FITNESS, FITNESS ..!
Haven't mentioned that in a little bit. Now I understand that because it has been such a large part of my life for so long, that it is something that comes relatively easily to me. So even though I don't always mention it, I am still doing stuff, walking, cycling, and all that. Also, it leaves me with that 'natural high' as well as a sense of accomplishment.
This month I had hoped to step up on my running. But I am going to scale back and just maintain, if nothing else. I can't remember being this 'spooked' by the weather, and I am not ready to just take on the elements just yet. So I won't be doing more than 4 or so miles on my long runs, and I will be doing a lot of 2-2.5 milers. Riding the back up bike also will take something out of me as well.
WHEN THE MOOKS ARE AWAY
I will miss them. Should I not? After all, they have been at the center of my life for what the past 4 years or something like that? If I didn't, then what does that say about ME?
Now my BFF told me that she was surprised that I was still hangin' in here, and even Hutch when he wasn't mad with me, said the same. But I wanted to experience the feeling of pushing on thru, so that when I meet the next 'Miss What's Happenin', when I tell her that I will be there through the darkness and emerge with you in the light, I can mean it. I haven't really 'learned' much about myself, but I have in my mind anyway, confirmed that I can and will captain a relationship in storms and choppy seas as well as the cool and calmed waters.
THE TRYINGEST NEGRO ...
... actually, he used the 'N' word!
When I myself was more 'lil Mark' than I was the 'Big Mark' that I sometimes call myself now, I was a sparring partner for a cat who was at the time, easily one of the best in boxing. Now I guess in boxing camps, they break down sparring partners by functionality. I was the 'big cat', and I would work in with the Champ for the last 3-4 rounds of the training session. There was a lighter, speed guy, and one guy who was in the same weight class as the champ.
Champ had to make weight, and he had a problem with that. He was a little undisciplined when it came to diet, and was struggling with getting down in pounds. We would eat breakfast together in his suite after our morning run. One morning, after a particularly long run, we went to the suite for our breakie, and there is a big thing of fruit on the table. So me and the other sparring partners ate it, not thinking anything of it.
When we got to the gym, the Champ was fit to be tied. He was one of those cats who carried himself in the mold of a tough guy, and was stomping around the place. He was angry at US! Since we were his sparring partners, this meant that he would get the chance to, make no mistake about it, KICK OUR A**!
Usually, we would be in the ring with him for 3-4 rounds apiece. But the first guy, the speed guy, got chased out in the first round, hook to the ribs that left a bad bruise. The second guy got in, and held up for only two sorry rounds. I think he left his heart back in the hotel room that day.
AS USUSAL, THE HERO STUFF IS UP TO ME ...
No, it isn't going to be all that, because this cat was at the time on top of many mythical 'pound for pound' lists as the best boxer around. But what I can say is, he didn't run me out of the gym like those other cats.
When my turn came, the writing was all over the freaking place. He was going to give me a 'Happy Birthday'. I knew it was coming, but what was I going to do about it? There was no going around it, especially with the contrast in skill sets. I was going to go forward and he was going to put it on me.
I thought about what I would say when we got back to the hotel room, to the other cats. 'Ooh, he was on today ... man he gonna whip that cat up come fight time!' , and pretend he put some smoke on me. I looked at the other sparring partners outside the ring, 'funk fakin' with being wore out. And I remembered the first time I slid down a rope in the Army. Bell rang, and we went at it.
... now that PUSH has come to SHOVE ...
Man, he was not playin' at all! Even if I had managed to maxumize my skills and be a big name fighter, the pirouette would not have been among them. In many ways, it was like trying to take a beach at D-Day, only THEY had the overwhelming force to repel and attack.
I just put in my mind that I wasn't going out like that. If he wanted it out of me, he would have to come and get it. I wasn't going to just give it to me.
Man, the punches were coming from everywhere! It felt like he was hitting me on the BOTTOM of my feet, like there were two guys in there with me. But I wasn't going anywhere, not by a long shot. Sure, he could have gotten me out, dropped me. But with training gloves, that is a difficult proposition. Not impossible, as the Champ seemed intent on proving!
I can crack, and that is just that. Now sure, he was getting there with EVERYTHING and the kitchen sink, but I wouldn't stop letting my hands go. I was in just as good a condition and could keep doing what I was doing for a good while.
Since boxing is like cooking an omelette, for him to hit me as hard as he wanted, it also meant I had the chance to connect on him. I never caught him as square as I would have liked, but I was letting them go. His trainer, not wanting his fighter to spend it all in a meaningless sparring session, shut it down after three rounds. We had intended to go six, trying to make up for what he didn't get with the other cats. But he told me later, that he was trying to keep him from getting hurt by acting a fool! And when he said that, he meant getting a cut, or hurting his hands. Cause though I was trying, I don't think I was going to do!
AND THIS IS WHEN HE SAID ...
Now, this is before I gave boxing up to try to be a better husband. My first wife, taking me to the airport to meet with the team, was on one of her rants. She even 'read' me in the airport and in front of everyone in the terminal! So she made me look like a punk, and gave the boxing community a story that lived for YEARS!
At dinner, we found out why he was so mad, that all he could eat leading up to the fight was low-fat popcorn and fruit! So when we ate up his breakfast fruit, he was hot about it!
The tension gone, everyone was laughing and ribbing each other about what the Champ did, beating on everyone. He joked about how the other cats showed fear, and how the one cat who claimed 'his ribs' hurt was a chicken.
But me? That was when he said the lead statement for this entry. I was the TRYINIEST of us all! I wouldn't back down, and he was just going to keep thumping me!
I don't know ... but it felt good to hear him say that. Not that I was scared, or wimped out, but that I tried.