Since I started this blog I have gotten a lot of positive feed back, and I’ve been asked if I wouldn’t mind sharing any interest I may have outside of cooking.
I am going to share an exert from a memoir/cookbook I am writing about my childhood and my relationship with my mom who has always been my main inspiration. I learned all the basics from her as she was the one who taught me how to cook. But it was my dad who taught me how to grill a mean steak and how to defend myself. So I thought it would be nice to share one of my loves, and that is “Fighting”
I was born in Hawthorne, CA in 1965. and lived most of my childhood in and around the Inglewood, and the Lawndale area until I was 12 when our family moved to the Inland Empire Area.
I was a chubby kid all of my childhood and I did get picked on a lot. It was my dad taught me how to fight back, and taught me how to use both a heavy bag and speed bag. By the time I was a pre-teen, I could defend myself. Both my dad and grandfather were both boxers and of Irish decent.
My grandfather Riley fought in the “Golden Gloves” and my dad fought in lower cards, trying to break into professional boxing during the mid to late 60′s. This was also the Muhammad Ali era. I can remember sneaking into the living room and hiding behind the recliner to peek at a few fights my dad would watch on our little black and white TV. It was during this time, that my dad worked a normal day job, trained in the afternoon, and on occasion fought at night. But my dad was also in his mid 30′s and that is a difficult age for such a physically demanding sport.
One afternoon at work my dad was working on a scaffold when it collapsed and he fell three stories, breaking both legs, arms, right hand, left wrist, and several ribs. Needless to say his boxing career ended, but for many years after, he volunteered at a local gym in Lawndale and helped to train young fighters. I remember always wanting to go into the gym and my mom stopping me and making me go play at the park next to gym with my sisters.
It was my dad who taught me how to throw punches, I am a southpaw but I learned to throw both left and right punches, how to block my face, duck, and while in a stance, he taught me how to read my opponents body language so I could expect their next move. I loved the sport of boxing and grew up watching all the greats from Ali, Spinks, Foreman, Leonard, Duran and Iron Mike Tyson. Once Tyson retired, and Don King pretty much ruined the sport of boxing I quit watching all together.
In 2006 I flew my dad out for a visit, and that is when he introduced my son and I to the sport of MMA, and the UFC.
Besides my love of cooking, I love to watch MMA. Specifically UFC, Bellator, and on occasion Strike Force. For me there is something about two men in a locked octagon going toe to toe untill one submits, gets KO’d or they go the distance. Its pure adrenaline when one fights, and as a teen I had gotten into a few scrapes of my own in both Jr High and High School.
After the first few fights I got in, I never felt nervous, I think I liked it way too much. I would however feel sick to my stomach and throw up after I was home, then feel like a jerk for fighting. Now that I am older and wiser I don’t recommend fighting at all, but there are times when one may have to defend them self. I don’t have any regrets about learning to fight,. Just the fights I got into as a youngster.