Sometimes You Find Yourself Up Against It

Surf's up!
A different man than I might find being up against it to be more enjoyable than I do. He might enjoy showing the surf that he could take the pounding merciless pounding to be demonstrative of being tougher than the next guy.

I know this because once upon a time I was that man, but I am not anymore. These days I would be far more pleased to show how resourceful I am, to demonstrate a mixture of wit, wisdom and cleverness.

Better to outfox and or outsmart than outlast when you can.

But the hardest part of being being up against it is that it is hard to catch your breath and make those smart decisions and it is even more challenging when you are fighting the waves because they have wit to match up against.

Out on the court I can always find a way to get to the man I am guarding or being guarded by. If I don’t have the athletic ability to out do them I always find another weakness to capitalize upon.

More importantly I choose to play for as short or as long as I wish but sometimes you don’t get that choice.

5 songs

  1. Whiskey Lullaby– Brad Paisley
  2. All I Ask of You– Phantom Of The Opera
  3. Minnie the Moocher- Cab Calloway
  4. This Is Radio Clash– The Clash
  5. Southern Cross- Crosby, Stills & Nash

Almost 2 PM and my whole body aches and that includes the mental part as well as the physical.

Spent two hours playing ball last night to try and chase the demons away, the not so silent whispers that taunt me late at night and question why I am here again. The voices that suggest that I made a huge mistake last October when I left and came back.

Out on the court I do my best to exhaust myself and I take the small victories where I can get them. Block a shot, steal a pass, hit three jumpers and a game winning lay up all against younger players.

I recognize it for being silly but I tell my kids when you are up against it and feel trapped you need to find one thing that makes you smile and focus on that. Focus on that one detail and that smile will help you regain your footing.

Later I am so tired I lean against the shower wall and let the water pound my back. My son tells me I look like I am exhausted and I smile.

“Did you win dad?”

“Yeah, not every game but most and I hit the game winner and left.”

He asks me a few more questions about the night and asks me what my favorite part of the game is. I tell him I almost always prefer the little things that add up to wins, rebounds, defense and passing.

“So if you focus on those things how did you end up taking those shots?”

“If you never shoot you make it too easy for the defense. They need to respect you and know that you are not so predictable. Sometimes you win by doing the thing you don’t do often, not just the stuff you always do.”

Joshua Tree National Park Elmer Tree (Yucca brevifolia); Desert Queen Valley  NPS Photo by Robb Hannawacker.

Joshua Tree National Park
Elmer Tree (Yucca brevifolia); Desert Queen Valley
NPS Photo by Robb Hannawacker.

Joshua Trees make me smile, always been partial to the name and the desert.

Staring at the photo takes me back to last October and a million memories stream through my mind. It is a parade of images of things that happened not just then but many years before as well and the moments I associate with provide a fabric and framework I can lean against.

That is because they serve as the reminder that I have a perfect record at overcoming being up against it and a reminder that I am where I am right now because it is the card I had to play and the puzzle piece that fit for the moment.

During the hard moments it is not always easy to remember they don’t last or to find the value in them but I try. I try to look at them and find the gold nuggets that are stuck inside the dirt because it helps me pass through them.

Some tell me it is meant to be and others say it is nonsense but I say regardless of who is correct the struggle lends depth to my writing and has helped to create a stronger writer.

And a man who wishes to improve his ability to tell a story, to add texture, layer and depth has to be appreciative of such things.

Still if you ask me if to choose between a blow job or being beaten with a stick I’ll take the blow job because that stick isn’t going to add any more character and the blow joy might take the edge off.

About Writing

In the midst of it all I find myself thinking about the words I share here and the dearth of comments. Comments are down throughout the blogosphere adding to the loneliness a writer sometimes feels.

And it occurs to me the words in the picture above might serve as a good anchor for a post about comments and blogging.

In between those thoughts I stare at the photo of the lighthouse and wonder what life was like when they were manned by people who lived in them and what they might have seen.

More moments, more life, more living–that is what makes it all worthwhile.

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  1. Larry October 24, 2014 at 9:46 am

    I like the basketball talk and the metaphors sprinkled throughout.

    “I recognize it for being silly but I tell my kids when you are up against it and feel trapped you need to find one thing that makes you smile and focus on that.” I don’t think that’s sill at all. I think it’s good advice.

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