Good Morning, Afternoon or Evening friends, foes and fellow inhabitants of this side of the proverbial wormhole of existence. Yes, it’s me again, arriving unexpectedly with a mid-week update on #HoopsHysteriaHereICome. As most, if not all of you have figured out per the new hashtag in the title of this blog entry/piece of Mental Flatulence #HoopsHysteriaHereICome has officially become #HoopsHysteriaHereIAm. Yes folks, I’m knee-deep in jump shots, rebounds and steals presently. In fact tonight? It’s actually my first day or night sans basketball since… oh, last Saturday. Per my Couch To 5k regiment, it’s actually a run night. But I’m imposing a bit of a hold on my runs, at least for the moment. Common sense outweighs the need to keep up with the program presently… it’ll be waiting for me at the end of the week and admittedly? I can’t wait to get back “into the zone.” I miss my solitary trots around Broomall, Pennsylvania. My last run–last Saturday, the day before the tournament started–was actually my best run too date. 2.05 total miles run at a 17:14 minutes per mile clip. And just because I can’t resist a gratuitous selfie:
Hashtag ENDORPHINS. Yes sirs and madams, that smile is the smile of someone riding a natural high. A side-by-side comparison of this pic and the pic I took of myself after my first workout shows a tremendous difference. It wasn’t just the loss of the bedraggled Rocky Training in Siberia beard. There’s something different in my face, now. I know what it is, too. Life, man. In the above pic, I look alive. Yep. Hello, old friend. I missed you.
But I digress. I mentioned common sense before. And common sense dictates that I rest. I played basketball Sunday afternoon, Monday night and last night. A grand total of about 15-20 minutes per game. And how did we do or rather, how are we doing? Team 2nd To None? As those of you that have been keeping up with me on social media likely know, we lost our first game by three points, 52-49. It was a heartbreaker and most, if not all of us thought that we’d be playing one more game–Monday night–and no more. Well? Monday night’s game rolled around and guess what? We won! 33-21. We lived to play another game last night and guess what? Yep. We won again! 42-25. And before we knew it? We were slated to play in the Silver Bracket, i.e. the consolation bracket championship on Friday night! Our reward? Two nights off. A bye of sorts. Our opponent is yet to be determined… we’ll know tomorrow night (tonight is an “off” night for the tourney and hence a self-imposed “off” night for me) but the “who” doesn’t matter. What matters is that what I thought was going to be a two night foray into the world of amateur 30 and 40 somethings playing basketball has turned into… a bit of a marathon. Three games in three days after not playing in 20 or so years? Common f*cking sense. My legs hurt and my shins are on fire… not as much now as they were last night but if I want to be fresh for Friday night? I need to take a night off. So I am. I’ll make up my run tomorrow night. And I figured it was as good a time as any to update you.
So the big question is: How do I feel? I’ve gotten that a lot this week. In truth? I feel… a myriad of things. Physically I am tired. There’s no way around it. But it’s a good kind of tired. An accomplished tired. Not an I Just Worked My Posterior Off Filling Jobs All Day With Nary A Thank You To Show For It tired. It’s an I Did It tired. I f*cking made it. #HoopsHysteriaHereIAm. I’ve survived. Whatever happens now is secondary to that. Sure I want us to win on Friday night but if we don’t? Well sh*t. As Cara said to me on Sunday afternoon when I was bummed about losing, “you did your best. I’m proud of you.” I’ve got to tell you friends and foes, hearing that from my daughter is better than any trophy or championship. Believe that. And since I can’t resist a gratuitous… well, this one isn’t a selfie. It’s courtesy of Nicole but in truth? It sums up this experience… this journey that I’ve been on over the last month plus perfectly. It encapsulates everything from the “why,” i.e. why I’m doing this to the “where,” to the “what,” as in what I was training for… well, you likely get the point. Or you will in a sec:
That smile on my face? The all-natural grin of a Dad who knows that he made his daughter proud. You see guys and gals, it’s not about how many points you scored or how many rebounds you got. It’s not about how many times you fouled someone or got called for a lane violation. It’s not about how many times a bunch of 3rd Graders heckled you with an “Air Ball” chant. In truth? I’ve experienced all of the above this week and I’ve loved every. Single. Fracking. Minute of it. Because in the end it comes down to a look. The look on your kid’s face that says you’re more than just a black spot on the couch in the living room. You’re my Dad. And you rock.
So what now? Where do I go from here? Obviously Friday night beckons… Team 2nd To None’s shot at consolation glory and I promise you that I will publish a post-game update, regardless of the outcome. But after that? Well y’all, I’m already looking forward. “Look into the future where will you be… space between lives whatever will you see?” So goes a song that once upon a time… ’cause all good stories begin as such… was as synonymous with me as anything. It still applies. I’ve mentioned a little bit about what’s next before this. I’ll get more into it in the coming days and weeks. I hope that you’ll continue to follow me on this journey because I promise: The next stop takes it to a whole other level. Time to ramp it up to 11. Or, in this case, 3.1. Winky emoticon. Smiley face.
Would you like to know more? “Spoilers, sweeties.” You will. One last thing before I return to my self-imposed night of rest. Thank you. Thank you, thank you and thank you. To everyone that has been following #HoopsHysteriaHereICome and #HoopsHysteriaHereIAm. You’ve been… well? Really freaking awesome. I mean that. From the bottom of my heart and soul. Your words of encouragement, tips and the like have added to the natural high that this has been, is and will be. You are… well? You’re my peeps. You are.
And you rock. Believe that.