In the pocket …
Between Covid, cold weather, and the vicissitudes of life, I admit to a rather scattered boxing training schedule since the beginning of the year. Last week, though, I was determined to get back to two days a week with a view towards three as soon as I feel able.
Unstructured training has its place I guess, but for me it’s meant a backward slide when it comes to stamina with a capital “S.” The twinges in my right shoulder by about my 10th round also reminded me that such breaks can effect muscles and tendons as well. And in case you were wondering, nope, I didn’t pay particular attention to stretching either!
Hmm. Note to self. STRETCH!
Still, tiredness and heavy breathing aside, it felt great to dance around the ring when I shadowboxed, and by the third round on the pads with my trainer, Lennox Blackmoore, I felt in the pocket.
“Good job,” he said with a laugh and a mock wince, when I executed a straight right, as directed to his body, followed by a left.
He also had me working on my up-jab, overhand right combinations, with a sneaky left hook or upper cut thrown in at the end.
On the double-end bag, twinges to the right shoulder aside, I worked on feints and combinations, and the accompanying foot work that had me taking steps first one way and then the other, before executing right hand leads or doubled up jabs followed by the straight right.
Saving the best for last, I completed four rounds on the speed bag for the first time in a couple of months.
Always, my favorite way to finish training, it felt as if I was back hanging with an old friend, alternating my standard da-da-da-da-da-da speed bag drills with thirty second spurts of shots to the bag in combinations.
Given where we are in the world, I also felt humbled by being in the gym at all, as if I were a stand-in for all the people whose circumstance precludes such luxuries.
I was in my home away from home. Practicing what I love. Being in the moment with it. Feeling so much that just by being there I was doing honor to my boxing brothers and sisters in harm’s way in Ukraine. And I felt a gathering in. A welling of love and support as if the energy itself would heal the parts of my body in pain and in turn across the world. Magical thinking to be sure, but there’s a part of me that wants to believe.
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