Sit and watch.
I did just that again last night. This time from a weight bench inside the rec center. The world of weightlifting, dance classes and treadmills whirled around me and I found myself staring at the basketball court below as I finished my last set of curls. My biceps were screaming, the center was closing in an hour and I just sat, perfectly motionless, and studied the white net hanging underneath the rim. I noticed every ripple of motion as if it were the only thing occurring in the universe.
I began to think about the sound of the ball swishing through the net and the way my right wrist used to hang in the air for a second or two afterwards on the follow through. I remembered the days of Larry Steele Basketball Camps, all-star tournaments, league games, wins, losses, buses, uniforms, coaches, running lines, sweating, crying, bleeding, hurting, free throws, crowds and gyms.
I shut my playlist off and walked down to the front desk and asked for a women's ball. I felt the texture and the seams. I dribbled a couple times, thought I was cool and got all tricky with the between the legs, behind the back crossover. I stopped hard, pulled up from about 15 feet and launched it. BRICK!!!!
I sheepishly looked around and chased my rebound, snickering at my silly self. I hadn't touched a basketball in at least two years and the date of my last pick up game escapes my memory. All my college games are kind of a blur of practicing, traveling, knee ultrasounds and a screaming coach.
I shot around for about 45 minutes, regaining the art of the perfect follow through that procured the symphonic "swish" sound for which I lived and worked my guts out to obtain for the first 20 years of my life. As I moved across the court shooting layups, jumpers, free throws and a few threes, my body fell into a natural rhythm that required no effort, no thinking, no forcing. The movements were natural and my feet were light and quick. I didn't stop until the attendant told me the center was closing in 15 minutes. Time stood still when the ball was in my hands. The exact same way it does when I am on my bike in the mountains...
A neglected part of my soul returned last night.
All because I took the time to sit and watch....