o…Down goes Frazier… Down goes…
It’s amazing… I never thought that would be a literal statement. There are just those who you think will never die and, for me, Smokin’ Joe Frazier was one of them. Cancer, his life snatcher, doesn’t discriminate and definitely doesn’t have a respect of person.
We all know him to be one of the greatest, one of the most prolific, and one of the most feared heavy-weight boxers ever… And these things are all true. This champion was also a trailblazer. In reading information around his passing, I was glad to see sentiments like Floyd “Money” Mayweather offering to pay funeral expenses. To me, it resounded as an act of respect for someone who paved the way so Mayweather could be who he is today.
He was 67 and lived a rare and extraordinary life… Here’s to greatness and paving the way.
Generally, I think teachers are different today than when I was in school. I feel a good number of them don’t seem invested as they’re beating their students out of the door when the bell rings. I’m sure some of you remember the days when teachers stayed hours after their regular school day to tutor or just to talk some sense into a student… Not to mention the home visits. Well, uh rah, I think this teacher might get a pass…
When your elementary school teacher was twisting your classmate’s ear, pulling him to his seat for his latest bout of misbehaving, I’m certain you weren’t wondering if your teacher had a right hook… (Yes, Mike Tyson style).
Sonya Lamonakis, a 36-year-old Harlem [New York] elementary school teacher, is also a professional boxer. Despite her classifying this “gig” as a hobby (Crack up!), Lamonakis is a top-five-rated female heavyweight who is being groomed for a title shot (I know, I know… a collective Lil’ John “What“!).
Turning down fights if there’s a PTA conflict or school-day event, Lamonakis makes her priority clear:
In February, when [Promoter Lou] DiBella had a show televised on Broadway Boxing at BB Kings [in New York City], he asked me to be on the card. I couldn’t, because I had made a promise to the kids. I was actually going to take them to a show. I already made these plans like three months ago. So I told him I had a commitment to the kids, to my students, and I just couldn’t disappoint them.
While she loves the sport and really knows her stuff, I love that she loves the children. I mean, as someone who loves young people and is committed to their tomorrows, I am impressed by Lamonakis’ dedication and her overall compassion for her students.
I know teachers can’t throw down (a.k.a. beat down) with children the way they did back in the day, but uh, kids may want to think twice before talking back to tight-bun-glasses-on-edge-of-nose-flat-shoe-wearing Ms. Brown.
I’ve become a fan of sorts of the A&E program, Intervention. It’s a reality-driven show, but without all the bells and tantalizing whistles. It, however, depicts the life of an addict and attempts to break down the source of addiction to help the individual find the road back to recovery through a surprise intervention by friends and family. This latest one had me and just wouldn’t let go…
“The Champ”… is what passersby still referred to this homeless addict as… “Champ”, they yelled as they drove up and handed him $20 or passed by and handed him $1 in support of him, but in actuality in support of his alcohol and crack addiction. Whitney Houston said it best, “Crack is wack”. But the amazing downward spiral of former boxing champ, Rocky Lockridge, was heart wrenching to say the least.
I’m sure you’ll catch the episode again, but what caught me were his twin boys. Rocky’s name sake loved him and never gave up hope while the second son was filled with hurt and disappointment that he masked with hate. This man had it all and before he knew it, he had nothing. He left his family and only last year, after over 15 years, was he reunited with his eldest son. Rocky, like all the addicts on the show, was surprised by the intervention of family members and friends, but easily accepted the gift of rehabilitation.
The show panned back onto his life 2 1/2 months later and there stood no longer a shell of a man. Rather, there stood a man, in front of his proud boys, who seemed to had learned some things and who was completely sober. Throughout the emotional story, what stood out to me was hope… it was the hope of his eldest son and reluctantly of his younger twin, and of course others, that pulled him back from the life as a living dead. Surely, we all have a “Champ” in us… and even when we aren’t living up to our fullest potential there will be some who will still be able to identify us and call us by name. It is never too late and you’ve never gone too far to find the Champ in you.
Greed and contentment. I’m thinking about these two words and I’m curious about your thoughts…
Recently, a boxer was robbed and killed in Atlanta. Vernon Forrest, a former boxing champion, was murdered senselessly because of greed. A guy robbed Forrest at a gas station, took off with his wallet, and shot him repeatedly from the back. I literally have to ponder on this murderer’s actions because it is just so random. I’m captivated by the notion and the obvious reality that I can choose to kill you because I want what you have…
What’s hard for me, I think, is the very public life of Forrest outside the ring. He resounded contentment as a humanitarian and lover of life. I mean, this guy wanted to change the world and imparted into children this same desire.
Why is this okay? I’m not really asking about the murderous aspect of it all because, unfortunately, stealing lives is very much a reality in this world. I’m more referring to the disproportionate meeting of greed versus contentment. I asked Hubby to give me an example of my lack of contentment so I could share it with you guys… He said that situationally, he felt that I am always content with where I am, good or bad (Stop buttering me up, Honey! LOL!). But he then continued by saying that regarding greed, I am quite greedy with my time (Don’t judge me… Crack up! And hey, he didn’t expound and I didn’t ask.)…
I’m showing my greed/contentment contradiction because I think we all possess it… That innate contradiction, that is. Well, don’t we?