Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Basketball (Or Sports) Doesn't Define Me

It's been quite a few years since I've had an injury that caused me to miss a significant amount of time playing basketball (or sports in general).  As I blogged last time, the injury itself is annoying but hardly worth complaining about.  I've got a friend who has more things to worry about that my measly injury.

In fact, in some ways, the injury has given me time to "rediscover myself" a little bit.  I definitely love playing basketball, sports and working out in general.   Yet I realize that it has become a "dominant" part of my lifestyle to the point where my name and basketball are nearly tied together.   I believe I blogged about the reason why sports are important to me.  When I was in high school, sports was the thing that I was most "recognized".  Many of my peers were studious, got good grades and worked to attend big name colleges.

On the other hand, I wasn't a great student for most of my high school time until my senior year.  Yet, I was a four time athletic award winner in high school (Most Improved Player, 2 Time Coaches Award Winner, Athlete Of The Year).

Because of this, sports has always been a big part of my life.  It's what I have called "Social Exercise".  I get to get away from things, socialize and have fun a bit.  I've even continued to win awards after high school (Four Most Inspirational Player Awards (1999, 2003, 2011, 2012).

The injury has forced me to change up my habits.  Even with injuries in the past, I have gone to the basketball gym to watch my teams play.  But due to logistical and other issues this past week, I chose not to go to the gym.  I've also had to miss my Saturday basketball with friends.  But it's not like I hole up at home.  I've taken to other activities that are not necessarily active.  I'm pursuing my interest in photography and just enjoying other parts of life.

Don't get me wrong.  I won't suddenly drop playing basketball.  But I'm learning that switching things up occasionally is not really a bad thing.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Seeing People Struggle Or Suffer Sucks

At some point this weekend, I was going to blog about how "Basketball Doesn't Define Me".  I may still get to this topic eventually but I am going to talk about something else tonight.

Last week, I blogged about a friend of mine being in the hospital.  Today, three friends and I decided to make another visit to the hospital.   One friend was there an hour and a half ahead of me.  After I arrived, the other two people arrived about 15 minutes afterward.

The good news is our hospitalized friend seemed improved.  As like last time, she was very mentally sharp.  However, she still had a breathing apparatus so speaking was a bit forced.  Overall, she seemed to be in decent spirits.  I'm sure having three people visit was a positive as well.

At some point during the visit, we had a few hospital staff flow through including the attending physician.  The physician was a nice gentleman and greeted us and our friend.  The physician stated that he was happy that our friend had made a lot of improvements in the past few weeks.

However, the physician noted that there were still some things our friend needed to do to get better.  Maybe the thought of the work that lay ahead was daunting and frustrating and our friend started to cry.      I don't know how my other friends were reacting but it was tough to see this.  Even though I was the only guy, I was tempted to cry.

Our friend eventually did settle down and we all chatted for a while longer.  Eventually, we all had to leave and our friend was crying once again.  We all reassured our friend that we would be back.

In the past six months or so, I've learned that I hate seeing people suffer.  From friends to family, I've done my best to help people's struggles.   Though I am reluctant to talk about it publicly, the fact is my mom has had struggles with memory in the past year.  I've taken on a lot of responsibility to try to help her out.

There is another friend of mine that I hang out with every now and then and talk with frequently.  The friend accidentally hurt themselves a few months ago which derailed some of our plans.  I know they were frustrated so I visited the friend once and spent a lot of time talking on the phone.   My friend did the same for me a few years ago so this was not a problem for us.

Unfortunately, there's a not a lot I can do for my hospitalized friend right now except to visit.  My friends and I have bounced some ideas around to get some gifts but not sure if they are practical at this point.

The main point is that seeing people struggle or suffer is not fun.  However, if there is a lesson here, it is that I need to appreciate what I have AND also help others who may not be as fortunate.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Been Thinking About.......

About 2 weeks ago, I played in a softball tournament.  Technically, i played in ONE game of the tournament.  I had a wedding to attend that conflicted so my plan was to play the one game.  As it turned out, I suffered a hand injury anyway so one game was going to be what I played regardless.

The injury hurt but I thought it was a sprain so I iced and rested for the past two weeks or so.  Alas, there was still some pain so I decided to get a check up.  Unfortunately, the x-rays showed a fracture in my hand.  Its not serious but I will be in a removable splint and be away from major physical activities like basketball for a while.

Though the injury is annoying and frustrating (I am typing this with one hand) , I am surprised at how calm I've taken this injury otherwise.  A part of the reason is due to my teams winning two league championships in the spring.  The excitement of the spring was great and not something that can be easily replicated.  Since the spring, I've focused on trying to ENJOY playing basketball and not just focus on winning.

Now that I am out for a while, I plan to enjoy the view from the bench.  In a way, its good to take a break.   I've been playing a lot for the past few years.

Additionally, my injury is nothing compared to something a friend is going through.  The friend is not super close but someone I've known for a while.  This friend had a tough life overall but recently has been dealt with many health issues.  I visited the hospital a few days ago and it was tough to see the friend hooked up to a few machines and unable to speak.

While my injury sucks, I am reminded that there are always people that have it worse.  I'm not entirely sure what I can do for my friend but the least I can do is be there for support.