Archive for January, 2011

31
Jan
11

Daily News 2011 Golden Gloves Reminder!

Daily News 2011 Golden Gloves Reminder!

Dicky Eklund surprised Christian Bale on stage at the SAG Awards 1/30/2011, Photo: Kevin Winter/ Getty Images

Congratulations to the cast and crew of the Micky Ward biopic The Fighter for picking up fresh awards from the Screen Actors Guild last night.  Aside from Christian Bale who won Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for playing boxer Dicky Eklund, Melissa Leo won Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for playing Micky Ward’s mother Alice Ward.

The UK’s Daily Mirror has a nice read entitled The real fighter Micky Ward talks about the movie and Mark Wahlberg here.

 

84th Annual Daily News 2011 Golden Gloves Week Three bouts reminder!

2/2/2011 – Saint Patrick’s School, 9511 Fourth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11228

2/3/2011- New York Athletic Club, 180 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

2/4/2011 – C-Pac Center, 1020 East 48th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11203

2/5/2011 – Mid-Hudson Civic Center, 14 Civic Center Plaza, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 (7:00 PM Start)

For more information click here.



30
Jan
11

Women’s Boxing Upcoming Fight!

Women’s Boxing Upcoming Fight!

Gleason’s own four-time Golden Gloves winner Keisher “Fire” McLeod-Wells (3-1), will be fighting on February 9th, 2011 at B.B. King’s on a card promoted by DiBella Entertainment.  This will be Keisher’s first six round bout where she will face off with San Francisco fighter Melissa “Mighty” McMorrow (4-1-3).  For tickets and more information about this bout, contact Gleason’s Gym here.

Rock Chicks Live has a piece about it here.  WBAN has a piece about it here.  And take a visit to Fire’s website here.

30
Jan
11

We are all one #Egypt

We are all one #Egypt

The Girlboxing blog is a place to engage in a dialogue about personal growth, courage and the extent to which we can use our physical prowess to affect change in our lives.  Given the momentous and historical events unfolding half a world away, it is also our place to bear witness.

In my opinion, the very fact of this blog site and the hundreds of millions of others on the web means that we are all creating a place where information and communications are truly becoming democratized — along with the ready availability of such things as mobile phones, texting and so on.

At this very moment, at Tahrir Square in Cairo, the nexus point of the Egyptian uprising against Hosni Mubarak’s regime, Egyptian F-15 fighter jets are circling the square in ever-lower circles.  During each round, the tens of thousands of people in the square have raised their hands towards the sky and erupted in a roar of “get out,” “get out,” “this is terrorism.”  The images and accompanying audio are being sent and reported via the Internet – and rather than be intimidated, many of the protesters in the Square are refusing to leave in part heartened by the fact that they know that their message is being seen and heard.  As well, others are walking to join the protesters.  We are thus privy to the unfolding of these events in real-time — not only “living” history, but experiencing a democratized form of history.  One not told from the point of view of leaders shaping the “perspectives” of their people, but from the people themselves as they live it.

I am reminded of civil rights protesters singing, “We shall not be moved,” as they faced down water canons and a phalanx of police — and of watching snippets of these events on the evening news, all of which revolutionized how individuals experienced America’s civil unrest paving the way for the communications opportunities we share and take advantage of day in and day out today.  At any rate, it is something to think about.

For real time information on what is happening: Google is here.  Live images here.  BBC here.

29
Jan
11

True Courage #Egypt

True Courage #Egypt

Defying the curfew in Cairo, Egypt, January 29, 2011

Boxers know a thing or two about courage.  Walking into the ring to risk injury or worse is never an easy thing.  Yet boxers also train long and hard to mitigate the risks of the ring in their favor.


The hundreds of thousands of people who have taken to the streets of Cairo, Alexandria and Suez, however, have not trained themselves for battle. Yet, they have risen on mass, young and old, men and women, professional and worker, student and pensioner to demand an end to over thirty years of oppressive rule.

This is one of those extraordinary moments —  such as the fall of the Berlin Wall when we must all stand as one to support the courageous people of such places as Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen in their bid for democratic freedom.  We must let them know that they are not alone — and that we honor and cherish true courage where we find it.

Information and live video can be found here, here and here.

To tweet encouragement add the following to your message #egypt, #jan25, #jan26, #cairo or #alexandria

We should all help to shine the light on a very dark night of oppression.

