Tag Archives: summer

‘Been a while since I’ve posted …

Girlboxing …. ‘been a while since I’ve posted …

Girlboxing at Gleason's Gym, Credit: Lennox Blackmoore

The vicisitudes of life, full time work, writing a book, the prodigal’s end of middle school stuff and endless winter have seemingly conspired to close the door on daily blogging!

Riot of Roses, Brooklyn, NY, Credit: Malissa smith

Meanwhile … summer has slipped into Brooklyn with crazy warm temperatures and light that lasts forever it seems or at least well past 8:00 PM.

At the gym today, the sweat pouring off me in buckets, my arms and legs as fluid as they can ever be on this late 50s model carcus, I was reminded of how much the body in motion, even one encased in a liquid pool, can feel invincible.  Sure I was missing sometimes on my overhand left-right hook combinations and after a couple of rounds on the double-ended bag felt as if I would collapse into a heap before cooling down on the speed bag … oh yeah, not to mention the slow crickety creak of the last 25 situps to get me to 100, but it all seemed to sail through, salty taste and all, with a huge shout out to Lennox Blackmoore for reminding me to m-o-v-e  g-i-r-l when I got too static in the ring.


Wednesday already!

Wednesday already!

In a worker-bee world of Monday to Friday, Wednesday aka hump day has become a cliched ritual of the elevator and the water cooler.  “Only two more to go” or “made it to the middle” are typical phrases.  Given that this is a short week (what with July 4th and all) hump day takes on the additional meaning of having already arrived without the usual effort of Monday.

If your week also includes the rituals of the gym — losing Monday (many gyms were closed) might make Wednesday extra special as you head on out and over at some time before or after work to unfurl your muscles in the repetitive ritual of pushing and pulling.

I know for me, I look forward to my Wednesdays when I can whale like crazy on the double-ended bag and the heavybag in no particular order.  Those rounds without a trainer have become as important to me as the rounds I spend with Len.

With the added nuance of summer, there is nothing greater than the buckets of sweat that come pouring off — or the joy of walking out into a sultry evening, the light still early evening bright with the hints of the setting sun to come.

If you happen to call Gleason’s Gym your own, you have the added possibility of strolling down to the water, with the Brooklyn Bridge majestically in your sights, fresh ice cream for your reward and about the loveliest walk possible along with the waterfront, the tip of Manhattan gracing your eyes.

Life truly is good!

Mr. Softee

Mr. Softee.

Between hearing my first Mr. Softee truck of the season, sitting in the sunshine for a few minutes at mid-day, and an otherwise hellacious week that left me with noodles for brains, I’m feeling a wave of summer somnambulance tempered only by the relative cool of the evening.  Summer will come though, along with feeling all sweaty and hot in the gym, my muscles pre-oiled and loose without ever having to step out onto the pavement for a run.

Growing up, I used to love the first days of summer. I lived on the lower east side then and could sit out on the stoop till the sun went down. The block was always peopled with kids running around and playing in groups that seemed to interchange with the ease of the wind — as their parents talked, smoked, drank beer, played dominos or called out from the window for this or that kid to come upstairs.

Sometime in early June, my mother would take my brother and I down to Orchard Street to buy our summer clothes.

I’d get short-sleeved shirts, camp shorts, tan jeans and a new pair of white PF Flyer sneakers. I’d also get a new pair of flip-flops which I’d wear out practically through the rubber by the end of the summer.

The best part was watching older kids on my block dance.

I learned a lot of moves. And as I got older I came to love listening to the music of Martha and The Vandella’s, The Marvellettes and of course The Supremes — and even though they were a little too prissy for my taste I used to love the song, You Keep Me Hangin’ On.

I miss having a stoop to sit on or a block that has an edgy feel of danger — maybe that’s why I love boxing so much.  It feels like summer.  Full of promise and thrill and just that little hint of something you can’t quite keep control of.

Cool waters, hot heat

Cool waters, hot heat.

I’ve got summer on the brain.

Summer and the beach at dawn.  The restless sound of the surf pushing towards a new day, expectant and full of promise.

The kind of morning when a long run licks sands at your heels. Dogs and their owners sashaying about as they play chase with drift wood in between small birds flitting in and out of the water.

The thought if reminds me of how much I love summer — and working out at the gym in hot, steamy, sweaty heat.  It’s really my favorite time there, wearing as little as I can as I pound away at the heavy bag, feeling it slip towards me, and pushing it back, watching as bits of sweat first bead and then drip down where first my shoulder and then my cheek brushes it back.