The Christmas dinners, birthday celebrations, and evening highballs, as well as the morning bacon and Christmas dinners, and all the characters who played their roles on the living room stage were over.
I remember again the morning of our wedding 31 years ago, when Mary’s brothers and I played no-fouling-the-groom basketball in the backyard. In fact, the hoop is still up and beckoning.
I am here in my sweatshirts, trying to flick red-white and blue jump shots in the freezing cold. The only heat comes from the embarrassment of my first few jump shots — so off that the lifeless, errant ball keeps rolling under a parked car.
Miss. Miss. Hit.
Here we go.
Basketball is meditation when played by itself. Others find their inner balance by running, counseling, yoga, or tending the garden’s tomatoes and cucumbers. Basketball is my favorite sport. I’m the only one who can see the ball in the hoop.
And, now, Covid.
I have been fully vaccinated and my immunity has been boosted. I am one of the few people who are experiencing minor symptoms. In my case, this includes a feeling of sheepishness. Amid so much Covid-related suffering, I am loath to imply that my health has been at significant risk; it would be like making a cameo in a classic horror film’s bad sequel.
Still: Coughing, congestion, absence from family
Basketball therapy has been a part of my life since childhood. I was a teenager who shot baskets while trying to find the nerve to ask my junior prom girl. (I just couldn’t let that red-blazer-plaid-pants combo go to waste.) As an adult, I shot baskets while trying to do pick-and-rolls against cancer. (All missed shots I blamed on chemoinduced neuropathy.
The Coronavirus Pandemic: Key Information
What emerges is an athletic way of reflecting that transcends the mundane and into the spiritual. Sometimes the shooting becomes mindless, and the muscle memory of tens or thousands of jump shots takes control. Sometimes it is mindful as the contemplative, or even prayerful, combines with the competitive. If I hit 10 in a row, she’ll say yes. If I hit 10 consecutively, she’ll say yes.
Source: NY Times