Posted tagged ‘old knees’

A False Sense of Reality

July 16, 2016

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                  July 16, 2016

                                     

I’ve been watching a lot of the NBA Summer League games on TV this past week. New draft choices playing alongside D-League players and undrafted free agents, it is an entertaining experience. Next summer I’m thinking about going to Las Vegas with my son and taking in a few of the games being played.

Last night I watched some rim-rocking slams, long-distance threes, and running left hooks.

And then, feeling the energy, I went out in our driveway with “the rock”, as we call the basketball, and started shooting from the corner. I shoot from the corner in our driveway because it slopes down. It’s like an automatic ball return!

As I dribbled the ball and got into my shooting motion reality hit me! Reality came in the form of my right knee whining as it bent…and screamed as it started to unbend! It was the meeting of my mind with my knee and my knee won. Sixty-two year old knees that have run a few marathons, run thousands of miles on asphalt pavements with some of the old running shoes we used to wear, and played years and years of basketball, are knees that now succeed in daily coups against the rest of my body. I say “Let’s play some hoop down at the Y!” and my knees say “I don’t think so!” They are like stubborn octogenarians who refuse to drink their Ensures!

My life seems to have increasing times of false senses of reality. What I envision happening gets a revised plan. It’d like a teenager about to get his first car. He searches the internet web sites, looking at Camaro’s, Jeeps, BMW’s, high-powered Mustangs, and man-sized trucks, and then his parents present him with a gift-wrapped Ford Escort with strips of duct tape on it in different places.

Dreams…expectations…assumptions…and then there comes the reality!

My dream is to slam dunk! My reality is that you can now barely fit one piece of typing paper under my feet when I elevate. The positive however is that it doesn’t take me nearly as long to return to the ground.

Our lives are filled with what we think and what is real.

Remember a time in your growing up years when you had a crush on a certain person and you believed the attraction was mutual. Perhaps you even envisioned in your mind those walks in the park when you would be holding hands, embracing in the shadows of the front porch where parents could not see…and then the reality coming in the form of information that there wasn’t a mutual attraction, and, in fact, you were to leave the other person alone. Stay away! Sometimes reality is like getting slapped in the face with the end of a wet towel that snaps you.

Those are moments in our lives that, plain and simple, just suck!

My knees are just one indication, one painful reminder, that things change. Life is a journey of adjustments. Those adjustments come through afflictions as well as learnings. They come as a result of years of doing something that has left us weary and disillusioned; and they come as we experience the cresting of a new hill that shows us something completely new that we might consider attempting.

Most of us have visited that false sense of reality at one time or another. It comes in a job performance evaluation, or a frank conversation with a trusted friend. It is often hard to hear.

Back to my knees! I shot a few shots, listened to a few internal knee screams, and then went back to the couch. My right knee especially said “This is where you belong!”

I sighed and then watched a 22 year old do a reverse slam dunk on TV!

You’re As Old As You…Act!

May 6, 2016

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                  MAY 6, 2016

                        

    I received a birthday card yesterday. It was awesome, sent to me by a 93 year old woman that I just love. It was fueled with “old sayings.” One of them was “You know you are old when your back goes out more often than you do.” 

I’ll admit that there are certain parts of my body that I know are there every morning…and evening! In the afternoons I think they are taking a siesta. I’ll also admit that in my evening slumber…or in and out and in and out of slumber…I often has dreams of soaring to the rim and dunking the basketball over my twenty year old defender. I also dream of that awesome crossover dribble and blowing by him, and I also dream of draining three’s from the deep corner. But, as I say, even though they are frequent dreams they are now just dreams.

I’m writing a book right now that is “sort of” living out my dreams about a young boy who plays basketball, is fundamentally sound in the sport and also in life. It’s, hopefully, a feel good story that we all wish to be reality, and, I admit, was part of my hope growing up.

As I’m growing older I recognize that a lot of my actions are not usually associated with people who are Social Security eligibles. Today, for instance, I’ll go to middle school track practice. This evening I’ll let my grandkids crawl all over me, chase them around the house, play hide-and-seek, read books, chill with them, and perhaps play dress-up. Tomorrow I’ll be at a middle school track meet in the morning and afternoon, and then officiate three basketball games that evening. Next week I’ll substitute teach three to four days with students from first grade through high school. I’ll admit that the hot tub usually feels pretty darn good at the end of a long day.

But the other thing about getting almost a quarter of the way through my sixties is that I know I still have much to offer, and offer it willingly. I’m a retired pastor who still pastors. I just don’t get paid for it! Tomorrow morning, before the track meet, I’ll meet for breakfast with a young lady that I coached in basketball several years ago, and now Carol and I financially support through her ministry with Navigators at the University of North Florida. I’ll seek to be an encourager to her as she disciples young college women. Just as I encouraged her when she was zero for ten shooting in a basketball game, I’ll encourage her to stay focused, and on course, as she engages in spiritual conversations with college students.

You’re as old as your actions, and as old as your attitudes. Is my attitude about life laced with cynicism or optimism? I’ll admit I may be more of a hybrid…a cynical optimist.The throb in my knees as I’m climbing steps brings out the cynicism, but I’m optimistic that I’ll reach the top…or bottom…without falling on my face.

Next month I’ll be back in Ohio to visit my dad as he celebrates his 88th birthday. Physically he has slowed, but mentally and relationally he is an inspiration. The widow ladies at the senior complex he resides at love him…all of the ladies! Their love for him is based on how he treats people, how he acts, the optimism he faces each day with…even though it might include a skin radiation treatment. The nurses and technicians at the radiation department at St. Mary’s Hospital in Huntington, West Virginia know him on a first name basis even though he might not have been there for a few months. He’s an inspiration to me about keeping a healthy life perspective.

You’re as old as you…act!