Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Boys Don't Cry (But They Do Get Contusions)

[Rocky soundtrack, este Wannabe ng Spice Girls playing in the background]
When I was about ten, one particularly homophobic uncle, who was disgusted of my “mahinhin” ways, plotted to humiliate me. He had brought two pairs of gloves for boxing (a sport he always bragged about, which he said he was good at, aside from basketball and track and field) and gathered a small crowd of kanto boys and onlookers for his impromptu sparring.

I was playing Chinese garter with my female cousins and minding my own business when my uncle unexpectedly called my attention. With an evil grin on his face and a piggish glint in his eyes, he asked me to come over.

I was puzzled because he never really talks to me except to call my attention when I sat the wrong way (“Sit like a man!” he would yell). One of the male neighborhood kids about my age also donned a set of boxing gloves. “Put this on.” He said.
I was dumbfounded, and a little scared I guess. I was never into rough play like the boys were, but some of the people started cheering and calling my name so I reluctantly put on the oversized gloves­ on my tiny hands.

Pow! Pow! Pow! The other kid hit me surprisingly hard on the face and my saliva flew out of my mouth. I daintily wiped the sweat off my forehead, which was starting to pour. My heart started to pound wildly. In the corners of my eyes I saw a hint of satisfaction on his face, like he thought justice was being done or something. Ok, now that ticked me off. I knew then I had to win...
Uh oh, seventeen years later:

It was another one of those bad ideas of mine which sprung from my philosophy “I’ll just try it once to see what it’s like.” I was packing an extra five pounds or so, and the idea of monotonous weight lifting to lose the extra weight didn’t appeal to me as much. So I climbed five flights of stairs to Guiseppe’s Ringside to sign up.

The trainer, Allan, was a rather robust young man who looked like a clone of Manny Pacquiao. He oriented me on the beginner’s program (complete with that manly or rather sinister expression on his face) and it sounded simple enough: warm up and stretching, followed by footwork and basic moves in boxing like jab and straight punch. Fine. I forked over Php 1,250 to get started.

Session 1:

After a strenuous warm up, Allan and his assistant teamed up to teach me how to box properly.

“Raise your fists and make sure the right fist covers your cheekbone.” (But of course he said it in the vernacular, with a bit of Cebuano twang- I gather they were both from Ormoc or Southern Leyte).

I put on the meanest face I could give (and tried to control my hip swagger, hello Thad this isn’t the runway!) and positioned myself.


I twisted my body and extended my left arm quickly as instructed, to gather more force and power to my punch.


Wow, I thought, didn’t know I could punch like that. Then I had to mind my footwork. I was really starting to feel it.

“Jab straight!”

I punched with my left fist and then with my right.

Pow! Pow!

This is for you, dear uncle.

Pow! Pow!

This my Prof. in Math who failed me twice in UP.

Pow! Pow!
This is for the dutch guy in Puerto Galera.

Pow! Pow! Pow!

Oops. I got a little too carried away and hit poor Allan on the face.

I wiped the dripping sweat off my brow. Next up: the sand bag, then jumping rope.

Damn, I did fairly well with the sand bag except the times when I would stop momentarily to try to figure out what Allan’s assistant said. He kept screaming “Stret! Stret!”

Oh, he meant “straight”.

And the jumping rope- that was a lot of work. I used to be the best among all my playmates, practically dancing “I love you Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear” and skipping to the rope flawlessly. Seemingly hovering like an angel, saving all my clumsy teammates. Now, twenty seconds of jump rope made me feel tachycardic. I swear.

As I headed to the showers, I smiled to myself. This certainly beats sitting around at home, plus I get to kick ass.


mink said...

this post brings back memories... pero wala naman nambully na tito sa akin, its more of acceptance ng pamilya ko dati kung ano ako, tanggap nila... hmm may naisip ako na bagong post dahil dito... ahaga, thanks sa idea.

well that was, yes, ages ago, and a little trace of feminish ways was retained in me, pero not that too much na. ma try nga yang boxing na yan...

may tanong ako thadie...

bakit tatlo yung pow pow pow kay dutch guy?

wala lang natanong ko lang!


nice post!

dabo said...

wow... nakakaingit! yun lang ang masasabi ko sa ngayon.. naiinggit ako.. wahhh! take care thaddie.

tagabukid said...

Thanks for the visit, thad. :D
'stret, stret'...pag ako baka masabi ko, 'strit, strit' instead, bisaya din ako hehe...

Phoenix said...

@ mink: aabangan ko yung post mo = )

hahaha yung sa dutch? inis lang siguro ching!

@ dabo: kakaingiit yung sakit sa katawan? ; ) ingat din

@ tagabukid: i have my slips now and then too. warays have a distinct accent as well = )

Badingako said...

So how many sessions does your payment take you?

As much as I want to learn how to punch someone, my Victoria Beckham legs and my Giselle Bundchen strut would immediately scream to my trainor "I'm gay!". We all know how that would end up. Sigh!

But who knows, I could be that gay kick boxing dude as well. LOL! :)

Mugen said...

So siguro alam mo rin yung larong shake shake shampoo? Hehe. Halos pareho tayo ng games na nilalaro nung bata ah.

Speaking of boxing, parang natetempt talaga akong mag MMA. Lol.

chase / chubz said...

ooohhh.. boxing? my face! my delicate face.. hehehehe.

dutch guy? i didn't know that story ha. i hope you can tell more about that. ahihihih.

cant_u_read said...

i have a lot of catching up to do. hinay-hinay sa posts, thad! mahina ang kalaban! hehehe!

dean said...

da best tong entry mong to!! pow pow!!

red riding odin hood said...

i was lucky kasi growing up wala naman homophobic uncle or male relatives na nang-bully sakin. nobody really got to bully me for sometimes being mahinhin kasi palaban din kasi ugali ko. kung di sila takot sakin, takot sila sa mga kuya ko or sa mom ko na mataray. hehe

bakit parang halos lahat ng boxing trainers kamukha ni pacqiao? yung trainer din sa gym namin kamukha niya hahaha

rik32miles said...

I tried boxing when I was 13 or 14.I didn't like it then but I'd like to try it again.
before we start can i just say..Pre Pakiss!!

jericho said...

except for that one time, big time fistfight with my cousin (who's now also gay), i never boxed. never liked boxing .. kahit pa hubad sila. hehe. i like the image of boxing the bullies and others who need an uppercut once in a while though ..;)

Phoenix said...

@ remcyl: 12 sessions = )

@ mugen: shake shake shampoo? hmm parang nakalimutan ko na ang mechanics ; )

@ chase: the look of love yung title ng post

@ rye: hehe ok

@ dean: thanks po!

@odin: cguro may factory na gumagawa ng clones hehe

@ rik32miles: boxing for fitness is fun, you should try it again

@ jericho: right you are, my friend


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