29
Jan
11

The world keeps on spinning

The world keeps on spinning

As pressed for time as my life is it’s nice to take some moments to do nothing but drift.  By drift I do not necessarily mean gorking-out in front of the TV or getting memorized by online catalog sales.  No, drift time are those moments when the imagination can soar — such as going for a walk where you let your “feet do the walking” instead of taking yourself on a straight line from A to B.

It’s those opportunities for shaking up your tree that lets you take-in things you might not ordinarily see.  Say walking along and only observing the second floors of buildings.  There are some wonderous things to see!  Oddly carved gargoyles, balconies to no where, hand painted signs, and an assortment of drapes and window dressings that ranges from austere Modernism to Rococo to the merely ordinary.

So too with exercising.  You can have solid morning calisthenics, classes you take, routes for your daily run, sacrosanct Yoga DVD’s, and for boxers the set-list of rounds for each type of boxing training plus the time you spend with your trainer.  What’s nice is to spin yourself around by trying something a little bit different.  This sort of drift time let’s your body find its way to where you want to be.  That can mean an entirely new route for your run, yoga poses you never thought you could achieve, or in the boxing gym, a rhythm to your heavy bag or speed-bag work you didn’t know you had.

I guess the point is that we all need to step out of the ordinary so that we can find new ways of doing things.  Whether its writing a story backwards, taking a stab at creating an oddly shaped pot on the potter’s wheel or spinning a globe with your kids and inventing stories about what life would be like if you all lived in those places.  Believe me, nothing earth shattering will happen if you let things unfold without having structured it.  What you might find is a feeling of relaxation and calm that otherwise alludes you as your go about your overly busy day — at least that’s what I’ve found when I remember to give myself the time.

28
Jan
11

Remembering the Prize Fighter

Remembering the Prize Fighter.

The Sweet Science.com is carrying a story about the Bob Arum’s move from HBO to Showtime-CBS  — and the potential of putting “terrestrial television” aka plain-vanilla broadcast TV back into the mix.   The main thrust of Bob Arum and Top Rank’s deal is giving him “ad spots and live coverage during CBS programming [that] will run either the first or last episode of a four-part promotional countdown to the fight show on CBS in prime time (the others will run on SHOWTIME). In addition, Top Rank will be allowed to sell ad spots that help cover the production costs of that show.” [Link to the full article here.]

This is pretty heady stuff and puts in my such glory days of boxing as the kind of main event fights that played on broadcast television from the 1950’s on through the great warrior battles of Muhammad Ali well into the 1970’s.

Howard Cosell and Mohammed Ali

The net effect of Arum’s move to Showtime-CBS will certainly bring more viewers for his upcoming Cotto-Mayorga fight, but more importantly will give him time to promote Manny Pacquiao’s May 7th fight:  a cross back into the realm of broadcast television thereby burnishing the place of the prize fighter in American lore.

Imagine this — the deal includes live promotion on CBS Morning Show and will also feature Christy Martin on CBS Talk Shows.  As well, in the run up to the Pacquiao fight, a feature spot will run on 60 Minutes one week prior to the fight.

As I’ve stated in an earlier column on the popularity of The Fighter and the splash that the new series Lights On is having on FX, boxing has found new life as people begin to view boxing as a way of battling through their own issues large and small.  For the fighter, it may still be a way out of “Palookaville,” but for the rest of us it’s a way out of powerlessness in a world that is moving way to fast for its own good.  I don’t know enough about the promoting game to be a fan one way or another of Bob Arum, but what I can say, is that his move to the wider audience of broadcast television shows that he is in touch with the subtle changes in the place of boxing on the American consciousness.  From the perspective of boostering women’s boxing, Bob Arum is also placing his money on the future place of women’s boxing in the prize fighting game, and given where we are vis-a-vis the run-up to the 2012 Olympics, that is a great thing.

You might also like “Lights On”

27
Jan
11

Snow Day!

Snow Day!

Snow Day in New York City, 1947

NYC Public Schools are closed today for a snow day!   While not exactly as rare as a Yeti sighting in the Florida Everglades, it’s pretty cool for the City’s kids if a pain in the you-know for parents who still have to scramble to get to work.

Meanwhile, it means an extra day for catching up on chores and fun stuff such as an expedition through the snow bound streets of Brooklyn to Gleason’s Gym — ’cause knowing Bruce Silverglade, Gleason’s will be open!

If you can’t get to the gym … here’s a fun how to.

26
Jan
11

Twenty six days and counting

Twenty six days and counting

When one embarks on any sort of daily regimen of exercise, diet, writing or otherwise — or what I call the daily something, some days feel great and others are to put it charitably, “tougher” than others.

