Monday, March 11, 2013

Season Cut Short?

Warming up vs. Nice.

  Last week I made a tough decision. After taking two steps forward, and subsequently falling three steps back each and every week, my coach and I decided to shut things down for the rest of the month. Possibly for the season. And quite likely, for good.

  The last couple of months have been strange. I initially 'tweaked' my back the first week in January. I guess I took it for granted, because I thought it was just a run of the mill tweak. I'd be fine in a few days, and my season would carry on, as usual. But the last two months have been anything but usual.

  While I can physically play, every morning I wake up to a question mark. And the answer generally depends on what I've done the day before.

  I run, I'm fine. I play basketball, I hurt. Obviously as a basketball player, that puts me in a bad situation. It's not a good one physically or psychologically.

  One or two days of practice leads to a lot muscle tightness and back pain. So I'm forced to sit out a couple more days of practice. By game day, I'm neither physically prepared nor mentally -- because I'm unsure if I'll even be able to play.

Nice pre-game.
  When I have played (two games since Christmas), I haven't played well. I'm hesitant, and anticipating, bracing for the twinge and tightness in my back to come. And that's not beneficial for anyone, not me or my team. Nor is it fun.

  That's been the cycle for the past several weeks. It's not fair for anyone involved: my team and teammates, my coach, and me.

  So that's why the decision had to be made. No basketball through March. And then we'll see.

  It's difficult for me to say 'I'm not playing' without even knowing how I'll feel on any particular day. But I've tried the alternative, with no improvement, and it's only lead to more discomfort and frustration.

  It's also difficult to basically tell my teammates I won't be on the court with them for a while. I feel like I've abandoned them.

  It's a little (or a lot) strange to be able to lead my everyday life as if nothing were wrong physically. I just can't play basketball. And that hasn't been part of my everyday life since before I can remember.

My spot behind the huddle, not in the huddle.
  I can't deny that I'm not thinking about the future. Not future seasons, however. About my life after the ball stops bouncing. I want to live a healthy, active life long after my career playing basketball is over. So my future health is what carries the most weight right now.

  I have a long history with my back. It goes back to my college days, and it is always a concern. If something else were ailing? Maybe I wouldn't be as cautious, as protective, as I'm being.

  Thankfully, I have a coach who understands my feelings and has my back, so to speak, 100%. Had he not been supportive, I'd probably be out on the court, playing through pain.

Player introductions.
  Even if I am done for the season, I'm truly undecided about any future seasons. Though in my heart I feel like this will be my last season as a pro. But I've learned to never say never (I never would have thought this is how season number 10 would go!), and I have to leave the door cracked open, even if just a little bit!

  You'd like to think you'll have one memorable last hurrah of sorts. But not many are lucky enough to have it happen that way (even MJ messed his up!). I'll just have to rely on the thousand and thousands of days spent on the court as my memorable moment.

  Those are the breaks! Basketball's a physical game. Both in the way it's played, and in the demands it places on your body. So injuries happen. And they happen when they want. They're never at the 'right' time, and never can be predicted.

  I'll focus on getting my back and core as healthy and as strong as possible, and re-visit playing in a couple weeks. But without question, I have things in proper perspective!


Post a Comment