So, how did I spend my Labor Day? Well, I got some sleep, I did some work, I hung out with some good friends, and played a mindful and rather academic game of basketball. So a pretty good way of spending a day, I’d say.
Wait, academic? seems like kind of an unusual term to describe a pick up, one on one game of basketball, doesn’t it? Usually when I think of hoops, I picture two guys who are friends jawing with each other, not really thinking of what they’re doing, shooting and dribbling all over the court trying tou outshine the other with their skills. Well, when playing with my friend Tomas yesterday, we definitely jawed with each other. There was plenty of trash talking between the two of us. There were plenty of shots, rebounds and enough dribbles to give us a good workout. There was also something I find absent from many times I’ve stepped out on the court in recent trips: thought. Part of this was that Tomas and I are on an intramural team in the winter here at BU, and we used the game to scout the other to see how we could play together. (By the way, anyone who wants to play on my team, just come practice and play with me so I can see what you can do.) But Tomas and I are also very thoughtful and smart players. We both know our strengths and weaknesses. We also are pretty good at getting to our spots and getting the other into a place they don’t want to be. That combination of thinking the game through and competitive fire is something I’ve not experienced that often and something I love when I get to taste it. It’s a reminder that basketball isn’t as mindless as many make it out to be.
I think there’s also a wonderful metaphor in there somewhere about how life can often seem mindless and repetitive; as though we are only going through the motions and not really living even though there is plenty of real substance there. I’m sure that’s in there somewhere, but I’m going to let you determine that for yourself. I’m still just happy that I got to think about what I was doing while on the basketball court. Now that classes have gotten started, its time to actually put in the effort to think about those and not just kinda show up and play along with the professor!