Thursday, November 22, 2007

Elizabeth gets a sex offer but goes wheelchair boxing instead

Wheelchair boxing girl is BACK! You can decide if that is a good thing or a bad thing. I visited my doctor today and I am charged with doing systolic and beat per minute readings for the 36 hours after 75 minutes of strenuous exercise (boxing class). And when I say strenuous, let’s say that you don’t end up having a “good hair day." At least I don’t as my bangs and the floating hair strands which escaped from the pony-tail and join together to create a solar system with my very own asteroid belt circling my head. Anyway, here I am dressed in black. I am wearing my Victoria Secret Top with Cheeky or Sexy written across my breasts or whatever label VS decide that year will mean, “Yes, you will desperately want to have sex with me, but I won’t because I’ll be too busy going to a fashion shoot.” I think summarizes the allure they sell doesn’t it?

In an unrelated anecdote I actually saw a woman sexually offering herself FREE to anyone today on my way to the Cool Aid Clinic. The Clinic is next to the needle exchange which also happens to be a block or two from the “historic” Chinatown (150 years ago it had a lot of opium dens, gambling halls and brothels and the back alleys to escape the law are still there). Well, she was tripping and someone had said something to set her off and unfortunately there were TWO bus-loads of tourists taking pictures of Chinatown. And this woman in her short denim skirt and her well traveled face bent over on the sidewalk I was waiting with my wheelchair to cross, lifted her skirt and said, “Come on, it’s right here, come get some of that!” (Though she was not actually talking to me I had a direct eye line view – errrr, just because you are a lesbian doesn’t mean you like ALL things shoved in your face from females). Then she wandered into the middle of the street (oblivious to traffic) and hitched again, “Here it is, come on, don’t you want a taste you fuckers!” As it was, I was late to my Doctor’s appointment and had to make two blocks in about 90 seconds so I didn’t have time for the rest of story, sorry. Still, I am sure a woman standing under the Chinatown “good luck” Dragon Gates, bent over, her hair trailing on the ground as she hitched up her denim skirt (Can we say “Commando!”) provided a VERY memorial experience for some tourists. I guess my fascination was the amount of times I have fantasized about doing that – it turns out to be a lot less attractive and sexy in real life.

Back to boxing. Now, after I did my happy face of boxing I had to do the second (or was it third?) round of a three minute bout of shadow boxing. When I go to boxing remember the purpose is to SWEAT (which I don’t normally do) and to do such extreme boxing that I tear down my muscles in order to be rebuilt; if there isn’t muscle trauma, it doesn’t count. So when I box, I sort of turn into “Demon” Elizabeth, in which I literally try to throw twice as many punches as anyone else in the club, and twice as hard (and tonight there were 13 guys and only 3 girls). Which is why I tend to….errr…pass out, after a particularly hard round (or during, whichever). So this is what I look like when I shadow box:

Yeah, not so smiley and nice anymore.

The secret to wheelchair boxing is a) you have to learn how to hit. If you are a female you have been taught from day one NOT to hit. The problem is that if you give half assed hits what you are really doing is hitting short. You know the phrase “If you had a long enough lever you could shift the world”? Well, if you accelerate a fist while turning your body and throw a 36 inch punch, it is going to have a LOT more power than say, a 12 inch hit. This why we practice on the heavy bag, because it doesn’t scream or go “ow!” or “Stop that!” and flail at you with open palms. Truth is, you are going to be hurting a lot more than the heavy bag at the end of the night. So, if you are like me, you use the swing of the heavy bag to practice your timing and then throw combo’s. Sometimes, Ian the coach will have us practice combo’s for a minute like, jab, counter, jab or jab, counter, hook or jab, hook, hook to the body. If you want a sport that will give you a complete workout, disabled or not, try “non-contact” boxing. Tonight we did one minute rotating stations of sit-ups, push-ups, heavy bag, lunges and break. Then again for four or five rounds. That’s the “warm up” for the advanced class. And if you are finding doing 25 to 30 sit ups in a minute boring you can throw a jab, counter at the top of each sit up.

I got to do a bout with the “second”, the guy who takes the class when Ian is away, lets call him J. He has custom yellow gloves and I like fighting him because he bobs and weaves and so I really need to get my timing down. Of course, I would like to say I felt a little sorry for J. as he fights wheelchair girl with the coach Ian yelling “Get him Liz! Get him!” I would say it except I was too busy going all out trying to nail that dodging boxer. Last time I had managed a few good body blows (uppercut to the heart is my specialty) but he had changed to defend himself. He kept retreating so I couldn’t body blow him (Even with Ian yelling “Coward! Stay and take it!” at him). I used a move I saw the first black heavyweight Jack Johnson use: if you have a longer reach you hold your arm out, putting your right fist directly in the opponents face. Then as you see them start to come around for an attack on the right, you throw a fast jab with your left as you pull your right fist back (that space where your right fist was is empty, leaving a big fist sized hole in front of their face). I think I must have frustrated J. because at one point he actually ran around to the back of my chair (it was locked), I crouched and defended, I couldn’t get in a good hit (there were cries of “Booo!” from a certain party). It was a good three minutes and I might have gotten in 5 or 6 decent hits. This is the excitement of bouts with higher level boxers, you can’t take as many chances and you have to think and act even faster. So getting a few hits is a major deal. I was really proud of that head hit. I know “good girls” wouldn’t say that, but I “out-thought” him and thus “out-fought” him….for at least five to seven seconds.

