I forgot how brutal on the body basketball is. I played two twenty minute games in one hour and I’m exhausted. My neck is sore, not sure why but I did take a hard illegal hit. My back is tight, which is usual fare any time I work out. My ankles are weak, probably because I’m not used to the quick lateral foot movements. And finally, I caught a dude’s knee to my hamstring and there’s a huge knot in the muscle now. Absorbine is my best friend tonight.
We won the first game against the criminal justice association team without much competition. They just didn’t have anyone making shots and we grabbed rebound after rebound. The second game was against the ROTC team. I should have known they were going to be assholes, I was a cadet a couple years ago and their attitudes are horrible. They had good players complimented by goons who played dirty, a deadly combination to go against.
It was self-officiated, and anyone who’s ever played informal basketball before knows you should never call a foul, despite something clearly being a foul against you. The opponent also follows the same unspoken rule. (I kinda wish life was more like this, but I haven’t actually thought about it that much and it’s probably a terrible idea.) It’s all about pride, and if you call a foul, you feel like an asshole.
Tonight, I feel like an asshole. I drove towards the net, kinda slashing across from the wing, and this kid with fifty pounds on me stepped right in front of my path and I bounced right off. I had to call the foul. The thoughts started running through my head immediately, “You’re a coward! You should have let it go! Make him look bad on the next play!” I called it and I took the ball back and the game eventually ended and we lost in competitive fashion. But the feelings of being forced to violate the unwritten rules will forever live on in my heart, and for that I will never do it again, even if I get murdered going through the lane.
Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to. Stay home on New Year’s Eve if that’s what makes you happy. Skip the committee meeting. Cross the street to avoid making aimless chitchat with random acquaintances. Read. Cook. Run. Write a story.
Earlier I went to my second class of the day after a relaxing breakfast and my professor put on a movie. I’m thinking “Oh hell yeah, this is gonna be a good day, time to take it easy for ninety minutes.” Turns out it was a documentary titled The Invisible War, which is about sexual assault in the military. I’ve never been so angry after watching a documentary. In my next class I have the same professor and she played the HBO film Every Fucking Day of My Life. It’s about the last days of a woman’s life outside of prison before she’s sentenced for killing her husband, who abused her and her sons for two decades. (She got twenty years, the son who helped got six.)
Things I’ve learned while studying criminal justice in school: there are never good times, there’s plenty to be frustrated about, and misery always flows.
I’m 6’2” and people love to ask if I play basketball. Well, co-ed 3v3 basketball starts tomorrow and I’m going to play. But first, a disclaimer.
I’m great at defense because it requires little talent and lots of tenacity. I’m sure I’ll make a few blocks on outside shots by 5’4” girls and on the guys driving through the paint, but I’m equally as likely to clank a brick off the rim on everything not considered a layup and to make a pass to the other team on a fast break because my caveman mind can’t process the movement down the court quickly enough.
To everyone who sees me embarrass myself on offense tomorrow, all I have to say is the oldest cliche in sports: defense wins championships.
erik karlsson is better at tumblr than me. he’s already rich, why does he have to take this away from me too?
Sorry, I am not better at tumblr than you, you are doing just fine, please keep it up just try every day to improve yourself; searching for improvement is part of being being kind to yourself.
One of the best hockey players in the world talking to some pitiful fan is the best thing I’ve read all day.