Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Strength Shoes, Day One

I finally put the hibernating Strength Shoes into action today, some two months after they arrived in an awkward-sized package. With a week off from teaching (Spring Break 2010, woo!), but not a week off from grading history projects on World War II and Japanese-American internment camps, the perfect time has arrived for the beginning of the Strength Shoes Era. The need to take some time off from the monotony of grading cookie-cutter teenage projects, coupled with five days off, has given me the perfect time to start a Phase II in my quest to dunk.
The workout was a very good one, tantalized to its peak by this new object in the mix. With the strapping on of the suprisingly un-unwieldy shoes, I felt heartened, as if this new pill would help me get well. In addition to my usual dunk workout of 30 calf raises, 25 squats with a 10lb. medicine ball, 20 rim/ceiling touches and five knee-to-chest jumps in place, I did 300 plyometric jumps with the Shoes on--100 with both legs at the same time, and 100 with each leg separately. I also hopped through 75 jump rope repetitions with the Shoes on, pleased that I didn't fall on formerly wobbly legs adjusting to having my calves so prominently platformed.
So, what's ahead? Is this dunk imminent? I wonder now if I have to set myself a deadline an arbitrary or not-so-arbitrary date by which I will dunk. My next birthday, a holiday, New Year's?
Last week, a student of mine turned in a twoweeksearly essay, written with great passion about a subject close to her heart. As the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, she wrote a hasty but passionate summary of the Nazi camps, her loving paean to her grandparents and her idealistic attempt to use her pen to say "Never Again."
With the words, "Here's the final draft," and a throw/flutter of the paper from her hand to my desk, she smiled, turned, and with a flourish, walked away into her cave of friends, with the Hollywood scene missing only a bar of soap and a washbasin for her hands.
Talking to her later, I fumbled through my words in trying to convince her that what she had turned in to me had in fact been a rough draft, but one stripe of a stilldeveloping road. "The only thing that makes a draft a final draft," I said, navigating clumsily into a strong-sounding aphorism, perhaps stolen from another source in my past, "is a deadline."
So maybe the Shoes are my revisions, my last touches, on the project I have been dallying on a bit too much. Maybe the Shoes arrival will force me to set a deadline for The Dunk.
Or maybe the Shoes are a panacea, a harbinger of more procrastination to come, because we all know that once the aspirin sinks in, we are now living in an altered world, and it's hard to tell where the world's devices and our personal choices intersect...

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