I hadn't taken class for a week, due to Thanksgiving, travel, struggles to get elderly parents to face up to their eroding independence, work, etc. etc. etc. A sad and somewhat stressful Thanksgiving along with the joy of seeing family.
Tonight, another Wednesday, another sparring class. I was nervous about it ahead of time, so much time off. But I read a little in The Ultimate Boxer, and came up with some moves to work on in sparring, which relieved my anxiety. I hoped my buddy Larry of The Family That Fights Together would be there.
So much fun. I'm still only boxing in sparring, not kicking/being kicked due to my ACL recovery. Larry was my first sparring partner. I sparred really well with him, I was able to anticipate his moves, I moved well, I found openings to hit him.
Another partner was young (20s), strong, fast Mario. I was mostly able to keep him at bay and land some punches, but he did really stun me with a fast three-punch combination--very nice.
I also sparred with a black belt who's a bit older than me. I noticed I could draw out his right hand with my jab, so I would use that info to throw a cross, and I also got a right-hand hook to his head. One time he really got me with a hook to the head. "Did I drop my hand?" I asked. His great answer: "No, I'm really good."
After a few more people, back to Larry. This time, I did terrible. I found myself moving straight back--something you don't want to do. Then I tried holding my ground, and he just pounded on me. I was thinking, maybe I'm too tired to move, maybe I'm thinking too much.
Talked with Larry afterward. He said the first round with him I totally read him--at one point I got him with a really good hook punch to the head (we do use helmets and we don't go all out). He was very frustrated.
So the next round with me he changed his tactics. Instead of boxing, he just went full out to put pressure on me, advancing and punching relentlessly--and it worked. I was so glad he told me, I knew he had changed something but I couldn't figure it out. Instead of moving to the side, I moved back, etc.
So much fun. As I always say, it's like a very primal chess game.