I made it all the way to the end of the Spring Semester! I didn’t get injured while playing basketball! This was one of my main goals, when I decided to spend most of my Saturday mornings at the Kent State University Student Wellness and Recreation Center (a.k.a. “The Rec”).
I wanted to build relationships. Sports are an easy way for people (and especially men) to connect. So I liked the idea of connecting with students who are involved with the H2O Church community in Kent, as well as their friends, who come out to play basketball every Saturday at 8:30 AM. I also wanted to bring my sports-obsessed boys along with me, to knit them into this same community. And Saturdays at the Rec did this beautifully. Even better than I thought.
I also wanted to have fun. Basketball has long been one of my favorite sports — both to watch and to play. But I had gotten largely out of practice. So I liked the idea of “making myself” go through the motions once (or maybe even twice) a week, to just build a different kind of physical fitness and reconnect with a beloved pastime. And, again, Saturdays at the Rec were successful in this regard. Sometimes, I would let myself get frustrated by my limitations. But for the most part, I really did have a great time every weekend.
I must admit that I also wanted to play well, in addition to the other objectives listed above. Back in December and January, I was a lower-tier player. I quickly learned that I couldn’t rely on my athleticism against a bunch of college guys. Even in the height of my basketball prowess, I wasn’t a high-volume scorer. But this semester, I learned to get back to fundamental skills: boxing out for rebounds… setting picks for my teammates to score… improving my passing skills… working to stay in front of the player I was assigned to guard… And over time, I think my play improved. Saturdays at the Rec made me a better player.
But my number one goal all semester was to not get injured. I was especially worried about rolling my ankles. This was often a problem in the past. I didn’t want basketball injuries to prevent me from my more regular discipline of running. But I think I actually managed to strengthen my ankles, knees, and core through Saturdays at the Rec!
I’m glad it all worked out. And I hope I’ll be able to play again in future semesters.