Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Final Workout At My Current Boxing Club

It was a pretty emotional experience. Yesterday, I had my last workout at my athletic club. I didn't do much of a workout because I was running really late and was lucky to arrive while some of the guys were still there. First, the recap of my very brief workout.
  • 20 minutes of roadwork (even this was short!)
  • 1 round on the heavy bag
  • 2 rounds on the focus mitts with Bernard

Yes, that's it. I felt incredibly guilty yesterday, but I got there late and did what I could to make the best of it. It was good to see several of the guys there. In addition to Bernard and me, Tim, Cory, and Bill were there. Kevin wanted to be there but had a dinner he needed to attend. Henry Coyle, a professional boxer and a friend of Bernard's, joined us to give us some help with sparring. Sadly, I was too late for sparring. Oh well, next time!

We all went to dinner afterward. Over dinner, we discussed some ideas for our future. I'd be really happy to keep all our boxers together. I am realizing it may be tough to do that, but I will sure try to make it happen. I will be talking later today to one of the owners of a fairly new gym in Chicago that might work very well for us. I'll post more about that here soon. I am determined to turn this difficult challenge into a great opportunity.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Good Luck to Another Lawyer-boxer, Marc Saggese

Marc Saggese, a fellow lawyer and boxer, will step into the ring tomorrow night in Sandy, Utah for his third professional bout. Saggese, who practices in Nevada, is unbeaten in professional competition, winning his first match by retirement and his second by a first-round TKO. That's quite an impressive start to his pro career. Marc will be facing Buddy Payne, of LaGrande, Oregon. On paper, it looks to be a fine match-up since the bout will be the third pro fight for both men.

Good luck to both boxers. It's always good to see one of my own kind stepping in the ring. I'll post some more news stories about amateur lawyer-boxers soon.

Club Update

I got the official update today: our athletic club will be closing for good on August 31. Yes, I am angry about it. I feel that we, the members, have been lied to. However, at this late date, there is really nothing I can do to stop the closing and the sale of the property.

Of course, this is no surprise to me; I have known it was coming for about a year. Even so, it is a sad time for me. I was one of the founders of the boxing club at the Chicago Athletic Association in 1994 when another member and I brought the sport back. It's hard to believe that was 13 years ago.

I am hoping we can keep some of our guys together. I will talk to Bernard in the next day or two and see what he thinks about the situation.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thursday Training

1 hour and 10 minutes of roadwork and shadowboxing. It was cooler and less humid today, so that was a nice change.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Saturday Update

Did 34 minutes of roadwork and shadowboxing on Thursday, and 31 minutes today. The humidity was a challenge. Both days, I wanted to quit after 20 minutes because I was working hard, but I managed to do another 10 minutes and add a little more to it. :-)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Finding Friends Online, Finding Inspiration

There has been some difficult stuff going on lately; some of it is really unpleasant. I'll get through it--I know that--but maintaining a positive attitude has been hard lately. Again, I will get past this rough time, and I am usually pretty good at staying optimistic and looking for the positive aspects of a situation. Wednesday, however, I found myself feeling a bit low and engaging in some "woe is me" kind of thinking.

That's a toxic state to enter because the negative attitude tends to attract more negative experiences and things begin to snowball to the point where life starts to look ugly in all its aspects. Recognizing that I was starting to go in that direction and wanting to turn around and go the opposite way, I decided to reconnect with some online friends with whom I had lost touch for a while.

A few years ago, I used to frequent a site called Fit To Be Men. It's a really good site, focusing mainly on fitness and living life to the fullest, being the best we can be. I'm not sure what happened exactly, but work and various other things got busy and my participation dropped off. In any event, it was a natural place to return to reconnect with some friends and look for some inspiration.

I sought and I found. One of the friends that I haven't talked to in a while is a fellow named Rob, or "FishrCutB8," as he is known in various places on the Internet. Rob has a blog called, yes, Fish or Cut Bait. (I didn't even know Rob had a blog, that's how out of touch I've been.) I've been reading the blog and I know I have a lot of catching up to do, with him and with other friends, but I am writing about him now because he's a great guy and an inspiration to me.

Rob is a survivor of testicular cancer. His battle with cancer and his recovery inspire me. However, to be candid, Rob has been an inspiration to me before his cancer experience. Rob is one of those online friends I have been privileged to meet face to face. Even though we knew each other just from online contact at Fit To Be Men and a few other forums, Rob was always keenly interested in me, my progress with fitness, my struggle with depression (later diagnosed as bipolar disorder type II), and some other challenges I have faced in life (I'll blog about those sometime). He has always been very supportive.

Rob and I met in person in Little Rock, Arkansas at a men's fitness retreat hosted by our mutual friend, Jean-Paul "JP" Francoeur, in the spring of 2004. There's nothing quite like Little Rock in the early spring, and there's nothing quite like JP's fitness weekend (now called the annual "fitness summit"), filled with first-rate instruction about weight training and nutrition, JP's warm Arkansan hospitality, and some great food at the Flying Fish on President Clinton Avenue followed by a few cold beers at the Flying Saucer, also on President Clinton Avenue. Rob and I hit it off right away and I felt like I had known him since I was a boy. What a great time! I sure hope to go back to Little Rock and attend one of JP's events; they really rock.

Recalling these memories makes me happy. Hell, it does more than that: it inspires me to face, even embrace, the challenges that lie ahead. Rob and JP are both inspirational guys and good friends. Knowing I have their friendship helps give me courage to step forward and make the most of everything life has to offer, the fun stuff and the more challenging. Thanks, Rob and JP!