised around a lot of boys," I answered.  Stephanie does hit very well, and she kept her composure in the ring.  I had to keep reminding myself to keep my mouth closed and my hands up because I wasn't wearing a mouthpiece.  Don't do that at home, folks!  Remember, teeth that are broken or knocked out do not grow back.  

Sara and I sparred next, giving me a total of four rounds down.  Vachel was on the side of the gym cheering me on.  "She can fight when she wants to!  Go on, girl!" she said.  

Sara and Stephanie sparred next, but the session ended fast.  I turned around to see Stephanie sitting on the steps leading up to the ring.  "What happened?" I asked.  "Stephanie became nauseous," Alan said.  She was fine after a few moments.  "I was throwing punches back and all of a sudden, I just got nauseous.  I think my period is coming," she told Professor.  I was a little shocked to hear her say that.  Remember, I'm not as young as I look.  I'm a member of a generation of women who didn't talk about their periods in public, let alone to men.  But that could have been a possibility.  Also, being punched in the head could bring that nauseous feeling on.  

Professor worked with Sara on the punch mitts, and had both Sara and Keith doing burpees in the ring.  "Keith is a beast.  He really works," Professor told Alan later.  

Igor didn't come in again, and Igor's attendance has become erratic.  Igor shows up one day then doesn't show up the next, or disappears for whole weeks at a time.  Who knows what goes on there.  But it was peaceful in the gym without Igor's presence.  

Brandy mentioned that Vanessa, the woman she fought against in the Golden Gloves, is not boxing now because she's pregnant -- with her third child.  That means she had kids at home at the time she faced Brandy in what was the fight of the evening.  I was also surprised to learn that Vanessa is married, and her husband is a Muay Thai fighter.  

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