Holding back a little less

basketball-photo-2 Recently we bought a basket ball goal.  I’ve wanted one for a while, but in discussing with the boys about getting one, they were pretty lukewarm about the idea.

“I don’t even like basketball.”

“That’s a lot of money.”

“I’m not very good.”

“I don’t think that we’d play that much.”

I was amazed and surprised at their lack of interest. But I decided not to listen to them. 

We went out one Saturday morning to get the goal.  I didn’t even tell the boys where we were going.  But we got it and put it together and filled it up with 360 pounds of sand.  In a 1 inch hole. And after 3 hours and 2 days of filling it up with sand, we were done. (I was proud that they stuck with me to the very last grain.)

Something happens when you invest time and energy into an endeavor.  You  no longer become a disinterested bystander.  You’re committed to the goal. 

And we played our first game of basketball.  Sheer bliss.

Mind you, none of us are very good.  I never really played much basketball as a kid.  And as I got older, I didn’t play much because the boys who did play were much better than I and I didn’t want to get laughed at.  So, I never really played that much.

But we have been figuring it out together, including playing a little one-on-two.

Our house rules are simple.  Due to my height advantage, I play against my 2 boys and I only get one point for each basket.  They get 2 points.  And that evens things out pretty well.  In fact, I’ve never won under those rules.

The other day, I was just trying to keep up with the score, which means I have to play extra hard.  I started trying to dodge them, and got a little physical along the way.  ~K~ commented, “~D~, I think we just unlocked Dad’s aggressive mode.”

I guess that’s true.  When the boys were little, I had to hold back on them.  A lot.  I got used to doing that because you don’t want to overwhelm your kids.  You want to push them hard, but not blow them out of the water.

But here I am with a fair handicap, but losing big time.  I’ve got to step up my game a little.  So I’ve started holding back a little less.  I have to.  They’re bigger and stronger now.  But, the problem is, now that I can let it out more, I’ve got to be careful not to get injured myself.  I can’t throw it down like I could in my 20’s. There are aches and pains and close calls that my body is sending out to me to say, “Watch it buddy, you’re gonna hurt yourself!”  Like the other day when I was trying to win at “Horse.”  I went up for a layup and landed on my ankle wrong. I’ve been limping around ever since.  A painful reminder that I’m not as resilient as I used to be.

I can see a day in the not so distant future where I’m gonna get beat fair and square.  And I won’t be holding anything back. 

I smile at that day.  Young men should be able to beat their fathers…but not yet.

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