Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Justin arrived at the gym with his girl and his girl's friend again. The girls got to see quite a show. First, Justin was showing out on the heavy bag. Then, as seen in the photo above, he got in the ring with Jason. Again Justin was encouraging Jason to move around and throw punches. But Jason gave up after one round.
Then Justin had a sparring session with Alan. Justin was doing double and triple jabs. Alan got caught with something and nearly fell. Justin took some hits, and narrowly avoided some other hits that might have did some major damage. He had nothing but praise for Alan afterwards. "Alan hits very good for an old man," Justin said. Alan grinned.
Melinda and I sparred, and she's very good at defense. I could barely get any punches in. I ended up slipping and falling a couple of times. My left knee just decided to go out. Alan told me that I could barely walk, but I was sparring -- why? "By sheer determination," I answered after I got up off the canvas.
Rachel and Melinda sparred last, and it took awhile to get started. Rachel had on bag gloves at first, and those had to be changed. The next pair of gloves were frayed on the inside, so she couldn't get her hand all the way inside one of them. Nick offered to lend her his pair, but they were sweaty on the inside. "No, I don't want to do wet gloves," Rachel said. I've gotten so used to sticking my hands inside sweaty sparring gloves that it doesn't phase me anymore. I have hand gel in my locker, and I wash my hands when I get home. But Rachel wasn't having it. Finally, we found a pair of gloves, and the sparring session went on.
Earlier in the day, I went to check out Bridgeport Boxing Club, a new spot not far from where the White Sox play. My intent was to see if I could sell them something -- I was working in the field, after all -- but I also wanted to see the gym. It's a new place, down the street from where Sam's old gym was located before it moved. Rita is the mom of the manager, and her son-in-law owns the place and coaches. We had a good conversation. I told her I learned about the place from "Fearless" Fernando, a former professional boxer who now is a trainer and works there. I'll have to come back there, buy a day pass, and do a workout sometime.
Monday, July 28, 2014
It's supposed to be summer, however, the sun was out, but the heat wasn't up. I was going to turn on the fan in the gym, but the extra ventilation wasn't really needed.
Plenty of sparring action went on, with Justin, John, Nick, Melinda, Jesus, Jason, and Geniece as the participants.
Jason and Jesus's session ended quickly after Jason said "I'm having trouble breathing." Alan told Jason he had to pace himself.
Justin and Keith were both aggressive during their sparring session. Justin was pleased. He said during the session, "That's what I'm talking about! Finally!"
Melinda and Geniece went at it. Melinda was a little hesitant in throwing her punches fully out. Her and Geniece were hitting each other at the same time with jabs.
Later, John worked the punch mitts with Justin. The two girls standing on the apron of the gym? One was Justin's girlfriend. I wasn't sure who the other girl was; perhaps a friend of Justin's girl.
John called me out -- for sparring, that is -- the next time we're in the gym. The next time, I'll be able to use my new mouthpiece.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
In the hallway outside the gym lay the "Roger" bag, battered and bashed up. The photo above is of the heavy bag that was hung to replace it. I'm guessing the bag was hung up sometime on Tuesday when the kids were using the gym. Because I rather not be reminded of the odious person I named the previous bag after, the new bag will remain nameless.
In this shot, Kenny and Nick stand on the apron of the ring watching Colonel and Ken sparring. Colonel's doctor said he could step up his exercise routine, but to be careful. Colonel thought he was being knocked around a lot by Ken, but he did good.
Nick sparred with Ken, but I have no photos because I was taping on Nick's cell phone. Nick wanted to get an idea of what he needs to work on. I wish I had a video camera because I would tape everyone's sparring sessions so people could review them. It would be a great help.
Alan and Octavio sparred; it was Octavio's first time sparring. Alan went easy on him, but not too easy. Octavio wasn't throwing his punches out all the way, but after prompting from Alan, Octavio eventually did so.
I would have sparred, but neither Diana, Renee, or Rachel wanted to get into the ring. Truth be told, I probably had no business thinking about sparring. . . .my knees continue to bother me. I was pounding the pavement earlier looking for clients (I'm in sales), and my knees and feet don't seem to be able to take all the walking and standing anymore. That's really a concern, because I love to walk.
Josh came in with his two oldest children, a boy and a girl. I mock shadow boxed with the boy. Josh's daughter seemed to want to be somewhere else. She doesn't seem to have the enthusiasm for the sport like her brothers have. But just like last time, she asked very intelligent questions about boxing and the gym in general.
