Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Rinsing Off Blood
This is supposed to be the summer season, but today was overcast and foggy. I was chilly because I wore no jacket, and I spent most of the day in a training class held in a heavily air-conditioned room. When I went to the gym later, I put on a heavy hoodie to keep warm.
Frank returned to the gym, having signed up, and he was ready to work. He was talking about buying a mouthpiece when I remembered there was an extra one in my locker. Alan had given it to me to hold on to just in case someone needed one. Frank wanted to buy it, but I asked Alan if it was okay to give it to him. Alan said ok; the coach had forgotten that he had asked me to lock it up for safekeeping. Just then, Jason rolled up, asking if I had another one. I had also forgotten that Jason had asked if an extra mouthpiece was around about a week ago. I had sent Jason to ask John if he had any extra, since the latter had given Rachel a mouthpiece. Jason looked disappointed when he learned I didn't have any more of them.
Justin fights wild. Justin was in the ring with Brian. Brian got caught up against the ropes and Justin clocked Brian with several hard uppercuts. Alan stopped the action a few times in order to slow Justin's momentum.
Brian hung in there, but when Justin would let loose with flurries of punches, Brian couldn't answer easily. I heard Brian tell a friend of his whom he brought to the gym, "I couldn't figure out how to get around some of those punches!"
I sparred with Rachel for a couple of rounds. Alan kept telling her to keep her hands up. "I thought I was," she said. I explained that she always has to protect her face. Alan said to her, "Keep the hands up by the cheekbones." "But how do you do that?" Rachel asked. "It takes practice to keep the hands up for the whole round," I replied. I went light because Rachel is still getting used to throwing punches.
Diana, whom I sparred with next, threw punches a little harder than she usually does. One of those punches got me in the mouth and rocked my teeth a little bit. Thank goodness I wore my mouthpiece instead of putting it my pocket. I put a little power on the punches I threw back, getting Diana in her face and head several times. We did three rounds.
Alan stepped out of the gym for a moment, so I watched as Ken sparred with Jesus. Both Justin and I noticed that Ken was batting at Jesus with his right hand (Ken was fighting southpaw). We told Ken to straighten out his punch. Ken kept ducking down to get punches in, even though he was the taller man.
When Alan returned, he gave more pointers to Ken. But Ken kept dropping his hands, and Jesus noticed that and stepped up. At the end of the sparring session, I noticed blood dripping from Ken's gloves. A look at his face confirmed that Ken's nose was bleeding. There was no tissue in the gym, so Ken rushed down to the men's washroom. I grabbed the water bottle and rinsed the blood off of the gloves and the headgear. Ken was fine; the bleeding stopped quickly.
A couple of guys, Dan and Dave, peered into the gym to see what was going on. I talked to them about the gym for a few minutes. They might have been new to the neighborhood because Dave said, "We were curious about what goes on in the community center." Both look interested, so they may return at another time. I told them that Alan doesn't mind people looking around to check things out.
Alan called out the last round, and I was going to shadow box, but I stretched out instead. I've been real stiff lately, so I need to stretch all the time. I was standing up and stretching during breaks at work earlier because I had been sitting for so long. The older I get, the more I need to stretch it seems.
I didn't get a full picture of this, but this is a cool gift that Kenny made for Alan's b-day. It's a picture in a frame. A pair of boxing gloves is in the picture. Colonel stopped in for a moment to deliver it. I believe this quote is from Joyce Carol Oates' book called On Boxing.