Friday, June 09, 2006

I Still Dream of Playing Basketball

In my dreams I can still fly through the air doing a two-handed-power-jam. In my dreams I am so light on my feet that the basketball almost lifts me towards the hoop. In my dreams I “take it to” the big man on the opposing team and I run back down the court to play defense while pointing at the guard who just fed me the perfect pass. In my dreams I am so in shape that I can play the entire game and still have the energy left for a last minute steal and a full speed run down court for another jam just as the final buzzer rings. In my dreams ….

Reality comes crashing into my dreams as soon as I wake like a sledge on concrete. I wake to find my mid-aged body racked by back pain and my knees unstable by six knee surgeries. I climb out of bed and carry my 40 overweight pounds to relieve a bladder that seems to be the only part of my anatomy shrinking. I move to my trusty La-z-boy to spend a few midnight hours and allow the ibuprofen to kick in before heading back to bed. Yet I lean back and rock dreaming of playing basketball.

My daydreams are different; my mind runs through thousands of scenarios as I read the morning papers and books next to my chair. I plan as I listen to the news, to music and to the small waterfall in my pool outside. I dream up so many schemes, possibilities, and adventures that I would drive my wife crazy if I shared one in a hundred with her.

It was during one of these marathon sessions of planning that I realized I was living the dreams I had back when I played basketball. Here I was lying on a floating mattress in my pool next to my beautiful wife of 26 years in a job that I love and in a city that I love. I am living my dream of 30 years ago as a teenager. I don’t live in the past I love the present too much. Take a look at what you are doing now. Are you using your past to improve your future or are you living in the past to escape your NOW.

Meanwhile, if you see me smiling while dozing off on a Sunday afternoon in my La-z-boy don’t wake me. I still dream of playing basketball.

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