Saying Goodbye To My First True Love
No, I’m not talking about the first girl that I fell in love with. I’m talking about basketball. I think it’s time to say goodbye…
This past Thursday night I headed up to Hononegah High School for open gym. I hadn’t played full court b-ball since the tourney I was in about a month ago – I gave the tourney highlights, HERE. The first game of open gym was all good. We won and I wasn’t rusty at all. I probably went 4-5 from the floor. And in the second game, I started the game off pulling up from the top of the key and hitting a 3. I thought to myself, man I feel good, pretty damn tired, but good! One of my teammates even said to me; “Geez, do you ever miss!?!”
We then had a couple more trips up and down the court. When we headed back down to our offensive end, I came off a screen, pushed off with my right foot, and then it happened!!! I felt a POP in my right calf. It felt like someone shot me!
I hobbled over to the sideline in excruciating pain. I knew something was wrong and I couldn’t walk so I called up my dad to pick me up (he only lives a 1/2 mile from the school) and take me over to immediate care to get it checked out. It turns out I tore a muscle in my calf. Damn!
Ever since I was 8-9 years old, I basically lived with a basketball in my hand… always dribbling around the neighborhood, on the bike path, while walking over to a friend’s house, etc etc. But I think it’s time to say goodbye to my first true love. Not goodbye, as in I’ll never shoot or dribble a ball again. I mean goodbye as in, I’m done playing in tournaments, pick-up games, open gyms, etc. I depend on my body to make a living. If I’m hurt, I can’t effectively demonstrate dribbling moves when giving basketball lessons, and I can’t effectively train people if I can’t demonstrate how to perform a certain lift.
I have given a few basketball lessons and trained a number of people in the weight room since last Thursday’s incident. And let me tell you, it’s not the same! Now, I don’t think that if I continued to play that every time I stepped onto the court I’d walk away with injury. But the risk:reward just isn’t there anymore. If I’m hurt, I can’t do my job optimally. Because I play full court hoops so infrequently nowadays, I’m always VERY SORE the next day or two… which is no fun. In order to get rid of this soreness, I’d have to play a few times a week until I got accustomed to it. And that would just kill my body/joints.
So, on one hand I’m sad that I’m saying bye to playing competitively. But on the other hand, I’m ok with it. I mean, I’ve played more basketball in my life than most people would play in four lifetimes.
Making a Comeback?
Who knows, maybe I’ll miss it so much that I’ll make a Michael Jordan type of comeback. ”Retire” again. Then make another comeback. But I doubt it. I think for now on, all of my cardio is going to be the low-impact kind. Just like I preach to my clients that are 35 years old or older. I can still do battling ropes, use the prowler, do some barbell complexes, etc. etc.
If I do make a comeback, you’ll have to come back to this blog to find out. Because I’m pretty sure ESPN won’t be covering it. Although I wonder if I can get ESPN 8 The “Ocho” to air it?!?
Ok, I guess this it, the time to say goodbye has arrived… Goodbye basketball. Thanks for all that you’ve given me. You’ve changed my life. Thank you and I love you.
Have any of you made the tough decision to “retire” from a physical activity you love that was beating up your body? If so, how tough was it and did you stay with it? Please, let me know…