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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Boxing Bootcamp Day 7

Posted By on Tue, Jun 26, 2007 at 9:26 AM

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So I've been rereading some material about/by George Plimpton, the famous (and dead) participatory journalist who, in addition to founding The Paris Review, also made a career of practicing "the singular art of narrating panic." In regard to personal essays, I'm generally more familiar and drawn toward authors who discuss the effects of drugs (or war) on their bodies, but I figure it might not be a bad idea to consider some of Plimpton's grander failed accomplishments -- sparring three rounds with Archie Moore and Sugar Ray Robinson; losing badly in a tennis match with Pancho Gonzales; pitching to Willie Mays; et cetera -- before admitting that I'm really glad I'm not going to fight a professional boxer when all this is done.

And that's not to say I have no grand ambitions to have my own ass kicked by great, great people someday. No, I just mean to point out that, over the course of an hour and a half today, I nearly quit. For some reason -- and maybe it was all the beer I drank last night, or that I hadn't eaten anything in 16 hours -- I felt, I think for the first time since I started this course, completely unable to run or jump or do anything, really. Strange morning. I spent most of the workout in pathetic agony.

On that very unfun note, it seems that some people have started to drop the course. Suddenly, the room seems much emptier. And maybe they haven't dropped completely, but, if they haven't, the punishment for being late or missing class is apparently a nice 6am dip into the San Francisco Bay. If things go as they did today, you might read some narrated panic from little old moi, as I wade among dead bodies and barnacles as punishment for getting more than 4 hours of sleep.

Related:

--The Paris Review's official site

--George Plimpton Obit 1, 2.

--IT’S “QUEER EYE” MEETS “JACKASS” -- the story of two lawyers who went through the bootcamp last year.

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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.

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Matt Stroud

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