At best, one feels something a kin to a “glow” of self-satisfaction for having put in the work and effort while basking in what feels like tangible results.  At worst, however, is that feeling of being in the mud having worked and worked without getting anywhere — and maybe even losing some ground.

Like any annoying Pollyanna, my response is to say focus on the bright-side, but when one has schlepped oneself day after day to some activity, or to the discipline of say, no chocolate except on Saturdays and the scale looks back with numbers on the wrong side of the goal, that is small solace.

To put it more plainly, when one is my age, a later rather than sooner 50-something, a scale that tips the wrong way feels like a miserable defeat!   Inevitably (with a pardon to the youngsters out there) it becomes one of those “shut-up” moments when the whole hot flashing, weight fluctuating, mood altering, welcome to crone-hood stuff comes crashing down in a giant, “G-d damn-it”  because in my world it means I can’t find my glasses again to even keep the awful number on the scale in focus.

That’s when my other, less grumpy, too cheerful for her own good self makes an appearance and screams out “suck-it up!”

Let’s face it, 26 days of a daily something is an amazing achievement — and what’s meaningful is the “and counting” part of it.  So whether it’s shadow boxing before dawn, writing a poem a day or blogging about it, or any of the myriad of great things we all work hard to achieve, congratulations to you for even trying.

 

 

 

 

25
Jan
11

Women’s boxing news roundup, 1/25/2011

Women’s boxing news roundup, 1/25/2011.

Women's boxing news roundup - 1/25/2011

Christy Martin, Credit: Casey Kelbaugh, NYT

For those who didn’t catch this over the weekend, the New York Times did a feature piece on boxer, Christy Martin as she readies herself for her comeback fight on the undercard of the Miguel Cotto v. Ricardo Mayorga bout to be aired on Showtime pay-per-view March 12th.  The article, written by Joyce Wadler, looks in-depth at Christy’s career and recent troubles.  The “money” quote of the piece is at the end in response to a snarky question if ever I heard one regarding Christy’s motivations for returning to the ring.   “You know,” she said, “I was a fighter before, so I’m just going back to work, and through my work maybe I can inspire other women, or give them strength to deal with situations and move forward.”   Way to go Christy!  The link to the piece is here.

Ana Julaton

Another great Philippine “Pac-Woman,” Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton has announced the “return of The Hurricane,” in her bout to be fought against Francesca “The Chosen One” Alcanter.  Of interest is the fact that the fight night will feature a mixture of Professional Boxing, Amateur kickboxing, as well as live music and comedy acts on three stages.  The event is set for February 25, 2011 at the Craneway Pavilion in Riverside, CA, and will be broadcast live in the Philippines.  For further information, check out the link here and here.

Flyweights, Ava Knight (r) & Gloria Salas

The Sweetscience.com is carrying a piece by David A. Avila, about Golden Boy Promotions’ recent efforts to support women’s boxing.  As Avila points out, “Golden Boy kept its word and female prizefighting was showcased on another fight card [this past Friday]. Working with Claudia Ollis, a new powerbroker in women’s boxing, the Los Angeles-based boxing giant Golden Boy has made waves in the boxing world. Now other boxing promotions are jumping on the bandwagon with female fighters included on their respective cards.”  This is great news for the sport and couldn’t come at a better time as we enter the countdown to next year’s debut of women’s boxing at the 2012 Olympics in London.  The article can be found here.

The new International Amateur Boxing Association’s (AIBA) is seeking to strengthen the position of women’s amateur boxing both before and after the 2012 Olympic games to include adding weight categories at future Olympic games.  As well, the association has set an agreement for the 2011 Women’s Youth and Junior World Championships to be held in Ankara, Turkey from April 28 – May 8.  For more information click here and here.

24
Jan
11

Waiting for morning to come

Waiting for morning to come

I’ll admit it, Yoga at 5:15 AM this morning felt cold and lonely.  Sure it was 9 degrees outside which had a lot to do with it, and yes, the cat had fun torturing my feet as I was in the downward facing dog position, but it was something else too.  I felt the sense of being in the middle without seeing the shoreline on either side.  Not exactly being adrift, but feeling dislocated.

