OK. I’ll be the first to admit it; this isn’t going so well. I’m not giving up. I’m not throwing in the ole’ towel. But it isn’t going well.
The last month has been the biggest setback. Part of the reason is because I’m vigorously searching for a new job to replace my current one (for reasons not related to me trying to dunk a basketball). This has taken a bit of time from my “training”. In addition, I also pulled a hamstring playing in a softball game a couple weeks back and have been nursing it back to full strength.
I haven’t forgotten, though. And by most standards it’s still pretty early.
On the positive side, I’ve been playing a fair amount of basketball lately. One nice thing about living in Walnut Creek is the accessibility to outdoor basketball courts and nice weather to boot.
But, the reality is, I need to step up my game. As my life pulls together, so will my hops. I promise.
It isn’t saying much, but I’ve gone from working out maybe once a week to 3-4 times per week. I bought a gym membership at the local 24 Hour Fitness and have even made an appearance at a boxing class in Berkeley with my friend Melissa.
The workouts have all had leg components to them. At the gym I erg (rowing machine), at boxing I was bouncing around, I did a workout on my street with jump rope and burpees and of course I still play Saturday morning basketball. I know it’s not a lot. But it’s something.
So I waited a couple weeks. Probably a bad move.
But today I felt like I really got after it. I jumped rope – every three times I’d screw up I made myself do three burpees (an act of jumping in the air, dropping for a pushup then springing back to your feet). I did this until I hit 30 burpees. It’ll definitely burn the next day and I got a lot of calf work in.
But let’s not kid ourselves, I’m no natural jumper. Once I figure out how to attach a video clip I took of me whiffing rim, you’ll see what I mean…
It all started today.
I was shooting hoops down the street on an outdoor court with my roommate. It began with us shooting the ball and shooting the shit. Then we played a bit of horse, practiced some left-handed layups, then inextricably ran a suicide. Then we tried touching rim. We both missed. Badly.
My roommate can be forgiven. Having never officially played basketball and standing at 5’10 he doesn’t scream “air time.”
But me? I’m 6’3. I played basketball in high school. And since I’ve been finished playing organized ball I’ve always kept the game near me. I played intramurals in college. I play every weekend now. Basketball has long been my way of exercise, release or even therapy. I never conquered the dunk, though. Setting screens? Check. Boxing out? King of it. Giving solid passes right to your chest? I can do that too. I just wasn’t bound for the highlight reels.
So today it begins. Without taking out the measuring stick it looks like I’m a good seven or eight inches from comfortably dunking the basketball. Which, for me, might as well be a yard. But that’s what will make this process so much fun.
I realize this blog has probably been written by people sharing the same aspiration. But that doesn’t make this any less genuine. I’ve wanted this for a long time. And even though long-gone are the days of playing in front of packed bleachers at my high school and middle school, the goal is there all the same. Dunking in a pick up game a year or two from now would be SO kick ass.
Without putting a world of thought into it, I can think of three things to help my chances of achieving it: dropping any unneeded weight with cardio, generally eating better and doing a lot of leg workouts. I have a jump rope at my house. That’s probably going to be a good start. Wish me luck.
Oh, and, Happy New Year.