“What the hell are you doing?!”
The voice cut through the din of the crowd as the ball careened off the side of my foot, trickling its way out of bounds. Shit. The other team immediately called timeout and players raced to their respective benches.
“We have seven seconds to not lose this game, so you better wake up. We are up by one. They are in the double bonus. Play defense. Do not foul but if you do make sure it’s hard enough they don’t make the shot. Do I make myself clear?!”
Bent over with hands perched on knees the sweat rushed down tendrils of hair tucked behind my ears. I listened intently, knowing the instructions were for all but the glare for me alone. I stiffened to standing knowing I had to find a way to repair the damage. This culminated in my teammates scraping me off the floor after a freight train of human being ran me down on the way to the basket. The referees called a charge and we were able to pull off a win. On the jog to the locker room a hand grabbed the scruff of my neck.
“Way to be mentally tough!”
For years my understanding of the term was derived not from real life but a game. Pure folly compared to what I would learn on the pine shaded grounds of Camp Tontozona.Add a comment
On occasion the senses require a bit of a boost. The eyes yearn to take in something vibrant and while they may have gazed upon similar instances the intensity of a sight unseen is always greater. This leads to a further stirring in the soul. The legs may need to stride across new soil, may need to scream from lack of use as they ascend the high mountains. And the hike was not easy, yet not terrible either but new and enthralling, and the elevation induced wheezing was masked by adrenaline. The small dirt trail as the yellow brick road wound its way through aspen laden mountainsides ablaze with fall in its route to Oz.Add a comment
For consecutive weekends 89A was my travel companion. I stole away to the numbingly boring highway, dotted with its’ dilapidated and abandoned roadside stands, to make northerly course towards the legend that is Lees Ferry. With the compulsion of young love I burned fuel to reach it so that I could stare into its churning waters and inhale its briny scent. Then annoy the heck out of the fish.Add a comment
The rules are that no sticks in the pile can be moved in the pursuit of any other stick. It’s a silly game really, but we all play it. Picking up jobs and families, responsibilities and woes; adding to our own little piles. Tiny mountains that slowly evolve into complicated molehills that can become impossible to navigate. So we organize them, these little piles, into something grand, something with a semblance of a plan. Taking special care to place them just right, so that things don’t jostle, don’t collapse when moved. The huff and puff of life turns things to shambles, though; leaving splintered shards in its wake. One by one you pick the sticks up again, making new piles, learning from past mistakes; covering old wounds. And you move on, hardened, but still searching for that something lost in the maelstrom.Add a comment
That's one of my favorite lines from Jaws, and a fitting celebration toast!
A last minute decision to take a trip out to the Southern California Surf had me checking tide charts, and consulting a friend and guide for the area Lee Baerman of Fly Fish the Surf on some good places to start. Intel in hand I packed the Impala and set out westward at about 11pm Friday night. Fighting to stay awake, making a few stupid Facebook posts along the way, I made it to my spot about 5:30am and started to rig up...Add a comment
I find that inanimate objects can hold power over my anatomy. The key slot on the door to my house is directly connected to my bladder. The teeth of the key tickle the tumblers just right, but never fast enough with the result a horrible soft shoe demonstration followed by a flailing bail of handheld items in a sprint to the bathroom. Me + key = pee. There seems to be some conspiracy though, brewing among the door and the float tube. Like goblins with kyphotic humps they rub their hands in a disturbingly scheming fashion, plotting. The float tube is merely the reagent. Alone it is ineffective but with the wonder twins power of waders combined they are unstoppable and I am on the water barely twenty minutes before they strike. Float tube + waders = see ya later.Add a comment
We drive, guided by the haze of the street lamps, moving about at an hour reserved for those that work corners. The traffic signals sleep in, blinking lazily, assuring you they are doing their best given the time. So dark, and yet it is morning. The sun is pulled from both ends of the night, to make its’ debut in a few short hours. And we are driving, racing even, to beat it.Add a comment
I have a car. I have a job. I pay bills. I am an adult. This is the mantra I repeat as I race with laser focus through the forest. And then I laugh when I spy my brother, between flashes of trees, moving just as quickly. Speed is relative though, and an elderly person out for a Sunday stroll could have passed us. Fully wadered and hampered by float tubes we ran hard, yet awkwardly, the weight of our boots pulling us quickly down the slight grade. One could debate if it was away from or to something, the simplest answer being both. Running from a gentleman who just pulled into the parking lot wanting to fish, running to the water he wants to fish; if for no other reason than to get their first. We are adults.Add a comment