Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Amy Handelsman on Yuri Formeman

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My boxing training has taken me back to Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, home to Yuri Foreman; I’ve become obsessed with the June 5th bout. To my delight, Yuri comes in to train while I am there this morning; I eye him keenly, trying not to stare but anxious to pick up pointers. We jump rope in tandem across the gym floor, a line of duct-taped heavy bags between us. He steps into the ring to shadowbox; he’s as fluid as an eel. I am reminded of the predictions about the fight—that Cotto has the superior punching power—but I’ll take a boxer over a banger any day, and Foreman may be too quick for him. In any event, it’s also said that Foreman will go against his natural instinct as a counter-puncher and be more aggressive, bringing the fight to his opponent.

At home, I read up on Yuri’s rabbinical training at the Iyyun Institute with Rav Dov Ber Pinson, a world-renowned Kabbalistic scholar. The rabbi has been recommended to me by other observant friends who know I am a spiritual seeker and looking for my next teacher. I watch YouTube videos of Foreman being asked how he reconciles his boxing with his rabbinical studies. He says that boxing is his job, while his studies with the Pinson are his schooling, and that they complement each other. The Iyyun website argues further for the balance of heart, mind, and body. I feel a surge of energy reading this, as I have always felt that being in the ring was a kind of sanctuary, and that my immersion in boxing, religion, and theater was all part of the same stew.

No comments:

Post a Comment