Friday, August 10, 2012
I was once the legit baller (maybe I will be again), and now am some ten or twelve years older than the youngest guys out there. I received a hearty greeting from Brad, a guy I used to play against, and before he could get the words out, "What up, man? Haven't seen you since..." I told him the short story of my post-injury recovery, and had a notion that it seemed like I'd just been talking to him, but at the same time, it had been ages since I'd talked to him. Brad was the one who remarked that my shoes were "Mr. Rogers-style" and not basketball ready, just a few minutes before my Achilles cracked like a Kit Kat commercial.
We were both a year older, and I hadn't played a single competitive minute in 365 days. Brad, being That Guy that You Always See (in this case, at that gym), must have played tens or hundreds of times in that stretch.
Was this a well-needed rest for an aging athlete, or a missed opportunity where my vertical and chances of dunking took a nosedive that is impossible to regain?
As I took that jump shot from the spot of my injury, I felt a chill that was dwarfed by the chill I get when I think of the fact that if I fastforward a year, the same guys will be there, and I'll be a year older. And I know that all of the days in-between, the calf raises, the weight lifting, the (hopefully) pickup games, will seem like nothing more than a breath.
It's up to me, though, how much better, how much fitter, how much stronger I get in the meantime.
*See above video for the jump shot and my first rim jumps in a year-with me barely able to touch rim...err...net.