Thursday, December 05, 2013
Portage Park field house recently re-opened their boxing program, and tonight was their boxing show. Alan picked Teacher John and I up from Loyola Park's field house. We took a roundabout way to get there to avoid rush hour traffic.
There had been a fight set up for John. We got there around ten minutes after six, and John weighed in. After about fifteen to twenty minutes passed by, John and Alan learned that the guy John was supposed to fight called in sick. John was really disappointed. He wanted to be able to take a trophy with him back to South Korea. Unfortunately, stuff like that happens all the time at boxing shows. People think they've got a sure thing and then the deal is off.
We did get to see how Portage Park's boxing gym had been remodeled. Kenny and Colonel really wanted to see it because they used to train guys there a long time ago. John was impressed that they had a glove rack where the gloves (which were all new, by the way) could dry in-between uses. The ring is on the floor, like the one at Loyola Park, but there's a lot more room.
The field house has more heavy bags to work with, and two speed bags. The rest of us were commenting on how good everything looked, but Alan wasn't impressed. "It's cleaner," I told him. "Yeah, but when people walk into our gym, it looks and smells like a real gym," Alan said. I've heard people say before that a lot of newer gyms are just too sterile, and not gritty enough for their tastes. I can see their point. But there's something impressive about having a new space and new equipment.
John is going back to South Korea tonight to return to work; he teaches math and science in an international academy there. We'll see him again in July, right in the beginning of next year's park district boxing show season. "I'm going to be ready for Loyola's boxing show next year," he said. John, Kenny, and Colonel and I also talked about participating in the Ringside boxing tournament next year as well.
We didn't stick around to watch the fights. Alan had to go to a company holiday party, John had to finish packing, and the rest of us just went home. There are a couple more boxing shows left: Brooks Park next week, and Scottsdale Park in February. Too late for me to get geared up for anything this year, so I'll try again in 2014.
Alan and Kenny watch as Teacher John and Gabriel spar. John needed to get the extra practice in because Alan got him a fight tomorrow at Portage Park.
Gabriel brought his father with him to the gym. His father watched the sparring with interest.
Gabriel also sparred with Kenny. Kenny used his quickness to get around Gabe's arms.
I wasn't so lucky when I sparred with Gabe. He let me get a lot of side hooks and body shots in, but I couldn't do anything when those long arms came back at me. I couldn't catch him easily, either. It's the long legs. Gabe is about the only person in the gym who can step over the ropes when he comes out of the ring. Tonight, he was jumping over the ropes with ease. After our rounds, Gabe told me that I had good cardio. "Even better than me!" he said. I was gassed out afterwards. But if Gabe thinks I have good wind, I should work harder outside of the gym to improve it even more.
Matthew came in to workout, but I'm not sure if he's fighting tomorrow or not.
A look at the date and time on my computer indicates that it is now December 5th. . . .today would have been my mother's 81st birthday. I always knew she'd outlive Dad, but I also thought she'd live well into her 80s. When I saw Gabe's dad, I wondered if either one of my parents would have ever visited the gym. Most likely Dad would not have, and used an "I'm too busy excuse", as usual when one of the kids asked him to do something. But Ma might have out of curiosity. However, she probably would have been scandalized to see me sparring with guys.
I held the black heavy bag for Alan while he punched it. I really had to use my low center of gravity to hold on the bag and keep it steady. Alan was really hitting it. "Watch your head," he warned me. Afterwards, he grinned, "Not bad for an old white guy, huh?"
Monday, December 02, 2013
When Alan got to the gym, I was the only one waiting outside the gym door. "Just you, eh?" he said. Not long afterwards, Kenny and John walked in, followed by Colonel, Keith, Gabriel and Andre Two. Andre Two spoke to everybody, but he didn't stay long.
In this photo, Gabriel watches as Keith tries to jam up John in the corner. Keith and John had a lively sparring session. John had said something about feeling tired, but afterwards, Alan noted that Keith was well-rested.
Kenny had to get a piece of Keith next. I kept an eye on Keith to see how he could handle Kenny's quickness. Kenny was backed into a corner, but only for a moment. Colonel told Keith, "Don't let him get out of the corner," but as soon as he said it, Kenny slipped away from Keith's punches.
Teacher John and I sparred, and in this photo, it looks like I was trying to get a hook in to his mid-section. Kenny had told me at the end of the first round to not go for the overhand rights and jabs, because John was too tall. But John did not make it easy for me to get in hooks, because John covers up like a turtle.
Alan was hitting one of the heavy bags later. Colonel and I were by the lockers talking. Colonel noticed Alan and told me, "Ask Alan if he's trying to be one of the brothers!" Alan's shorts had slipped down some, and his underwear was showing a little. I caught sight of a tattoo. The coach had told me he had a tattoo a few years ago. "I'm not gonna show you where it is," he grinned. Now I know why. "Alan, are you trying to be a brother?" I asked, and both Colonel and I cracked up laughing. Alan had to laugh, too. "I'm going to have to face the bag in the other direction!" he grinned.
I finally remembered to take a picture of the poster for J.J.'s fight, which will take place this Friday. Someone -- it may have been Alan -- told me that if J.J. keeps his undefeated record going, he just may be up for a state title shot soon. I hope so.
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Here are various comments and questions that I get most of the time:
2. Doesn't it hurt to get punched?
3. Hillari, can't you find something else to do? (my late mother asked me that several years ago)
4. I just don't have that kind of anger (aggression, toughness, etc.) to throw punches at another person.
5. Hillari. . .you could get hurt!
6. Hillari, you need to stop that.
7. Hillari, be a lady!
8. Ooh, I'd better not mess with you!
9. Women shouldn't box! (usually said by males over the age of twelve)
10, When is the boxing season over? (then I have to explain it's not like football, baseball, etc.)
11. When is your next fight?
12. And. . . .how OLD are you?
13. Do you spar with guys? (followed by a gasp when I answer affirmatively)
14. How many women are in the gym?
15. Girls don't box! (usually said by males who are under the age of twelve)
16. Hillari, have you been knocked out? (followed by looks of horror when I answer yes)
17. What made you interested in boxing?
18. Work the jab! (my late Uncle Willard told me that)
19. People die from that! (my late younger sister told me that)
20. I'm glad to see women in boxing. (once in awhile I get this one)
Have any to add to this list?