Boxing with El Tigre

Joyce has been looking over the blog and said that y’all may be wondering how I can eat like I do (especially the ice cream) and still look good enough in board shorts for a major artist to start sketching me.

Part of the answer is that I’ve always been able to eat a lot without putting on weight. I reckon I’m lucky. I’ve had a lot of girls tell me they hated me because of it. (Even Joyce jokingly said it.) But I’ve always been super active, and that’s probably my real “secret”.

So y’all are probably wondering how playing one softball game a week with the Parrots counts as “super active”.

It doesn’t. Just look at Sloppy Joe over at 1st base lol.

So I need other ways of being active now that I’m not following a baseball training regimen. One lameass way to get sweaty is going for a run, although, the minute I have to run more than 180 feet at a time, I start getting bored. But I can do it if there’s no other choice, even if running in a California residential neighborhood with no one on the streets but a couple people walking their dogs is seriously not fun. I like having people to say “hi” to when I pass them; you don’t get that out here.

Swimming, as y’all know, is another story. That’s one reason why I got so excited when I saw the Andrews’ pool. I’m real grateful to them that they’re letting me use it while Lucas is away at baseball camp. Like I proved in Santa Barbara, I can swim all day. (Well, be in the pool all day. It’s not exactly the same thing lol.)

I’ve mentioned boxing lessons a couple times I think, and that’s how I get my real workouts these days. Keaton and I have been taking them almost since we first met. There’s a boxing gym in a strip mall here in Pasadena; it’s owned by an ex-boxer called El Tigre, and he knows his shit. The gym’s big enough to have a few weight machines in the back, so you can get in a whole workout while you’re there. 90 minutes in El Tigre’s gym and your legs are rubber, you can barely lift your arms and you wonder if you can even drive home. It feels great. Me and Keaton work with El Tigre two or three times a week. We split the cost with a third dude, Steve. He’s older than Keaton (closer to 40 than 30) and says that learning to box is on his bucket list. El Tigre’s lessons aren’t cheap, but they’re not too bad split three ways – and they’re cheaper than a gayass gym membership would cost.

Maybe not all gyms are as gayass as the one in West Hollywood where Luke used to work, but I’ve always played a sport, so the weight room was where I went to get better at baseball. Not so I could look all gay and get laid more lol. All those heavy leg presses were for my swing, not board shorts. (Ok, I look good in board shorts as a result, and I’m not saying I mind that, but that’s not the point.) So now I’ve got a new sport to workout for; turns out heavy leg presses help your punch as well as your swing. El Tigre told me to keep up the good work lol.

I reckon the next question some of y’all may have is why me and Keaton need boxing lessons. I’ve told you what Keaton’s like in a fight (seriously dangerous) and that I can do more than just handle myself (ask that jerkoff Jacob Bernstein lol.) Do we really need boxing lessons then?

We do. Neither of us knows how to box. We know how to win fights (and Keaton knows how to fuck a dude up bad), but that doesn’t mean we necessarily know how to box. Dad boxed a little in the army and Keaton’s dad was a Golden Gloves competitor, but, when they taught us to fight, they didn’t bother too much with footwork or defense or punching in gloves or getting through a round or any of the other stuff that boxers know how to do. They just wanted us to know how to take care of ourselves.

So me and Keaton were walking back to the dugout after an inning one day and he said something about how he thought it would be cool to learn how to box for real. That sounded great to me: I was thinking it was time to learn a new sport. Turned out there was a real boxing gym nearby – no lameass “boxercise” shit – with a real teacher. So we signed up with El Tigre.

During our 90 minute lessons, El Tigre works with us individually and then as a group. When he’s working one-on-one, the other two guys are working with the weights or the bags or jumping rope.

Well…Keaton and Steve jump rope. I know, it sounds totally gayass of me…but I can’t jump rope. It’s my rhythm problem again, the same reason I can’t dance or dribble a basketball. After a month of trying, by which time Keaton and Steve were already doing tricks with the jump rope, I was still so patheticass that El Tigre let me off the hook. He’s got a beat up old treadmill in one corner of the gym; it’s where dudes like me have to go to get their cardio in while we hang our heads in shame lol. Ok, so my footwork isn’t going to win me any Golden Gloves titles. But El Tigre tells me I have great hand speed; that makes up some for my slowass feet.

One of the best parts of a boxing lesson is the chance to whale on the heavy bag. That’s why Keaton got one in in his apartment. It wasn’t just for work. (I wonder if a bouncer can take a punching bag off his taxes lol.) So I can go over there and get sweaty working the bag instead of taking one of those lameass runs. I wanted to get one in my place too, but the owners said no heavy drilling through the ceiling. (Y’all probably guessed that Keaton just didn’t ask permission.)

So we’re both taking this boxing thing seriously. Not competition seriously, but we’ve gotten to a little heavier sparring. I was scared shitless the first time I tried that with Keaton, since I’ve seen how hard he can hit, but he’s less dangerous with gloves on and in a proper boxing stance. Steve’s getting pretty good, too, and we’re all having a great time. It’s not baseball, but it’s so different from baseball that I don’t feel like it’s a weakass substitute.

And one more good thing about working with El Tigre: it means I can afford to eat all the ice cream I want lol

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