Monday, July 21, 2014
Colonel grumbled, "I thought I had Lyme's Disease because I was somewhere where there were a lot of ticks. But it's not that. I just hurt all over." I felt the same way. I must be used to chronic pain, because I feel some sort of pain every day. My knees are very stiff and sore, my right shoulder hurts, the right side of my neck hurts. . . .it never seems to stop.
Alan convinced Joseph to spar with Keith. "That was quite the workout," Joseph grinned afterwards.
Keith also sparred with Ken. I think they only did two rounds. I saw Ken wave his hands when Alan asked if he wanted to do another round.
Alan put Geniece in with Jesus, and they did not hold back much on each other.
Ugh. I really need to take some aspirin and lay down. . . .
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
One of the nice things about having work flexibility is the ability to have some free time once in awhile during the day. Between doing paperwork at the office and having to call on prospective clients, I had time to attend the boxing show at the Daley Plaza. Unfortunately, Geniece and Nayhomee were not able to get fights. All of the fights featured youths who were from mostly from Ada Park, Garfield Park, Taylor Park, and Scottsdale Park. The best fight was between an eight year old and a nine year old. The eight year old was the shorter fighter, but he had great form. I complimented him after he won.
After the fight, I got some lunch. There was an empty seat next to me, and a woman named Becky asked if she could sit there and have her lunch. We started talking, and she told me that hadn't been into the recent World Cup soccer games. We both had played soccer briefly when we were younger. I mentioned that I boxed, and Becky said, "Wow! You're the first female boxer that I've met!" We had a pleasant conversation, and before she left, she told me to be careful. I had told her about the concussion I once received when I was knocked out a few years ago.
There was a good number of people in the gym, so I decided to do something different in terms of taking pictures. I got shots of everyone except for Josh, who came in later with his twin sons, and Melinda, who also came in later.
Colonel shadow boxes in the ring.
Geniece works the "Roger" bag.
Hendy puts on a pair of bag gloves.
John plays around for the camera.
Joseph works the body snatcher bag.
Ken wraps his hands.
Nayhomee wraps her hands as she sits in the tire.
Nick pounds the bag.
Rachel takes a break to check her phone.
I shadowboxed most of the time, and got in two rounds on the "Roger" bag near the end of gym time. I was really hitting that bag fast and hard, probably because I hadn't hit any of the bags in the gym in awhile. It would be great if that speed and force would translate to when I'm sparring or in bouts.
Monday, July 14, 2014
Alan talks to John, Nick, and Ken in this photo. John and Nick were suited up to spar. John asked why I hadn't been sparring lately. He thought I had been injured. I explained that I'm usually seeing potential clients the following day. I don't want to scare them by showing up with bruises and cuts.
Jesus and John sparred. I didn't see much of their action, but what I did see was a bit intense. The session tired John out.
During Ken and Nick's sparring session, Nick was really game to work. In this shot, Ken got a right in on Nick. Nick clapped his gloves together in a motion that said, "let's go!" and they continued on.
Joseph was a new guy who showed up at the gym. He's the second Englishman who has been in the gym (the last person was Owen). Joseph told me he's been playing soccer since he was very small. "Did you watch any of the World Cup games?" he asked. I did catch bits and pieces of several games, but I didn't see the final one which Germany won. Alan thought Joseph had good form, and he was surprised to learn that Joseph hadn't had any previous boxing training.
Marcus (on the left) returned to the gym. The past winter kept Marcus away and inside. I couldn't blame him. I wanted to hibernate, too, and for most of the season, I did.
Melinda and Geniece repeated the sparring session they had last week. Alan tried to match Geniece up with Meg for a boxing show at the Daley Center later this week. However, Bill at Hamlin Park later told Alan that Geniece outweighed Meg. There's still a possibility that Nayhomee could get a match, however.
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
Jason plays around for the camera in this shot.
Geniece and Melinda sparred, and both of them hit hard. Several times, they threw jabs at each other that landed simultaneously. Their heads were being popped back, and I winched. That sparring session was a bit of a war for three rounds. Melinda was exhausted afterwards, but she lasted.
I sparred with Geniece next. I was backed into the ropes many times, and once, my glove got wrapped up in the ropes. Twice I was knocked down; the second time I thought I was going to do a full split as I tried to stop myself from hitting the canvas. Then Geniece caught me in my left side with a bruising right hook. She's definitely a pressure fighter.
