Archive for January, 2013



12
Jan
13

Effortless prose on the speed bag …

Effortless prose on the speed bag …

Speed Bag Gleason's Gym

I’ve always loved the speed bag. Coming at the end of a workout, it feels like a well-earned respite from the grunts and groans of hard hitting on pads, bags and bodies.

One can go slow, fast and everywhere in between as that classic patterned da-da-da-da-da-da-da roams through one’s head, the feet perhaps in syncopated rhythm, perhaps not, as the right and left hands make the speed bag sing.

Once mastered, however, there is always that push towards the next level. In my case I’ve been thinking  a lot about elbow strikes and telling myself that it’s good range-of-motion therapy for my shoulder has spurred me on to actually try.

For my first outing I chose a pattern of alternating a four-count between my left and my right hitting slowly with the following pattern:  right, right, right, right elbow,  left, left, left, left elbow.

I tried it during the last 30 seconds of my third round on the speed bag, and for the fourth round attempted the elbow strike pattern for most of it. I have to say I hit it right on the elbow a few times, but mostly struck the forearm.  Still, the range-of-motion was pretty tough on the right side — and as therapy alone, it certainly was something.

Coming home, I thought I’d check out some videos on YouTube and offer a smattering as inspiration!

Speed bag phenom in time to the music!

Cool double-strike patterns with elbow strikes!

Early efforts … with double-strikes.

True mastery.

10
Jan
13

If I can do it, so can you …

If I can do it, so can you …

Superwoman!

Don’t you just love those words?

Meant as a motivator for the under achieving couch potato that lurks in all of us, it can cut like a rapier.

Still, it can have its place — if the underlying, “you are such a slug” is left out it and the words are more action than anything else, without the accompanying censoring glare!

For the one who says it though, there can also be nothing but the best of intentions. All of us knows of someone who hours out of cancer treatment skips her way to the gym for a good workout and though she may excuse herself for a moment to puke her guts out in the bathroom, she none the less returns to the weight room with a freshly glistening brow, worse for wear perhaps, but no less game.

This brings me to the point.

What if we change that around a bit to an if you can do it, so can I, sensibility. The competitive aside (which motivates in its own way), we are all in this together. Certainly that’s the way it feels at Gleason’s Gym where each and every person sweating and grunting their way through a work out is cheering the hard work of their fellow gym rats.

We also all have our stories; those things that thwart our best intentions and no less tangible than a friend’s cancer, shoulder surgery, ACL tear, too many obligations hitting into limited time or the feeling of inertia that comes when you haven’t hit the gym in a while and need to push yourself out of bed to get there again.

I know for myself, I’ve had all sorts of things that I’ve used to not go to the gym some of which leave me with no choice but to stay home and others of which are more of the mental variety.

Having recently started back on a schedule after recovering from shoulder surgery, I can attest to the myriad of feelings that go into missing the gym and returning. If you’ve been a regular, it’s like missing family, plus that intangible sense of identity that comes of regular practice. During my rehab, I’d find myself going to Gleason’s for an hour on a Saturday, not to box but to do my exercises. Still, it was a bittersweet feeling. I wasn’t boxing, I was stretching and even though I was there, it was hard to feel a part of it.

Ultimately, though, it shouldn’t matter. Any work done is work accomplished, and while it might not be at the peak of the performance you are capable of, you’ve made the effort.

So, while you might go through periods when you are confronted with your decided lack of superhuman capability, give yourself a break and be aware of what being superhuman really means.

If you are say, 58 years old, I can assure you that your hand speed will NEVER match that of an in shape 20-year-old, but when it comes to heart, you might well get to wear your Superwoman T-shirt to the cheers of everyone who sees you!

One of my oldest pals is fond of saying, there are no dress rehearsals ‘cause the only life you have is this one. That might get an argument from some New Agers, Buddhists and Hindus who figure you can cycle through again — for the majority of us though, this is it.

In other words, you really do only have one shot so why not give it your all, whatever that means for you and realize that by following through, your example is making it possible for someone else to say … if you can do it, so can I!

06
Jan
13

Monster licks …

Monster licks …

Speedbag Genius

One of the things about boxing is sound.

We hit a bag, a trainer’s pads, a body and it is associated with sound.  There is the solid “thwack” of a body shot, the rapid fire of the speedbag and bounding double and triple pounds of the double-ended bag.

We all know when a shot is true too.  It carries a special kind of “on the button” sound as it sinks in. There’s an effortless quality as well when all of the mechanics of the body align for the perfect moment of when the hand encased in it’s padded glove hits the target.

Watching effortless boxing, effortless sound is to watch its practitioners at the top of their game.

So too with tap dancers and musicians who float through space with sonorous movement in their feet or with incomparable musical licks that delight us with their fanciful runs through the scales.

I’ve thought a lot about sound lately here are a few monsters …

Coach Rick Technical Mitt Work with female boxers.

Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell dancing to Begin the Beguine from Broadway Melody of 1940.

The amazing Tony Williams (RIP) started his career with Miles Davis as a 17-year-old.  The video has two stop your heart drum solos.

Tenor saxophone madness!  Saxophone summit webcast from Birdland in 1999 with Michael Brecker (RIP), David Liebman and Joe Lovano with a cover of John Coltrane’s Impressions. Plus, check out Billy Hart’s drumming.  Incomperable.

 

02
Jan
13

Setbacks in a minor key …

Setbacks in a minor key …

Ricola Honey Herb

When will “they” come up with a cure for the “common cold”!

