Monday, March 10, 2014
It was like spring today, with temperatures in the 50s, and somewhat clear sidewalks. The melting snow and ice left a lot of puddles everywhere. But dodging water was way better than slipping and sliding all the way to the gym.
This photo is from last week at the Chicago Golden Gloves. From left to right is Arnold, me, Alan, and Andres. This was taken by Arnold's friend Jasmine right before Andres' fight.
This is a shot of the action between Andres and his opponent, Juan.
Here's another shot of the bout. . . Professor said that he noticed from the pictures that Cicero Stadium didn't look very crowded that night. "It wasn't, and that was the second night of the tournament. Usually, the event is packed," I told him. "That's probably because they moved it from the north side," Sam commented. "The crowd was small because it's too far for a lot of people to go," Professor said. I hadn't thought of it like that, but he was right. Despite the fact that a lot of people drove there, Cicero is a long way out for most, depending on how far away people are from there.
Andres sparred with Professor first. Alan told them to work. They were going at it. Professor slammed Andres with a good right, and Andres smiled and nodded.
Andres sparred with Ben second. Ben was bent over by one of Andres' body shots. "Was that a liver shot?" Ben inquired. "Yeah, man. . . .and that sh%t hurts," Professor answered.
Sam stepped into the ring with Andres next. Sam seemed a little worried about Andres' punches. Alan reminded Andres to go easy. Professor told Sam that if Andres had put full power on the punches, Sam would have been on the canvas.
Alicia and I were on the bags most of the time. She's still trying to get the hang of throwing hooks. I was doing a lot of uppercuts and hooks.
Colonel and Kenny came in, but they didn't stay long. Colonel just got out of the hospital recently, but health issues keep rolling on. Alan joked about both Colonel and I have problems with our legs. But the TENS unit that Alicia gave me last week is helping me somewhat. I noticed I was walking faster to the gym than I have been in a long time. As the weather eases into spring, I expect my leg will become better.
Thursday, March 06, 2014
The Chicago Golden Gloves are on, so I took a train ride out to Cicero Stadium. Andres was scheduled to have a super heavyweight match. His fight was number nine on the list, which was a little surprising to me. Usually, the heavyweight fights don't happen until further down the list. But Alan said, "No, they mix up the fights to keep things interesting." Another surprise was, even though it was the second night of the tournament, only thirteen fights had been scheduled for the evening. Normally, there are anywhere from twenty to twenty-five fights taking place in one evening.
The crowd wasn't very big, and people seemed to be subdued. I figured it was because of the hard winter we're still going through. It's March, but there are piles of snow everywhere, and the temperatures continue to be down in the basement.
Arnold and his friend Jasmine, a school teacher, was there. Andres had a friend with him, a guy whom I think he's brought to the gym before. The usual suspects were on hand -- Shifty, Gary, Yale, Alan R., George, Johnny, Rico, Metzger, Sam, Tina, Gentleman Gerald, etc., as well as former pro fighters like David Diaz. The guy who's always at the tournament telling people to "have a Corona!" wasn't there, but he'll probably appear at some point.
All of the fights moved along at a good clip. Several were stopped for various reasons. One guy took a rough shot to the body, fell down to the canvas, and stayed there for awhile. Another guy was taking too many hits that rocked his head backwards. Still another match was stopped because one guy kept getting backed up in the corners and not answering the punches thrown at him.
Andres' opponent was a hefty guy, but Andres hit first, and hit often. There was a minute or two where the guy caught Andres with some lefts and rights, but the punches Andres threw back were much harder. Both Alan and Arnold kept yelling for Andres to stay on the guy whenever Andres backed the guy up into the ropes or a corner. In the middle of the second round, it was clear that both Andres and his opponent were tired. But Andres kept coming like a bull. The referee stopped the fight because the other guy became overwhelmed, and Andres won. Andres next fight is two weeks from this Saturday.
I forgot my camera again, but Arnold and Jasmine took some pictures, as well as recorded a "post-fight interview" between myself and Andres. As soon as I get those, I will post them up here.
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
Here's our fearless leader Alan, in a photo taken a couple of days ago. No, he's not wiping away a tear because someone didn't keep their hands up again. I took the shot as he was shadow boxing.
"Where's your hair?" he asked me, grinning. "I got it cut," I smiled. After several months, I finally went to a barber. "You're getting rid of hair, and I'm trying to keep mine," Alan said.
Martin came in with another son of his named Danny. Turns out his older son changed his mind about taking up boxing, but Danny, a middle school student, seemed to be interested. He was watching closely as his dad sparred for two and a half rounds with Leo. Martin gave up in the middle of the third round. "Never stop in the middle of a round," Alan told him. Martin was going to put his gloves back on, but Alan said, "I'll let it go this time, but remember, always finish the round. People have to know their level of conditioning and work with it."
Leo looked surprised when Alan suggested that Leo and I spar for a few rounds. "It's okay. She's had five fights," Alan said. "Six", I corrected Alan. "Okay!" Leo said. Leo did not make it easy for me to land many punches, because he moved constantly. But I had success backing Leo up into the corners and into the ropes. I could have gone a third round, but at the end of the second round, I slipped and fell. Leo helped me up to my feet. "That's enough," Alan said.
Alan and Nate sparred for five full rounds. "I don't want to throw any bombs because I don't want to piss Alan off," Nate laughed. Alan delivered several uppercuts to Nate's middle section. Nate caught Alan with a few jabs. They tangled up a few times, and I had to call out for them to break. Just at the end of the fifth round, Alan connected with an overhand right. Josh, who had come in late while they were sparring, asked Alan, "Is that your signature punch?"
I saw Alicia yesterday; she didn't come to the gym the other day because she had a cold. She didn't come in the gym today, either, so I guess she was still taking it easy. But she did give me a TENS device so I can give some therapy to my left leg. The pain is centered in the back of my left leg up near my backside, and some days it spreads all the way down my shin. I wonder sometimes if a lot of that is due to the stress I've been under since last September. I wouldn't be surprised.