Monday, February 25, 2008

Back in the Saddle (And Already Saddle Sore)

So after only one week back in the full-swing of training, I’ve already learned what my greatest adversary is going to be: time. There just isn’t enough of it in the day. Monday-Wednesday was literally a 72 hour cycle of me waking up -> working -> making a pit stop at home to change and eat -> gym -> home to sleep. While the common (non-boxing) man might find this routine to be monotonous and drab, I find it to be nothing short of bliss. Seriously – words can’t describe how nice it has been getting back in the squared circle everyday. It’s just unfortunate that my weekdays no longer have time for things like, um, this blog. (My over/under for time until I neglected this new project was 6 weeks. Unbeknownst to me, it’d be a mere 6 hours before I became “too busy” to update it regularly. Oops.)

I broke my 72-hour model on Thursday when I had the lovely variation of lifting at my local gym instead of bussing out to Allston to box. Not only did I want to make sure to keep my workouts fresh and change my venue every now and then (hey, lifting’s important too) but my legs were spent from 3 grueling days of plyometrics, drills, and bag work. I’m quickly learning that there’s a fine line between drive and overzealousness that, when crossed, will take me on a fast-track to the DL. I guess it’s not exactly a problem that I have to tell myself “6 days a week is enough, Jonathan, just keep working and be patient.” The concrete floors I skip rope on, however, are already beginning to try to tell me otherwise…

I’ll attribute my kick-ass workout Friday to being well-rested. Trekking through a “Nor’easter” (it’s a blizzard, you yuppies) I was one of four gym members brave (dedicated? stupid?) enough to leave my cozy confines and workout. I couldn’t be happier that I did.

With one thing leading to another, I ended my workout by going through a lengthy focus mitt workout with a tall, Irish 20-something named James. This work-out accomplished the two things I had been so desperately seeking my first week back: to “move, feel good, feel alive, let my hands go and BOX again,” and to impress someone who is a better boxer than me. After all, I need to be “trained, not taught,” and I need a skilled/competent trainer/partner who can pick out flaws in my movements, point out opportunities to string combos together, and all in all enhance my game while wearing me out to do so.

Whether it was noticing my 20 oz gloves (most people train in 14-16 oz gloves), the pop of my right cross (“double it up, 2-3-2….ay, you hit hard”), my ring generalship and movement, or the fact that each of us wanted to ignore our exhausted, rapidly-numbing limbs and go “1 more round” ad infinitum, I definitely had a phenomenal workout with James, and based on the comments I got from everybody in the gym, made a strong impression on all. Of note was one trainer pointing out that I “looked great…have you fought before?” (ha?) and that “James is nasty…definitely stick with him.”

Ah, the breakthrough.

During my previous stint at this gym, I found the competitive talent to be very bottom-heavy, so hopefully this was the first of only a few eye-opening sessions before I’m looked at as, well, a boxer who can more than hold his own in the amateur ranks and doesn’t need to be coddled or eased along. You earn your opportunities in the ring, and I at least need the opportunity to be lumped with the “James’s” et al to earn, well, additional opportunities and avoid being unfairly tagged as a clueless new guy. I’m sure it will all work out.


I slept on my boy Bob-O’s couch Friday night since he lives 3 blocks from the gym. I don’t know whether it was the box springs on his pullout sofa bed or my berserk workout the night before, but it took a lot of effort to get up, stretch out the kinks, and hit the gym again. A platoon of fighters were leaving the gym for some exhibition bouts as I was arriving, giving me an added spark (albeit unneeded) to work hard in the desolate gym.

Ah, irony.

And envy.

And for that matter, IMPATIENCE.

All in all, it was a very solid week. My pre-training conditioning was in fact phenomenal, which is very re-assuring as I continue to, um, kill myself in my workouts and pray my body can keep up. As I mentioned earlier, all I need is time and patience…andmylegsandbacktoholdup wait, what?

Back in the saddle and on my way, baby. More updates to come, and hopefully more often.

Go Royals.

1 comment:

DAD said...

sounds good but exhausting. what does it take to do "exhibitions"?
Shoot for the stars.