Day 27 & 28 – Fo’ real… yo!
Saturday started like any other training session. We arrived bleary eyed (I was greeted with the comment “oh, you look tired!”) and somewhat ready for what was to come. I should have known something was up Alexis’ sleeve when he told us to go for a short run, come back and get geared up and that he had a “little surprise” for later. Perhaps we all knew it was inevitable, but none the less I believe that most of us wouldn’t really know what was to come later on that morning…. SPARRING. We didn’t even know it was happening until we stopped what we were doing, and he started calling out names telling people to get into the ring together.
This was much different than the last time we did our first round of sparring. Alexis was nurturing and tried his best to prepare us mentally for the upcoming sparring session by giving us a few days notice. I actually think I preferred the school of hard knocks version he gave us yesterday because I would have had days to work up my nervousness rather than 20 minutes. Yes, I far preferred the surprise version because as I stood there watching all the men from the squad battle it out in the ring, my nerves were getting a bit frazzled knowing that my turn was coming up soon. Heart racing and stomach turning.
But everyone did a great job! There were punches landed, lessons in movement given and even a bloody nose to show to us all – this is “not a game” (in the words of Michael Black and DMX). For the ladies, our sparring was a bit different. Again, Alexis’ worked to give us the experience of sparring but he was also aware that there are only 4 ladies on the squad and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who is fighting who on fight night. So instead of pairing us up and giving people their first sparring experience with the person who they will be fighting, we were fighting him.
Now, Alexis is a very tall, big man. His head stands about a foot higher than most of the ladies so the punching is a bit harder when you really have to reach for his face. All the ladies did great and I think everyone’s lesson that was learned was that keeping your hands/guard up is essential to success in the ring. It only takes one punch to end the game. I did manage to get one lucky left in on Alexis’ face – but I don’t think I will be that lucky ever again. It was also my first experience hitting someone who wasn’t wearing any headgear! I watched all the other girls land punches on his face and I was getting worried about hitting him when he wasn’t protected like us. For the most part – he just ducked and weaved out of the way with ease, but I was also amazed that he could take all those punches consecutively without protection. I definitely wouldn’t have the guts for that!
So – now it really starts…
Let’s get ready to rumble!!!
Today is going to be a day off for me (perhaps…I can be coerced into a run later though). Last night, I went out for dinner with my good friend Jodie (who also has the start of a cold) and as the evening progressed each of us was sniffling more and our colds were collectively growing into something horrible. I woke up today feeling worse despite going to the Dr. yesterday and getting an arsenal of antibiotics and other elixirs trying to kick this thing once and for all. I actually had to stop during sparring yesterday for a split second because I couldn’t breathe with my disgusting throat sludge so I need to sort this out sooner than later. I am hoping these antibiotics kick in ASAP because I have definitely noticed that my breathing and energy levels have been suffering because of this thing. Doesn’t my body know I am one busy gal that doesn’t have time to get sick!?
Come on body… keep up with the program!