I mean really, PAA-LEEEZZZZZZZ.

First with the throat tickle, then the sneezing, sneezing, sneezing before the big guns hit, you know the ones, aches on your ache, fever, chills and the weirdest dreams ever!

It puts in mind that we head off full in our stride only to get a minor twist in the ankle or other such upset along the way.

And yes, it does mean putting a stop to the momentum of that walk or in my case, shadow boxing around the living room, work on my latest chapter and a trip to the office today … but its being minor is the main point.

The minor hiccups will pass and then it’s full throttle again through life’s wide open vista of possibilities!

Meanwhile, have a happy January 2nd, 2013! (Cough, cough, cough)

 

01
Jan
13

New Year’s Day …

New Year’s Day …

New Year's Eve, 2013, NYC

As a young woman, New Year’s seemed loaded with the hazards of the dating life, expectations met and lost, and the specter of a fresh start, though not unburdened with the seeds of doubt regarding those pesky New Year’s resolutions.

A world away from that earlier version of myself – the one in the 1970s garb (OMG!!!), dancing the hustle to Donna Summer at the Salty Dog in the East 80’s on one New Year’s eve or another with my bestie, Jamie, and an assortment of leisure-suited guys – I can say with some assurance that there are some helpful do’s in the resolution game!

Do # 1:  Let the KISS theory suffice (as in keep it simple …)

Keep it simple! Credit: Sodahead.com

That means instead of promising yourself an elaborate hours long daily workout that involves multiple machines, ab-routines PLUS a LOT of rounds of boxing/running/fill in you’re your own workout poison, how about just promising yourself that you will commit to a regular exercise program with reasonable goals that you can attain as in … January:  I will run (fill in the number) miles per week … et al…

Do # 2:  Think grand, but not TOO grand.

Overachiever! Credit: danceswithfat.wordpress.com

Okay, you have a book you always wanted to write or a new part of the garden to plant or a terrific new glazing technique to try that involves multiple steps and using weird chemicals, or figure this is the year to run that marathon you always promised yourself.

That all sounds great, but first off remember Do # 1.

Is it attainable?

Do you have the time?

And most importantly, do you feel ready to take on the challenge? (As in, if you have a tricky knee, a marathon may not be in the cards.)

If you do feel as if you have the “stuff” to do it, then in the words of my favorite Captain (as in Picard) … “make it so.”

If not – perhaps a weekly blog will help you “rev” up your writing or consider adding tomatoes this year, or try walking first with your knee brace before taking on light jogging.

Remember that you get a lot of self-“brownie” points for trying, but face your own “Wrath of Khan” if you underestimate the obstacles after having put all that self-capital into believing you would complete the task.

Do #3:  When in doubt, do it with a friend.

Tandam Bicycle, circa 1900, Credit: gryphonsbicyclerepair.blogspot.com

This one is a good one, especially for exercise goals, weight-loss and other “we can do it” attainables that lend themselves to a little friendly competition, not to mention the buddy-system to drag your butt out of bed for those early morning routines – or fun stuff like learning to tap dance, salsa or fox trot, or even putting together your own group to learn Italian, or better yet a fight-club of your own for weekly sparring!

The point is, doing it with a friend (or two or three, or more) gives you camaraderie plus a lot of inspiration for those outer months past the first blush or two when rising for yet another early morning run is about the last thing you want to do.

Do #4: Do what feels right for YOU.

Anthony Quinn Bay, Rhodes, Greece

This one’s a tricky.

Say you really could lose a few pounds, but the truth is it’s not in the cards right now. Well have the guts to say, nope, not now. The same thing with adding days to your workout schedule at the gym or even giving your mother a call every Sunday morning.

The point is to be aware of what is and is not attainable or desirable for yourself before you launch into things that you just can’t handle.

Better to take on fun things like catching up on your British police procedurals (Prime Suspect – all seven seasons – is on Netflix), than to burden yourself with daily yoga or insight meditation when you’re just not ready for it.

The same goes to being nicer to people you don’t like and all the other things we add to our lists.

The point is to make it work for you. After all, you don’t have to be a New Year’s resolution overachiever!

So think through the sorts of things that have meaning to you not to what has meaning to others and if this is your year to run a marathon, then have at it. Otherwise, content yourself with cutting back on caffeine after 4:00 PM or doing Sun Salutations on Saturday mornings instead of burdening yourself with the whole enchilada, so to speak.

Do #5: Sometimes grand is good!

Taj Mahal

Okay, yes, this does fly in the face of Do #2, but there’s nothing wrong with going for it either!

So if you are up for it — take the challenge!

That could mean boxing in the Golden Gloves or fighting for a WBA female title!

Whatever it is give it your best and if it means going full-throttle than by all means do!

You deserve whatever goal you think you can achieve no matter how large or how small.

I’m not saying that risk is everything – but without it, we lose our creative edge, which I figure is what we’re all about anyway.

Put it this way, whether it’s finishing the book on time (hint to self), working through the ills of your body to come back into the game or readying yourself to go for the gold at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games … there is no better time than today to overcome whatever obstacles stand in your way.

Whatever you resolutions, I’d like to wish my Girlboxing pals all the best in 2013 with the sincere hope that whatever it is you do – this is your year!!!




January 2013
M T W T F S S
« Dec   Feb »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,726 other followers

Girlboxing Now! on Twitter

@Girlboxingnow

Share this blog!

Bookmark and Share
free counters
Blog Directory

Blog Stats

  • 775,208 hits

Twitter Updates

© 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.

%d bloggers like this: