Fifteen More Years

Long time readers know that I am a bit of a gym rat, I love playing pickup basketball. I am not the most talented guy out there, never will be, but I work hard. My favorite thing to do is to rebound, as Charles Barkley said “Anyone can score, but it takes a man to rebound.”

There is a lot of truth to that statement. Rebounding is about effort, it is about desire and it is about wanting the ball more than the other guy. I just love matching wills and demonstrating my desire. I grunt and yell, I grimace as I harass and hound the other players. I never stop trying, I like to be the Terminator on the court. It is just so gratifying.

The court is where I pour out my frustrations from the day and it is a place on which I measure my ability to work hard. It is like a microcosm of life. There are many players who are more talented, who have more basketball saavy and the game comes easier to them. So I have to outhustle, I have to outwit, outlast and outwork them. And most of the time I have moderate success doing so.

My goal is to play long enough to run with my beautiful boy, the little one who puts the Energizer Bunny to shame. On December 29 he will be four years-old and we will go to Legoland to celebrate his birthday. I treasure the time we have now, but I have no problem admitting that I am hopeful that he will be interested in running with his abba.

I figure that if I can play at least another 15 years he will be big enough to run with us. I’ll be 50 and he’ll be 19. In truth if his growth is similar to mine by the time he turns 16 or 17 he’ll be pushing around 170 pounds or so and should have enough muscle to deal with the men on the court. But by 19 I am certain that he’ll be able to deal with it without any trouble.

Perhaps it is ego speaking, but part of me is a little sad that he has missed playing with me in the prime of my physical ability. He won’t ever see me run as effortlessly as I once did. I wonder if he’ll see me go to battle the way I do now. Will my body hold up? Will it continue to take the pounding? I wonder.

And it is possible that he may have no interest in playing. It is funny because now he wants to be me. He is my “mini-me” and I love it. I remember doing the same things with my father.

Yesterday I helped him use my electric razor to shave. He took it very seriously and made sure that I rubbed his face to see how smooth it was.

My wife told me that when he is angry he makes the same face I do and tries to put the fear of G-d in people with the same stare that I use. The funny thing to me is that I don’t think that I do a very good job of it. My father is much better. He has blue eyes that can turn icy and leave you frozen in place. Thirty-five years of being glared at and every now and then he still catches me.

Of course I have gotten to be an expert at masking this, but it doesn’t change the fact that the “glare” still holds my attention.

I wonder what my daughter will be like. At five months it is far too early to tell, but I am curious.

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1 Comment

  1. Just Me December 22, 2004 at 11:39 am

    A little bit like her mother, maybe?

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