Saturday, November 16, 2013

Nothing But Net


If you follow my non sequiturs elsewhere on the web, you would have noticed that I have started going to the gym after midnight. This is for several reasons: I’m up anyway, the gym is empty and I don’t have to wait of equipment, but mostly it is due to my worsening Agoraphobia, or Anthropophobia. It is easier to have the entire gym to myself in the middle of the night. 

A couple of weeks back I stepped into the empty basketball court, just to get a drink of water. As I paused to wipe my chin I noticed the basketball court was completely flooded with light. A sense of emptiness was overwhelming as it usually was filled to capacity with guys at various stages of shooting hoops. That night it was deserted. The smell of the hardwood, along with the strange buzz left-over from high school gym class hung in the air.  I get a strange feeling on basketball courts. A feeling of wanting to be in control, wanting the mastery of the wood and colorful lines, the enjoyment and comradeship of competition. Yet, as I stood next to the water fountain, the feeling of eighth grade gym class washed over me. The same feeling I would get from sitting in the CEO chair in a board room, hosting a dinner party, or being in front of a naked woman. A feeling of not understanding what should happen. A feeling that everyone around me knows the natural chain of events (enjoys them in fact) but hasn’t let me into the circle. 

As I turned to leave the uncomfortable environment, I noticed a basket ball over in the corner.... Without thinking I went over and picked it up. I attempted to dribble. I wasn’t that bad. Until I hit my shoe. I walked out in front of the basket. All the technique I had ever learned was from Mr. Johnson’s gym class during the First Bush administration. 

Aimed the ball. Flipped the wrist. Shot. Missed. 
Aimed the ball. Flipped the wrist. Shot. Not even close. 
Aimed the ball. Flipped the wrist. Shot. Missed. 
Aimed the ball. Flipped the wrist. Shot. Hit the rim.

I left the court, and turned in the ball to the front desk as if I had a great game with my boys. The next night I found myself back on the wood. 

Aimed the ball. Flipped the wrist. Shot. Not even close.
Aimed the ball. Flipped the wrist. Shot. Hit the rim.

I had watched a dozen YouTube videos. I took notes on finding my aim...

Aimed the ball. Flipped the wrist. Shot. Hit the rim.
Aimed the ball. Flipped the wrist. Shot. Nothing but net.

I squealed. As I heard the squee bounce off the gym walls the glass court door opened and in walked a couple of guys talking to me in Greek about a “pick up” game. I pretended I was a deaf-mute and ran out of the court like a chunky eight year old girl running home, after the mean girls would not let her play Barbies. I left the ball on the wood.

The next night. I stood with fortitude. I announced to the empty gym, “This is Sparta!” 

Aimed the ball. Flipped the wrist. Shot. Nothing but net.
Aimed the ball. Flipped the wrist. Shot. Nothing but net.
Aimed the ball. Flipped the wrist. Shot. Nothing but net.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

...like a chunky eight year old girl... I feel ya... lol... cn

Ur-spo said...

I wouldn't even try, knowing the consequences: I certainly wouldn't get a goal (or whatever we call it) but I would feel stupid. I have the wrist movement down pat, however.

BosGuy said...

I'm still chuckling about your self-inflicted pantsing from your previous write up about the gym.

I'm very self conscious when I go to the gym and think it can be very intimidating. That is one reason I suggest people should grab a work out buddy or a trainer because I find it easier when I'm with someone.

cb said...

This is the only way I'll shoot baskets… by myself. I'd embarrass myself with my "Lamar Limp Wristed Throwing Style"

Erik Rubright said...

Feelings of junior high flood back any time I have go to the gym. It's something I thought I could get passed, but it keeps rearing it's ugly head. I'm glad you're conquering yours.