Basketball season is upon us. (Almost.) How can I tell, you ask? It could be the amazing autumn colors dotting the trees. It could be the cool, brisk air that welcomes my face in the morning. It could be that football season if half over (almost) and that baseball is in the middle of the playoffs. … Or it could be that I’m injured again. I broke my ankle. (Almost.)
I’ve always considered myself as resilient. I’m the kind of guy that bounces back. (I would have to say that’s a very literal statement. And I should also say that it hurts a lot more to bounce on concrete then on grass. Just an FYI for anyone now thinking about trying to calculate your body’s impact-to-bounce ratio.) Sometimes it just takes a little bit longer to bounce back, to recoup, to return to form. (I really think it’s a 1:1 ratio, unless you’re a little portlier… then it might be one impact to two bounces, or 1:2. Hey, my interest is peaked.)
So as I’ve been sitting here icing my overly swollen, extremely discolored, and nearly unrecognizable stump of a leg, (seriously, it’s HUGE) I’ve been trying to figure out the last time I was injured. Surprisingly… it’s been a long time.
Let’s go back to December, 2006. I was playing a little pick-up ball in Rexburg, Idaho. I was dominating in every aspect of the game (of course) and was really shooting the lights out. The kid who was guarding me decided he should try and keep me from shooting by playing really tight D. Mistake. He didn’t know how quick I was…. Yet. He stepped towards me and I immediately knew what he was doing. I faked left, and drove right. I now had space between me and him, but I saw his teammate coming over from the weakside. I stopped and pivoted, looking for the open man. Mistake. I didn’t know how slow (to stop) my defender was…. Yet.
The following happened in about .000001 seconds (aka a flash): To my horror he was still lumbering towards me. I don’t think he had his eyes open. If he did, I don’t think he had his glasses on. If he did, I don’t think they were the right prescription. If they were, I don’t think he had a brain. He was running full speed with his head down, eyes to the floor. Like a bull after a torero, or Zidane after the Italians. Crunch, blur, collapse, blood.
It was kinda like this: (this is why Steve Nash is FANTASTIC!)
When I finally wiped the tears from my eyes (c’mon! everyone knows if you get hit in the nose your eyes fill with liquid… and when you get dumped by your girlfriend… and when you put your contacts in… and when you watch Brother Bear… right?) all I could see was a pool of blood. If blood banks could take all the blood that’s ever come from my nose, they would save an entire nation (like France… hmmm).
It was broken. I had surgery. It got better. I did snot.
That was the last time I was injured… okay that’s a lie. Summer of 2007. I was playing some pick-up ball in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I was dominating in every aspect… (did you notice a pattern here? Also, did you notice my snot joke? Just making sure…) Anyways, I’ll just show you exactly what I did (Almost). Watch the big white guy. (In my story, the roles were reversed: I had the ball going for the layup, which I made, and the little guy in black was on defense.)
I, of course, walked out of the gym by myself, on my own two legs. Apparently my knees aren’t worth $19.7 million dollars a year like Dirk Nowitzki’s. But after two weeks of being immobilized and a brief stint at rehab, I was back to my regular, old self.
And I’ve been injury free since. (Well, almost.)