Thursday, July 21, 2011


I'm having trouble finding the right schedule for working out.

Right now I'm trying out going to the gym at work in the morning, Monday through Friday, going to boxing class in the evening Monday, Wednesday and/or Friday, and getting in a day of working out on the weekend.

The problem is I'm exhausted. My work day officially starts at 8 AM (though I'm often working on my commute on the way in). My commute is long. To get to the work gym in time to get to my desk a little before 8,  I have been getting up at 5:15 AM.

That means, to get 7 or 8 hours of sleep--and I am one of those people who do better on 8 hours--I need to get to sleep at 9:15 or so, far before my family goes to bed, which is unsatisfying.

Moreover, boxing class runs 8 to 9, and I just don't get enough sleep after that class.

Going to the gym during the work day isn't ideal. I supervise reporters doing real-time news, and it's not at all comfortable to be in the gym when somebody commits some news.

I'm still trying to figure it out.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


I am shocked--shocked!--that the most heavily anticipated heavyweight fight of the year--between 6'6" Wladimir "Dr. Steelhammer" Klitschko and 6'3" challenger David "Hayemaker" Haye--turned out to be a disappointment.

Klitschko, a Ukrainian living in Germany, is huge, he weighs about 243 lbs., but he is a very strong, skilled and fit athlete. He fights very carefully, using his pile-driver-like jab to keep opponents out of their range and, once they're thoroughly befuddled, using his killer right hand to knock them out. People criticize him for "boring" fights where he doesn't take chances. But he doesn't need to take chances to win, and I can't blame him.

Haye, a Brit, was an excellent cruiserweight (the next-heaviest weight class) and talked tough about knocking out Klitschko, but failed to do anything besides dodging many of the big guy's punches without punching much in return.

End result: A boring but convincing one-sided victory by Klitschko, and more evidence that nobody outside the Klitschko family (his bigger brother is ranked the #2 heavyweight in the world--they'll never fight each other) can handle them.

There's an interesting argument that there are few world-class American heavyweight boxers nowadays because, for really big athletes, the economics of pro football or basketball are much more rewarding (with, to some extent, less risk of long-term damage) than those of boxing. Big athletes overseas don't always have the same economic calculation, so more of them head into boxing.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

How My Experiment With Sparring Again Turned Out

My wife says she has "nothing nice to say to me" about the incident last night. My friend The Hulk says he's going to kick me next time he sees me.

So I'm not a very popular guy right now in certain circles.

What I did was try out sparring in my boxing class--and, in the process, I twisted my trick knee again. I was hoping sparring would be okay because you don't kick in boxing, and kickboxing is how I tore my ACL in the spring.

However, last night I twisted my knee anyway when I was moving by placing my foot improperly. Since I no longer have an ACL to hold my knee in place--and despite tons of exercise meant to strengthen all the muscles around my knee--my knee bended in a funky direction and I dropped down to the floor in pain. End of sparring.

Today, I'm using the RICE method of treating the knee and generally taking it easy.

Why did I try sparring again? Because I find sparring to be life-affirming for me--I challenge my fears, I test my skill against another person in a controlled setting. Getting ready for sparring was exciting: the trainer actually put vaseline on my face, which of course you see in real boxing matches, and put some on our gloves as well.

I was sparring with Kenny, a young man who's much stronger than me (though I may be in equal or better cardio condition). He's studied boxing for a year (and took two years of karate when he was young, which he said helped keep him out of fights by boosting his confidence--he didn't feel the need to fight.) He was really good. He moved his head very well, and I found him a tough target to hit with my jab. He hopes to go into the Golden Gloves.

Since I had been able to train in boxing without hurting my knee, I truly hoped that I wouldn't get hurt during sparring. I was wrong. We didn't even finish the first round before I twisted my knee.

I could conceivably get a metal brace made for my knee. I do think my sparring days are over unless I go through another ACL reconstruction operation. If I did, I would likely opt for an allograft, since the biggest remaining problems from my prior surgery are from the incision to remove part of my patellar tendon to use as a graft. All in all, I'd rather not do the surgery, which would be painful, expensive and take me out of commission for months.

So today I have a stiff knee--I do hope and expect from experience that my mobility will increase with rest and time--and a couple of close people really mad at me. I do hope and expect from experience that issue will also improve with time.