Monday, May 4, 2009

Why I Could Never Have Played in the NBA

Well... Other than the fact that I'm way too short, not nearly strong enough, and I have white man's syndrome (AKA, lack of vertical leap).

I mentioned that I was eating healthier and getting back into shape. After 4 months of working out hard 6 days per week and cleaning up my diet, I'm as fit as I ever was. Within the last few weeks, I found an open gym where they get good full court 5 on 5 games 3 times a week. For the first couple weeks, I was playing great and feeling great with my new found quickness and strength. Now, playing 3 times a week for 3 hours at a time is starting to wear me down.

As I type this, my ankles are aching and swollen. My shoulder is sore. My legs are sore and weak like I just got done running a marathon. The state of my body has even affected my eating habits. For the past couple of weeks, I've gone back to eating crappy (but yummy) food because with all the extra physical exertion, I'm craving carbs and high calorie foods.

This is from 3 weeks of playing basketball 3 times a week. I think of NBA players who practice every day and play 82 games per season not including the playoffs. It's amazing to me how durable you have to be to make it through a season like that. I couldn't do it. Well, maybe I could, but I'd definitely wouldn't be playing at a lower level at the end of the season than I was at the beginning.

I think I could get by just playing basketball. I can drag my body out there 3 times a week and not feel too tired or sore. My biggest problem is that I have a hard time working out when I play basketball this often. For the 4 months before I started playing this often, I had a great workout routine going. I would get up before work and work out for an hour. Despite working out 6 days per week, I felt like I got enough rest. I felt strong. However, when I play basketball this often, it's very very hard for me to get up an hour early so I can work out before work. I feel like I need that extra hour of sleep in order for my body to recover. My legs feel sore from playing basketball, so it makes it really hard to work out my legs. Basically I just feel tired.

Not being able to work out as hard or as often decreases my strength and explosiveness on the basketball court. Three weeks ago, I could touch the rim when I jumped. Now, I'm 4 or 5 inches away from it. I lost a little (not that much) bit of my quickness. Therefore, even though I'm playing more basketball than before, I'm actually getting worse because I haven't been working out and keeping myself in as good condition.

I marvel at guys like Kobe Bryant. Kobe gets up at 3:30 AM during the season so he can get in a rigorous workout before his day really begins. There's a story about how when he played in the Olympics last summer, he told Lebron James that he didn't want to go out with the rest of the players one night because he had a workout scheduled at 6:00 AM the next morning. This conversation is being credited for causing Lebron James to realize just how much work it takes to be the best basketball player in the world, and now he works out hard like Kobe does.

I can't even do a workout that's probably half as hard as Kobe's when I don't play basketball nearly as much as him. My body simply will not allow me to do it.

Anyway... I just wanted to vent my frustration about not being able to work out like I want to because I want to play basketball as often as possible. My sore shoulder (hurt it doing pull ups about a month ago) is forcing me to cut back on my workouts again. I just want to get back to being completely healthy and pain free, but I don't think I can do that while playing basketball. My body forces me to choose one or the other. Right now, I'm picking basketball.


Anonymous said...

don't forget you are working full time and putting a lot stress on those knees and ankles 12 hours a day. That takes its toll too. Kobe doesn't do that.

pharmacykid said...

"I think of NBA players who practice every day and play 82 games per season not including the playoffs. It's amazing to me how durable you have to be to make it through a season like that. I couldn't do it."

They pay for it later in life and so do their teams. Bill Walton screwed up his arches. Yao Ming has a hairline fracture. KG's knees are giving out. Manu's ankles are chronically injured. Their training helps them play professionally, but the wear and tear adds up.

Personally for me, I just want to play basketball and have fun. I want to stay fit constantly until I become an old man and beyond.