Thursday, June 4, 2009

Training With Manny Pacquiao

By James P Dayap

The Pacman is one tough man to follow when it comes to training. Being nowhere near an athele's shape, I tried to follow a long on some of his training during spring break 2009(3/15/09-3/20/09).

My brother arrived at the Pallazo apartment brisk and early at 6:00AM on a Wednsday morning. The house is a bustle, Buboy is drinking coffee a long with the rest of team Pacquiao, and everyone is stretching and getting ready for the morning workout. Alex Arisa and Michael Moorer sit next to me on the couch as we wait for the Pacman himself to walk down the stairs. Pacman the dog barks excitedly, knowing he is going to get to go running. Manny comes downstairs, and the entire house vacates towards the parking lot.

A convoy of vehicles drives towards Silverlake. We get there by 6:45am The team is excited because HBO is there to capture some of the first few days of Manny's training. Manny, his brother Bobby, featherwieght prospect Bernabe Concepcion, Pacman the dog, and myself, start the 5 mile run.

Immediately, the boxers set a pace I think I can keep up with, the run is slightly downhill at first...but the there is a climb, and I find myself 1 mile in and out of energy. I slow down to a walk to see Manny and the others have sped off. Big wakeup call to me, get in shape... and maybe become a professional boxer.

At the end of the run, Alex Arisa has Manny do a variety of ab workouts and stretches. Bernabe Concepcion follows suit, and I simply am too tired to even do anything. It is now 10:45am.

We break for lunch, and head back to Pallazo. Manny, his brother, and other members of team Pacquiao start playing darts. Some great meals are whipped up, Manny scarfs down a large amount of rice, and we head to Wildcard by 12:45PM.

Manny's training at the Wildcard gym, forces all other boxers and non essencial personel to leave. Luckily I got to see him train, and watch the brutally devistating power he displays in his fights. Sparing partners would try their best to rally against the Pacman, but would constantly be outboxed by the Filipino superstar. Freddie Roach would work the mits, and Paquiao would demand more rounds, exhausting his coach. After a long day of working out, Manny and the team leave the gym to go eat the the Thai restaurant downstairs by 5:00PM.

People show up and bombard the Filipino Hero for autographs, and he happily signs, then heads to go eat. We get served right away, and the day's sparing tape is replayed on a projector in the restaurant. Everyone watches in awe as Manny's sparing partner for the day takes a brutal beating.

By 6:30, we are all heading back to Pallazo, and for everybody, it's rest and relaxation. First it's a fun game of ping pong, then darts, then some fun and laughing, and finally kareoke. The champ heads to bed around or before 10.

What do I take from the experience? I got to train and hang out with my favorite boxer, and the man has a work ethic that can't be matched. If people keep wondering how he keeps beating bigger and stronger opponents, it's because of his work ethic, natural gifts, and strong will to win.

JP Out.

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