The Mind-Body Connection
Friday, July 6, 2007
My last basketball effort was pretty much a disaster, in spite of my best intentions to give it my all. Maybe I gave it too much "all." Not more than one minute into play on Tuesday, I felt a strain or pull in the left tendon that connects my quadriceps muscle to my knee. That made running or putting weight on my left side difficult. I felt severely slowed down, and as I played and felt the twinge above my knee, I thought back to the physical and mental trauma of my groin pull back in March. So I could not put forth the full cardio effort I wanted to during the games on Tuesday. My squad won it's first game (my only successful shot was the game winning basket), but we lost every subsequent match. I had several strong defensive moves -- two blocked passes, several rebounds-- but there was one pass from a teammate I missed while under the basket. He said "if you call for it, you gotta go for it." I agreed with him because I know how important it is to move toward the pass. Heck, I was surprised he even passed it to me! But just being dressed down made the experience less pleasant. The final downer came when I came down from a rebound on someone's foot and rolled on my right ankle. So now I am feeling pain when running from my left knee and right ankle! I was demoralized by the time it was all over. The next day, I saw some swelling in my right ankle. My knee hurt when I put weight on it.
I stayed out of the weight room for four days straight. My motivation level was at an all-time low, even though I knew consciously that the week before the beach would be my last chance to reach my fitness goals for both weight and strength. I could feel my attitude slide into one of depression, which would lead to eating for comfort and resulting weight gain. I had to put a stop to the emotional and physical slide before I had sabotaged all the work I had done up to that time. Last night, I made it into my sunroom and lifted close to my last strength level.
We had no games scheduled for Wednesday, the July 4th holiday, and Thursday, but the guys played today. I chose to stay home and help my kids get up and get ready for their day. My reasoning: I want to play basketball with a totally new set of players at the beach. Last year, I found a group of guys who play on the public court early in the morning before it gets too hot. While my skills were well below theirs, they accepted me and included me in their games. When I came back to my regular summer crew, one guy quipped "whadidya do, George, go to basketball camp?" I took his remark as a statement that my skills had markedly improved. I am hoping for a similar demonstration this summer. But I need to be fully healed and in top physical shape to participate and keep up.
It's possible the beach crew may not even be there. No formal
organization has taken place, so it's by chance that the same group will
be there. If the court is empty, I'll just work on skills like I would
in my driveway, which is what I am about to do right now before the sun
reaches is zenith. I'll be sure to fill you in on how things go.
to Basketball Diaries
Before basketball, frisbee was my number one way of getting good cardio. In this shot, I am free-stylin' with my daughter Grace at the park. The throw you see here is the sidearm wrist-flick, at which most novices marvel. Your opponent needs to be ready for it because it has a mean spin that makes catching it a challenge. Ultimate frisbee is a fast paced game with the same tempo as basketball or soccer, but which scores more like a touchdown pass in football. Be ready to run when you take the field.