A million odd years ago I took at windjammer type cruise in the Caribbean.  The trip was on an old Maine Schooner  (built in the early 1900’s), with about 30 passengers and crew.  The attraction to the voyage was that the trip was an actual crossing:  starting out in St. Martin’s making our way to such islands as St. Barts, St. Kitts and Saba Island towards the final destination of St. Thomas.  At one point on the trip, we were a sea with no land in sight.  I would cast my eyes about all 360 degrees and watch the shimmering waters as they met the horizon, catching the phenomenon of differing weather systems interacting:  here a sudden squall, there beams of sunlight pushing their way insistently through the gaps in the clouds.

It put me in mind of the months and years that sailors would ply the waters of the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Indian oceans in search of whale or spices or for sheer exploration.  Not that a vacation tour or a stint in the dark can in any way equate, but yet we do find ourselves in the momentary panic of being adrift when in fact is we are on course.   It’s just that we can’t quite see it yet.  Yes the light *will* eventually peak up and over the horizon this morning, as surely as the vessel I traveled on made its way forward till we saw land, still, I needed to feel reassured and finding it have gone on to embrace the day — whenever it wakes up enough to show itself.

23
Jan
11

At the gym

At the gym

When I hear the word gym, I always think of my old public school gym.  Built in the late 1950’s, it had painted cinderblock walls the most putrid green color one could possibly think of, enormous caged light fixtures and big windows that lined the top of the walls where they met the ceiling because the gym was located in the basement.

Considering just how big the gyms were, NYC public schools did not do much by way of sports when I went to school in the 1960’s.  In the winter months, we played newcomb and a variation of punch ball using a giant red rubber ball.  Or we’d just play catch with it.  We’d also play a variation of dodgeball where our entire class of 35+ kids would stand in a giant circle and throw the ball at each other *without* trying to knock each other down.   I can assure you that it didn’t work very well and someone inevitably got hit in the face.

Gyms also make me think of the Y, PAL, Boys and Girls clubs, and different Settlement Houses around the city where kids could go to play sports.  There was something very friendly about those places.  Everyone one wore gray or navy blue sweats and instead of running shoes, tennis shoes or basketball shoes, kids wore sneakers.

Later when the health club craze hit, the character of gyms seemed to change.  The large cavernous spaces became smaller and tighter and at the same time less about camaraderie and sports and more about individual achievement and beauty.  I know that I am over simplifying here, but the truth is, I always feel like an outsider walking into a health club.  The spaces always seem overly crowded with equipment and people not to mention music pounding so loud my ears hurt.  Perhaps too, my conception of sports comes into play — the idea being that it is hard for me push and pull machines or run to nowhere watching CNN or the Real Housewives of New Jersey without some other purpose that revolves around sports.

When I finally found my way into a boxing gym — I got some of that old feeling back of when I was a kid.  A space where people were engaged in an activity, but with a real sense that every aspect of the training is for some purpose — and importantly, that everyone is rooting for you no matter what your skill level.  Goodness knows that some boxing gyms are as funky as they come while others have borrowed a bit from the health club concept and have clean spaces and new equipment.  Still the feeling is welcoming and fun:  a place more about the work than anything else and that can be a pretty inspiring thing.

22
Jan
11

Boxing day

Boxing day

Now that I’ve gone to a once a week training schedule for boxing, I find myself getting really excited by the time Friday comes along.  The daily fitness routine I’ve found that can work with my schedule these days is based around early morning yoga, but it’s the thought of boxing that gets me pumped up and ready to go.

My Saturday morning boxing routine begins with dropping my daughter off for her Aikido practice, after which I take a nice long walk over to  Gleason’s Gym. By the time I get there I’ve logged 2-1/2 miles at a pretty fast pace so I am nice and loose.  About a 1/2 mile out, I start pumping my arms a bit so that by the time I hit the gym I feel ready for one of my two favorites:  three rounds on the double-ended bag or three rounds of shadow boxing using the slip-rope.

For those who don’t usually practice, the slip-rope is real old-school consisting of something as simple as a clothes line tied between two poles or across the ring around 15 feet apart at about chest height. The object is to move forwards and backwards along the line and “slip” under as practice for slipping a punch. The slip-rope is also great for practicing upper cuts under the line — or for simulating jabs to the body and jabs to the head.  By around the third round, I feel loose enough to dance around the slip-rope going forwards, backwards, and circling.  Having the rope at chest height not only helps to “remind” me to slip, but also gives me an approximation of where to place body versus head punches.

Alternatively, I’ll use the double-ended bag for warm-ups starting with a round of lefts and finishing the second two rounds with combinations and a lot of hooks or upper cuts off the jab.

