Saturday, April 28, 2012

Rejuvenation or Preservation?

As the NBA regular season winds down, veterans with legitimate hopes of a playoff run--see Bryant, Kobe, and Boston's Big Three--watch most of the final games from the bench, dressed to the nines in the latest and/or costliest fashions.  Tim Duncan was held out of a few of the last regular-season games, with "Old" listed as the reason for his absence.  In my quest to dunk, to get my Brittney Griner on, I picture myself sitting the bench, resting my Achilles tendon, hoping that the doctor, without my permission, made me a guinea pig.  Maybe he wanted to test the latest technology which allowed for me to receive a "boosted" Achilles tendon, one that automatically propels its domain owner to sky in the air, no matter his previous athletic genes and pedigree.  (Although, wouldn't that make it so the receiver of the tendon was only athletically explosive in one leg?)  Ok, end of fantasy...
As I slowly work my way up the mountain that is recovery, I see the glass backboard as half-built and half -destroyed.  Have I been preserved, like a jar of pickles, pungent and acrid upon release, or have I been rejuvenated, like stale bread made new with water and a baking oven?
Have these (almost) nine months since my injury set me back nine months towards my goal of dunking a basketball?  Or has my particular chemistry, my vertical leap, my athleticism, been rejuvenated, an iPhone plugged in and refreshed up to full capacity?
A friend of mine and I argue--too strong of a word, I guess:"argue"--about whether or not someone can "make up" for lost sleep.  A 3:30 am bedtime before a 8:00 am wakeup call-can those three or four hours lost in the pursuit of the golden seven/eight hours be recovered?  Are those hours lost to the sands of time, or can they be recovered by sleeping, say, eleven hours the next night?
Will Kobe come out swinging when his playoff series starts?  Will the games he sat out help him to be a mite quicker, a mite more explosive?  Being that he has played the great majority of the NBA schedule since he was an Afro-sporting, first-step dominating, Brandy Norwood-dating tyke in 1996, one wonders if his knees have grinded a bit too much, if his body has deteriorated a bit more than say someone who has never played in The Summer Olympics-Kobe has played in one Olympics and plans to play in 2012--or 208 playoff games.
Can I get these nine/ten months back?  Has my athleticism been preserved, leaving me just as athletic, but nine months older, or have I been in some propped up by this athletic spinach, giving me a second wind like Popeye?
Is my dunk nine months away, or have I given away nine months and my best chance to dunk?

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