Of course, preceding this bout I was on oxygen and had already spent two “time-outs” in the stairwell (where the cold air is). See, with Linda, I am slurring and trying to say, “Just one more round” and she just goes, “Yes, yes” and pushes me into the stairwell anyway. So Ian came over to check with/on me. Then Linda and I and Ian argued and I wanted “One bout!” I just kept saying it till he agreed. Well, guess who had to do the one bout.....J. So he sees me getting pushed out of the stairwell with the oxygen tubes going into my nose and he exclaims, “Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me.” I gave him the EYE, and a weak “bring it on” wave with my gloves with a big shit-eating grin on my face. Hey, I was getting my ONE ROUND BOUT! J. just exclaimed louder, “You’ve GOT to be kidding ME!” Ha ha ha ha!

Yeah, I might be down, but don’t count me out!


anabel said...

I love hitting the heavy bags. I can be having a shit day then go in and teach one of my kickboxing classes and it's like this big disconnect from my sometimes over emotional brain.

You go girl! Your technique and intensity in those pictures looked great.

Casdok said...

NO you certainly are not out! Great photos!

Lisa Harney said...

So, that one more round . . . did you get a body blow in?

Also, you're reminding me of how much working out I'm not doing right now. I'm about a billion miles away (okay, 90-something) from my Capoeira mestre, and about 30 from the nearest belly dancing class, and no car. CURSES.

The boxing looks and sounds like fun, plus a good workout.

Marla Fauchier Baltes said...

That looks like a whole lotta work! You go girl!

Sara said...

No, no, no -- not out at all.

Poor J -- he literally didn't know what was about to hit him! ;)

alphabitch said...

That looks so fun! I want to try it. Although I think I'll try it first without the wheelchair.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Anabel: Yes, and the endorphines can turn a blue day into a fun day, particularly when you have to bout - because it is always more interesting (lightly) beating up boys than shadow boxing.

Casdok: Thanks to Linda without whose help, I could not take the class. Like yesterday the instructor said, "Anything we need to know for this week?" and I said, "Well, it is important to remember this: 9 - 1 - 1" and he said, "Don't even joke about that, you know the number of times you have terrified us, we are too scared if we call, later you might come to and then come after us!"

Lisa: I got a few blows off his ribs and side because he twisted away most of the time to use a shoulder block, alas. Kickboxing for women is offered at the Y too and it looks fun, except I can't do the kicking bit.

Marla: Yes, very fun to play, but more than a little painful later - but still better to be in the game than not play at all.

Sara: Yeah, I used to feel bad for these guys but now, I just try to get them as much as possible - during the bout I actually threw both hands out simultanously in a double jab and he actually fell back and went, "What was that?" Me: "Uh..hitting you?" I am not very traditional if I think I can get a hit.

Alphabitch: Yes, I would recommend it anyway you want - it is no contact and you don't have to bout if you don't want to. But since part of Shy-Drager's is that I don't sweat it is one of the few times a week where after about 30 minutes I actually sweat which is good, very good (I never thought I would be happy and GRATEFUL to sweat).

alphabitch said...

I've been trying to get my mind around the no sweating thing. I think I sweat kind of a lot, and have had to learn to let go of being self-conscious about it, especially since moving to North Carolina from Minnesota. Might have something to do with how my dad used to tease me by saying, even though I was not a fat child: "you don't sweat much, for a fat girl." I'm still not sure what was supposed to be funny about that. But it'd probably why I've always regarded not getting all sweaty as a kind of superhuman virtue, and something to strive for.

Elizabeth McClung said...

alphabitch: Me, too, I did not want to sweat and usually I don't noticably unless I am exercising then I do, a LOT (like they used to have to towel the lane I fenced in BETWEEN points). But if you don't sweat all at, means you don't use your microcapillary system, means you overheat, means that all sorts of stuff gets dumped into your blood so I have nausea 24/7 and I also get heat stroke IF I am careful about 5-10 times a week. It used to be up to 5 times a day. I go into a store, they are pumping hot air, this makes my hot core even hotter, I pass out. I get in a taxi, he has the heater on, in 5 minutes I pass out. It is boring and tiring and I slur words and I can't move body parts and it causes a short in my brain so forcing myself to sweat twice a week I HOPE will deal with the problem. But really everyone needs to sweat, even if not visably.

Daniel, the Guy in the Desert said...

Awesome! I really dig the fearsome Elizabeth.
In re Miss Denim Skirt; When the brochures said "Scenic British Columbia", they didn't imagine it referred to exciting female Canadian genitalia, i'll wager.

em said...

That sounds a lot like what I do in Anabel's class, except that you sound competent to think on your feet, something I'm not really good at. It sounds like you are having some fun along with the pain and slurring? I hope so.

Hey, I have Reynaud's syndrome and I take Bilberry, which is an herb, to encourage micro-capillary function. My doctor who is an MD and also very interested in herbs recommended it. I have definitely noticed an improvement in my symptoms, the main one of which is Total Blood Evacuation from my fingers. You know, FWIW.

Amy said...

have you got (or considered getting) a Wii? It's got lots of fin fighting, punching, shooting, sword-fighting games that can give you a lot of exercise ina wheelchair.

APDUDE said...