After about a month of boxing classes at Danny’s gym, I got to spar this week. I don’t remember much of what happened. I do remember some of what I heard.
— “Kevin, are you sparring today? Yeah? Wanna spar with my dad? It’s his first time. Go easy.”
Even though Kevin went easy, his first jab hit me on the forehead and snapped my head back. That didn’t hurt, I thought. My arms moved in strange ways trying to block punches and I got tired quickly, but before the half-way mark I was able to land a few punches. Kevin let me have some fun.
The one punch I remember landing nicely was a straight left to the solar-plexus. I had switched to a lefty stance (right foot forward) and led with the left hand, stepping in a little. This was a modified karate reverse-punch, modified in that the hand that was not punching went up to my right cheek instead of down to the hip where it would have gone in a karate punch.
I heard the sound my glove made against Kevin’s body, then I heard laughter. I’d been able to overcome the bad habit of pulling the non-punching hand low, but had been unable to suppress the karate yell, which came out particularly loud: “yaaaaahh!” I guess it was pretty funny.
I flailed my arms some more, threw a combination, maybe a weak hook or two and then got so tired I could barely move. Kevin was very patient and kind. Right before the end of the three-minute round he threw a jab to the tip of my chin. That was his way of saying “tuck your chin in, man”. I heard that.