If I can train with Lennox Blackmore, we’ll do three rounds of pad work — with an aim of getting to four rounds by the end of January, five rounds by the end of February and six rounds by the end of March!  Once we’re done with the pads, it’s back to the double-ended bag for three rounds to work on punches and combinations that Lennox and I focused on during the training session on the pads. This helps to solidify moves, especially slipping punches to counter — a Lennox special. After that, it’s on to the speed bag for three rounds and then a whole lotta’ abs!  I’ll add that if Len isn’t around, I might work-out for three rounds on the heavy bag in lieu of pad work, or add in an extra three on the double-ended bag.

By the end I’m exhausted, but happy — and ready for the quick walk back over to pick-up my daughter.  I hope to keep this going for about three months so that by April I’ll be fit enough to get back into the ring for some light sparring.  We’ll see!

21
Jan
11

Daily bread

Daily bread

My husband is the baker in our family.  He has perfected two different breads, one a traditional kneeded bread and the other what he calls a “sloppy” bread that he has developed and modified from a wet dough that sits and proofs overnight before he adds in flour and lets rise before baking.  Both are delicious still warm from the oven with mounds of butter and honey or as an accompaniment to a hearty soup.

I bring this up because many of us go about our daily approach to life from different angles, the results of which are a kind of perfection.  The ingredients are the same:  the equivalent of flour, water, yeast and salt, and yet how we get there; our path to our outcome can be long or quick, meandering or purposeful.

We are also always tempered by circumstances.  Is the oven on the fritz?  Is it overly humid?  Has the yeast gone stale?  Is the flour high gluten?  Unbleached?  Mistaken for cake flour?  I have found from my own attempts at a daily something that the path to completion is a constant surprise.  This morning is no different.  With too little sleep last night, I adjusted the alarm clock to ring an hour later.  That variable has set in motion a reordering of morning. I write first.  In doing so my energy is different.  My breath less full than the other mornings of the last three weeks.  Even the cat is puzzled as she flits back and forth challenging me to get up off the couch to pay her some attention.

And perhaps that’s the point.  Our routines, become so — and yet we must constantly adapt; not so different than sorting through how to approach an opponent in the ring.  The parameters are the same, a 16 foot ring shared by two bodies in motion, and yet the one may be constantly in a swirl of action with the other acting and reacting to circumstance; relying on the ingredients,  training and conditioning, to figure out how best to proof the self to the best outcome possible.

20
Jan
11

Alicia “Slick” Ashley owns the night

Alicia “Slick” Ashley owns the night

Alicia Ashley and Crystal Hoy, Brooklyn Explosion, January 19, 2011

Alicia “Slick” Ashley whipped some butt last night, coming on top to win her 8-round bout against Crystal “Baby Faced Assassin” Hoy on a unanimous decision.  “Slick” truly lived up to her name through a combination of her stick and jab style, smart defensiveness, angles that seemed to defy gravity and a decisive 8th round knockdown that sealed her dominance throughout the fight.  The judges agreed with one scoring the bout 80-72 and the other two scoring the bout 79-72.

Alicia "Slick" Ashley v. Crystal "Baby Faced Assassin" Hoy, 1/19/11

Maureen Shea is to be applauded for putting on a terrific show that included four under card bouts — along with her gamble of promoting a woman’s boxing bout as the Main Event.

19
Jan
11

Waking up is hard to do

Waking up is hard to do

I have to admit, this morning was hard.

There was no way I wanted to get up out of bed — and when I finally managed it, the eyes that looked back at me from the bathroom mirror had bags, carry-ons and huge trunks.  I truly didn’t know that eyes could look that puffy without having gone ten rounds.

Once I got to the living room to start morning yoga, it was all I could do to unroll the mat.  I knew I needed something different or I’d fall right back to sleep so instead of following along with my usual yoga routine, Sara Ivanhoe’s Candlelight Yoga (available on Netflix), I went on Hulu and tried two of the Yoga Zone episodes, Gentle Yoga, Part 1 (if that’s gentle, oy…) and Strengthen and Tone, Part 1 (*lots* of leg stretches and downward facing dog poses).

Well, the fact that I’m writing means I survived, and I must say that doing the change-up really helped me to wake-up!  It also reminds me that whether one is boxing or doing yoga, changing up the routine with other exercises not only gets the body going, but helps focus attention on muscles that may not get much of a work out otherwise.

 

(Note the full video is available on Hulu.)




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© Malissa Smith and Girlboxing, 2010-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Malissa Smith and Girlboxing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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