Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hoop Season's Here!

Time to play some basketball?

  The basketball season is rapidly approaching. Matter-of-fact, the NBA season will officially tip-off next week, collegiate play is set to resume shortly after, with high school hoopers not-too-far behind.

  In many corners of the world, however, the basketball season has already begun. And for the first time since I was in grade school, my sneakers remain in my closet (or my car's trunk, to be more accurate). And will remain there for the foreseeable future.

  Surprisingly enough, I'm completely okay with that. It might just be, that my lifelong (until this point) obsession with playing basketball has finally run its course.

Autumn in Oregon.
  Last year at this time, and all the seasons prior, I was already several weeks into my team's season. I had participated in training camp, spent hours in the gym working on my game, trained all summer to be in the best shape I could be, and was looking forward to heading into practice each and every day.

  Nowadays, even though I still enjoy getting a good workout in, it's a vastly different scene.

An American Halloween.
  I haven't touched a ball with any intent on playing since I left France last spring. And to be honest, I have no desire to pick up a ball and play. I've been asked if I want to play in adult leagues, or go play pickup at local gyms. But as of right now, I don't.

  I guess when you're done, you're done. At least that's what it feels like.

  I'd had enough playing. I could feel that my body and my mind had had enough when my season concluded last spring. I knew my career as a basketball player had run its course, and I was ready for the next phase of my life.

  I'm perfectly happy to be enjoying the beautiful Northwest autumn. It's been years since I've had the chance to see the maple trees change, and the leaves drop; the crisp, clear air, and the bright blue sky of autumn. I had forgotten how pretty it can be.

  Halloween's approaching, with Thanksgiving not too far behind: two days that aren't quite the same when you spend them outside the States.

  For the first time since graduating college, I'm getting to enjoy, and reap a few benefits of being a Colorado Alum. Something I hope to take more advantage of as the year continues.

  Even with all the things I am enjoying, it will be strange not to be part of a team this season. I'm sure there will be a time when I miss getting out on the court and playing and competing. And eventually I'll want to get on the court and play a little pickup, but that time isn't now.

  I'm thoroughly enjoying my basketball retirement. And while it's been an adjustment, and continues to be, life in the 'real world' isn't all too bad.
More fall sights from the Northwest.