Alan asked both Geniece and Melinda if they wanted to fight in a bout that taking place at the Daley Plaza next week. Melinda wasn't sure, but Geniece is interested. Boxing at Daley Plaza has been done before. This year, I'd like to see it in person.
Nick wanted to get a little revenge on Alan. The last time they sparred, Nick ended up with a black eye. But they didn't get a chance to spar this time around. In the photo, Alan shows Nick how to block punches.
Now my lower back is hurting. Sigh. . .Colonel said what he always says, "getting old sucks". I was tempted to agree with him. It's not so much that I mind growing old. I'm sure I'm one of few women who actually appreciates having gray hair. What bothers me is not being able to do some things like I used to and not recovering quickly anymore from injuries. I'm sure that body shot from Geniece is really going to bother me during work tomorrow.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
Alan and John watch the sparring in this photo. Alan was no longer wearing the bandage that was on his right knee last week. He showed John and I the two scars where the doctors went in to scope out his knee. Very small scars; it is amazing what medical technology can do.
A bit of of scare happened while Jason was sparring with Jesus. Suddenly, Jason fell to the canvas, groaning in pain. Alan and I were baffled. We didn't see the punch that caused Jason to fall. Jesus didn't hurt him, but when Jason threw a right hook, his shoulder became dislocated. The bone popped back in, however. Jason explained that his shoulder had done that in the past. "The right one? Man, I know how that feels," John said, explaining about a similar injury.
Colonel kept telling Jason to keep his hands up while he was in the ring. In this photo, he shows Jason what he was talking about. "Jason, are you Muhammad Ali that your hands keep down here? Your hands have to stay up!" Colonel said.
Jesus also got in the ring with Ken.
My lower back, both of my hips, and my knees had been bothering me all day. I didn't want to make my condition worse, so I declined to spar. I didn't use any of the equipment, either, opting to split my time between shadow boxing and assisting during the sparring sessions.
Diana sparred with Geniece. She learned how tough Geniece is. Diana got some punches in, but Geniece kept moving forward, and threw some heavier punches. Geniece really has a good ring presence.
Geniece also sparred with Liz. Liz became tired fast, and only did one round. "I think she took it easy on me!" Liz said afterwards.
I went by a couple of gyms over the past few days. Box Evanston looks like a small space. It was closed when I passed by, but I could see through the window that it has a few heavy bags and double end bags up. Body Shot Boxing Club is on the west side in a spot populated by old warehouses and factories. The gym itself looks clean and bright on the inside.
I learned that Dominick, who's a partner in Oakley Boxing Club (formerly JABB Boxing Gym) is now in Los Angeles, promoting fights. Two other guys -- Lalo and Carlos -- are involved in the day to day operations. I noticed the ring has been moved back into corner, leaving an extra space where they can perhaps put another small ring in. Otherwise, Oakley, where I hadn't been to in a couple of years, is basically the same. I like getting a workout in from time to time in other gyms, but hopefully, I'll make some extra funds soon to do that.
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
Justin's uncle and cousins came by looking for him, hoping to catch him in action. But Justin didn't come in until about 20 minutes to closing time. Justin got in some punching time on the "Roger" bag, however. It was too late to spar, so he didn't have another opportunity to get in the ring with Jason.
Jason sparred with Ken instead. Jason was not turning away as much, but there was a lot of stopping in the middle of the action. "Can't stop in the middle of a round. Keep going," Alan ordered. Jason didn't take as many hard hits, and Ken wasn't hit hard enough to cause bleeding. Later Jason said, "I think I'll spar every week."
Nick was fired up and ready to go when he got into the ring with Alan. Nick dropped his hands from time to time, and got caught up against the ropes and in the corners, but he did well. I was surprised that Alan sparred, considering a medical procedure was done on his right knee last week.
Nayhomee sparred with Diana, and Diana had the most determined look on her face as she threw punches. Nayhomee was reaching up a lot to get head shots in.
I was finding myself backed up in corners a lot whenever Melanie threw a succession of heavy hits. She's been out of the gym for awhile, but she hasn't forgotten how to block incoming punches, nor how to answer them. One series of punches ended with me sitting down on the ropes. "Hillari can't even walk, and she's boxing," Alan said as he helped me stand up. I lasted two rounds, and I was done.
The Fourth of July holiday weekend looms. Since I'm basically an independent business owner (even though I work with a company), I always have preparations to do, and some of them will be done over the weekend. Tomorrow I have to see prospective clients, and that often feels like stepping into the ring for a prize fight.