Slow and Steady

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Saturday Sampler: Baller for Life...

Be strong in body, clean in mind, lofty in ideals.
-- James Naismith

So not sure if you knew this about me, but I was a basketball player. I loved it. I practiced for fun, and while I hated running, I was FAST for a post player. My college mile time was 6:31. My current mile times are in the 10 minute range. Wednesday I went to my physical therapy appointment and told my therapist that the workouts are boring me to death. I start telling him about my upcoming high school alumni game Friday (11-26-10) and he says well lets make it more fun. He then proceeded to integrate some old school basketball exercises to strengthen my abductors. Step slides are awesome! No seriously, they are fun for me and made me feel nostalgic. I took pride in my defensive abilities. I also got to play on one of these:

I could have done this for hours.

Friday was the Alumni game. Short sprints and bounding...yeah, um a little out of practice. My lungs were dying the first 5 minutes of play, but settled down soon after. The alumni lost by 2 points, but I think that is a good thing. Good morale boost for the varsity players. We easily took twice as many shots as they did, unfortunately my hubby said it was obvious for the alumni that our shots were the first thing to go. To make up for my lack of defense, I went ahead and put on some hair defense.

Feel free to take pity on me and send boni bands, sweaty bands, TMB endurance bands and the like.
I am newly inspired to incorporate what I used to love so much into my current running-triathlon efforts. One directional exercise (running forward) has not been good for me. I need more lateral movement and bounding to get my former lower body function back on track. I have a college alumni game next month that apparently I need to practice for.

Holiday Bootie Buster total for this past week. Sat-0, Sun-1, Mon-1, Tues-0, Wed-3, Thursday-3, Friday-1 Totaly for week ending 11-26 9pts! Yeah, definitely got to get more miles in there.  Unfortunately my left foot hurts today. I think using my husband's tennis shoes for basketball was a bad idea. How I went from basketball being my life (including a basketball tattoo) to not even owning a pair of basketball shoes is beyond me. Ideally, I wouldn't work and get to coach basketball for a living while only working out and running the rest of my non-parenting-wife-ing time. I am so close to "strong in body," I am constantly striving for "clean in mind" and darn it, I keep playing the lottery so I can live my "lofty ideals."

I know, tattoos are permanent. I did this when I was 18 years old. I know that I have strayed from basketball. The main separation came when I got a prestigious Federal Fellowship and it stuck when I started having kids. But this tattoo represents alot more to me than playing the game. Where I came from the future was pretty uncertain for teens who did not come from affluent homes. There was a coach who took me under his wing at the end of my 8th grade year. When dressing like this was cool (I am on the left and yes those are slipper socks, pretty hardcore, right?!).
Somehow I made my highschool team and sat the bench my whole freshman year. That summer I went to basketball camp at UCLA and it clicked. My sophamore year I was starting on the varsity team. Guess what? To play basketball you had to make grades. To play basketball you had to get along with others you might not normally interact with. To play basketball you had to know your role, the roles of others and constantly strive for cohesiveness. To play basketball you had to know there were teams you were going to crush and teams that were going to crush you. I learned to succeed with tact and fail with honor. I learned so many life skills because someone took the time to teach me. I probably don't need the physical reminder of a tattoo to know there is light in anyone's future as long as they find their vehicle, but I have one. Most times I don't remember it's there, other times I regret it because I don't want my kids to have tattoos and other times I am proud that have it because it makes me feel grounded. Through basketball I made friends, learned critical life skills, got an education and even traveled to Europe for a tournament. The sun represented the light, the ball my vehicle and the 4 sets of 4 points my basketball number, 44.

How did you learn your life skills?
 Thankful Three
  1. For growing up, kind of...ok for recognizing learning opportunities
  2. For basketball, it's always there when you need it and apparently is key in rehabilitating my lower body weakness
  3. For people who care enough to see potential in others and foster it


P said...

I thought the first picture was of you in high school - you look SO young and happy!
What a wonderful post. I often wish I had played sports when I was young and am encouraging my kids to join sports for the exact reasons you've listed here.
I would love to have one of those slidey things!!

Christi said...

I love the tattoo!

Julie said...

Holy cow you ran a fast mile!?!

My daughter plays basketball and so many things that you write about are true:) She started playing b-ball in the first grade and still plays today as a freshman. Basketball has been one of the biggest blessings for her:)

Great pictures, thanks for the blast from the past! Fun post!