In those heady first days of lifting weights, where the young lifter sees dynamic results in bulk and quantity of weight lifted to a degree that will perhaps never be revisited, I used to laugh as my friend stared as his biceps bulged in the funhouse mirrors of the weight room. With each bicep curl, he shouted out a name of a rival high school--"Rockwell! University!..."
There was no mistaking his motivation, and my motivation in lifting with him. We had a clear set of opponents, the Jokers, Riddlers, and Penguins to our Batman. The league title was our goal, and the goal was a quite objective one.
Now, as I approach my 30th birthday, with no competition on the horizon, no players to shut down defensively, to league titles to earn, can I bring myself to do, to the best of my ability, with a Ray Allen-like singlemindedness, those nasty leg exercises, the squats, the lunges, the jump rope, the ones the make me have trouble climbing stairs the next day?