Friday, February 12, 2010
A Special Mid-Day Post
At lunch I went to the gym and was immediately put into a bad mood. NYSC thought it was a good idea to paint the radiator in the stretching area, at noon. Nothing better than stretching with the smell of paint and a painter climbing over you.
I felt pretty nourished, and was not hungry. For breakfast had a small oatmeal with raisins, and added some walnuts for variety. I had a free training session today with this trainer, Adam, who specializes in boxing. I had never tried that work-out before, but every time I saw people in the gym hitting the mitts they were sweating profusely, grunting, panting, and looked miserable - it looked like an awesome exercise!
We went downstairs and I put on the boxing gloves. I have not worn boxing gloves since I was a little kid in my back yard. I am not a fighter in the least, and outside some on field brawls in football and rugby, and a couple of drunken wrestling matches with arms flailing in bars, my fighting experience is quite sparse...perhaps the most famous one happening in High School in the middle of Mass, yes, Mass. (Want to see a priest use foul language and turn as purple as his vestments? Disrupt his Mass with a fist fight).
So my excitement turned to fear as I started to question myself, "Do I really know how to throw a punch? I mean, a real one that makes a "pop" on the mitts?" Downstairs we trained in a room between a studio with a yoga class, and a spin room filled with people as well. The floor mats next to me were crowded with guys doing crunches, and other ab work. Being that it is all windows, I was to box in front of quite an audience. Please, for the love of God, Terrence, don't look like Alfalfa in one of those Lil' Rascals movies!
We start right in. Left foot slide out simultaneously with a jab from your left to the large mitt on his left hand, pivot your back right foot for the cross with your right to his right mitt. Again, again, again, again, again, move with him forward, again, again, again...Oh, my, this is friggin exhausting! Back and forth in the room with everyone who cares to, watching. Nothing feels and sounds greater that that loud "whack" or "pop" of your right cross on the mitt. If you hit it square it really lets out a loud smacking sound. I actually felt like I knew what I was doing...sometimes! Jab, sock, jab, sock, again, again, again, slide with your left foot, again, again, again, again, pivot on your right, don't hop on it, pivot, again, again, again, again, move with me, again, again, again, again, stop that hopping, glide, again, again, focus, again...I was dripping sweat and my wrists felt like glass bouncing off an anvil. The yoga glass let out, we went in. A bigger room, more room, a longer room to slide, left, right, move, from one end all the way to the other. Mirrors were all around, I can see myself. It does not take much to go from looking like a man, a real man who can box, to an unorthodox spastic kid trying to box while wearing roller skates on an ice rink. Ego, and only ego kept me as focused as possible to do it right!
I played all sports my whole life, but this was a new thing for me - the foot work in tandem with targeted punches was unlike a golf swing, or a baseball swing, or a cross-block, or a 5 step drop-back pass, or bowling, or a scrummage - it was such foreign foot work it was hard to master at first (hell, I still haven't). I was getting very frustrated, but again, again, again, I got it, I mirrored Adam, I was hitting with a good pop, I was looking like a boxer (albeit lumbering) and breathing like an asthmatic after the marathon. Get the glove to your chin, hit and snap back, hit and snap it back, protect your chin, slide, pivot, don't lean forward, jab, cross, again, again, again, again, again, again. OK, jumping jacks with the gloves on, OK, the speed bag. Ah, the speed bad. A beautiful site and sound when done by someone who knows what they are doing. That took some skill and my shoulders were aching as I tried to hit the bag repeatedly after ever count of 3.
WOW! That was exhausting!
I could work my cardio on the bike, treadmill, and elliptical as hard as possible, and sweat, and huff and puff and it would be a great work-out. But this was another level. My arms are still shaking, and I can barely move them! After I left I took out my blackberry but my thumbs were so sore and shaking I could not type!
It was a great work-out! I was sweating from pores I didn't know I had, I could barely lift my arms, and could not catch my breath, I was miserable...I love it!
For lunch I went to Chopt for a salad of broccoli, black beans, chick peas and tomatoes. I inhaled the bowl in one bite!
Tomorrow I am sure to feel it big time. This is the level I should be working out at...will I have the discipline to keep it up? I hope so, but, damn...did I mention I am exhausted?
Finally, remember today is Abraham Lincoln's birthday, a date we used to celebrate until the ridiculous, all-inclusive, new "President's Day." Celebrate the man who saved the Union!