So I was physically sore yesterday, all over my body, even in my feet, but this morning when I woke up (it was 4:30, thank you, and I'll keep reminding you how early I wake up until my fingers bleed) the full-body, aching throb was too much to bare. So I crawled out of bed moaning like someone pathetic and weak and sick, near tears, whining, waking up my roommates (I assume) and praying My God, My God, please make this terrible pain stop. The Lord then suggested I inhale a couple Advil and shut the fuck up, so I did (I took 6), and it was Good.
The placebo effect happened until I was able to stand, at which point, I jumped on my bike and rode from my compound in the Western Addition ("The Ah-dish," as my minions call it) and through the Tenderloin in silence. There, I noticed for the first time that, in the early morning, before the sun rises, there are no voices in that part of the city. Everything sleeps. Once you pass Market Street, the occasional crackhead (I guess) can be seen walking in jagged lines, in what I can only assume is a preternaturally non-linear reality, muttering while walking along piss- and shit-stained sidewalks as you approach Sixth and Mission. But the Tenderloin's calm is eerie -- as if no one's lived there for a long time, and no one ever will. At least that's what I thought after 3 hours of sleep.
But that's totally beside the point. Boxing Bootcamp is deathly serious business, and it has nothing to do with my impressions of the Tenderloin at dawn, and everything to do with me getting in shape to kick the ever-loving shit out of Rob Q, from the Guardian (who, I'll repeat, is a really nice guy, despite his being the eventual target of my wrath).
Today's rigorous exercises included the same dreaded "warm-up" (Simon calls it "warm-up," I call it "persecution"), where 50 grown human beings and one ~13-year-old mega person (I forget his name) attempt to jump rope for 20 minutes straight. Then we went through some actual boxing drills, like throwing a jab, a double-jab, a triple jab, a punch with your back hand, and some combination and pivoting exercises, before going for a short run, and then, in climax, climbing a pretty steep fucking hill -- 20th Street, to be specific, on the East Side of Potrero Hill (the Dogpatch?), near the bay, approaching 3rd.
An interesting part of training with a group of people is that, though conversation is often brief (what will all the unison exercising going on), you begin to catch glimpses of personality through the swearing people do when they're pushing themselves. For example: while running up The Dreaded Hill this morning, a person I had been speaking with earlier, said the words "fucking cocksucker" under their breath, not at anyone in particular, but just, perhaps, at the misery they felt at that specific moment. Now, this person told me earlier that they teach small children professionally. Should I worry? Maybe. And, more specifically, no -- it's none of my business. But still: it's kinda interesting, yeah? What do you say when you're over-exerting yourself? I say "fuck" and "goddamnit," often over and over again.
At the end of the session, Simon introduced us to a nutritionist from Gold's Gym, who wore his Ray-Bans inside, to encourage better eating habits (which is totally needed -- I eat like an alcoholic child) and sign up for the nutritionist's personalized nutrition advice, which costs $100. I'll likely decline that offer, unless I can get Village Voice Media to pay for it.
Tomorrow: How to make steak.
Boxing Bootcamp is a bit of fun orchestrated by 3rd Street Gym, SF Weekly's Matt Stroud, and Rob Quintiliani from the SF Bay Guardian; the fun involves Rob and Matt training for 6 weeks before pummeling each other publicly for everyone's amusement. Questions? Write to Matt Stroud.