Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thumbs Down

Haven't written because I haven't been training.

My thumb is officially an issue. Tested it sparring a couple weeks ago, bumped it (didn't jam it, just made contact parrying a punch) and felt another electric pain in the base of my thumb. Could put some weight on it, but it was unbelievably sensitive to the touch to the point that I decided to just shut it down. Have cross trained a little since then, but not nearly as consistently as I'd like (need) to. Too broke and busy to get an MRI or X-Ray. A doctor would probably just tell me to shut it down and throw a splint on it anyway, so I saved myself the doctor's bill and took those steps myself. Time and relative rest does seem to be helping it heal, but the fact that it still has pain "flares" after 2 weeks (more than a month since it was initially injured) is troubling. Whatever.

You have no idea how irritated I get when I nudge it on something and have napalm shoot through the nerves in my hand. Fuming just thinking (and writing) about it. Which is silly. But I'm that frustrated and that restless to get back in the ring. Anyway...

This blog was founded largely to document how my profession would mesh with my boxing conquests. Well, right now, there's no meshing. It's been straight, pure conflict. And while I still love what I do in the office, well, I love what I do in the ring a bit more. Is that so wrong?

Work is throwing pretty long hours my way and it has become a chore to find the hours to even get to the gym during operating hours, let alone have the energy to drive myself to complete a full, satisfying workout. Perhaps it's a blessing in disguise - helping me avoid weight and contact and allowing (whatever the hell's wrong with) my thumb to heal. Or perhaps it's a royal pain.

Definitely feeling the latter.

Yesterday I canceled my August 15th fight. Haven't been training, definitely won't be "fully" training this week either, and I refuse to rush myself into a bout knowing beforehand that I'm incredibly unprepared. And hurt.

I mean, obvious decision, right? I don't know why I keep tying so hard to convince myself that it's the right decision.

Oh wait, I know why - because I don't want to.

But I need to. Need to heal. Need to train. Need to clear my frustrations, get on a better, more consistent schedule with a trainer, discipline myself now so I'm disciplined when I'm preparing.

Need to get back in there.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Quick hits

Training has taken a detour (but still moving forward, mind you) for a variety of reasons, but I'm definitely about to regain some momentum. Some quick bullets:

- I've suffered a number of boxing-related injuries before, but whatever the hell I did to my thumb a couple of weeks ago definitely qualifies as the first of my revamped amateur campaign. After finishing a "typical" aggressive Sunday sparring session (did well and felt even better) I took my 20-ouncers off and found my left thumb throbbing. Howling. I didn't remember jamming it awkwardly while sparring, but clearly, well, I did something nasty to it. It swelled up and could hardly hold any weight for a couple of days, and now almost three weeks later it's still sensitive to the touch. I've been reluctant to hit anything firmer than a focus mitt from fear of re-aggravating it, but I'm definitely near the point of considering myself cleared to resume my full training regiment (namely sparring) and all the while am incredibly anxious that this will be nagging for awhile.

And no, I didn't get it checked out by a doctor. It's a thumb. Small joint, lots of nerves and tiny bones. Whether it was a break, a chip, a crack, or (the likely culprit) a sprain, there's nothing a doctor can do besides splint it and tell me to not use it. Which I did on my own. Kthanksbye.

- While my thumb woes effected my workout routine and efficiency, it did not alter my training schedule. I've been doing more plyometrics and cardio circuits and have used bag gloves for most of my workout to keep my fist uber-tight and ensure that my punches are landing on my knuckles accurately, far far away from my poor, aching thumb. I've had a healthy dose of weights and roadwork as well, which is an aspect of my training that I want to keep consistent. In all, I don't think I've lost much physically the past couple of weeks. Definitely not peaking, but certainly not declining, either.

- Between nursing my thumb, long hours at the agency, and indulging in the pleasures (read: vices) of summer I'm quite proud of myself for how well I've maintained my training regimen in the face of so many scheduling land mines. Company summer outing? Wake up at 5:30 a.m. and run. Four-day 4th of July weekend on Cape Cod? Train the 3 days immediately before and after the vacation so I utilize both the rest during the break as well as the"freshness" immediately after. Hooray self-discipline!

- Looking forward to watching Wladimir Klitschko fight Saturday afternoon. I've been a big Klitschko fan for a long time in spite of him becoming a frustratingly inconsistent fighter the past couple of years. I'm not a big fan of heavyweight bouts anyway (especially when junior welterweight - super middleweight are as stacked as they've been in recent memory) but I've just always enjoyed rooting for Klitschko, the athletic specimen with a PhD, and really the only heavyweight who stands out as a true talent worthy of being called "champ." I hope he dispatches Tony Thompson quickly and convincingly to, well, convince the world that he's on a level far-and-away higher than the other "contenders" in the weak division.

It looks like it will be mid-August before the next opportunity for a bout rolls around, which should be the perfect timing for me to be healthy and in top-shape again. In the meanwhile, I'm looking forward to picking up the pace and tackling the work I have in front of me.