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Tuesday, September 03, 2013

What Was the First Rule of Fight Club?

We went up to our local boxing club because Corinna needed another Olympian to sign some stuff.

The other Olympian lives and works out near us but boxed for Nigeria in Bejing. He's turned pro, and he's quite a specimen.

Being a retired Judo athlete, I think Corinna looks at boxing differently than I do. She looks it as something she might like to do, possibly.

I look it as something barbaric, uncivilized, possibly something that in its current form shouldn't even be legal.

Looking at this gym and the people working out in it, though, I thought about my former Youth Friend, a kid I tried to mentor from First Grade until high school. He was wicked tough but had a real problem with authority, some learning disabilities, and a fairly tragic home life. I thought football would be the answer for him but he lacked the focus and discipline when the time came, and now I think a boxing gym would have been better. Equally suited to his strengths but also a place he could have had more one-on-one attention.

A little kid who was working out there latched on time and my camera, posed some then wanted to shoot it himself and to my surprise I let him. I had to tell him to step forward at one point, he was about to take a punching bag to the back of the head while holding my baby.

In the coach's office there was a picture of Muhammad Ali standing over Sonny Liston, autographed by Ali. An iconic sports photo, even I'd seen it. It's not an image that makes boxing look less barbaric, but it is inspirational in its way.

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