I love basketball and have been a die-hard Pheonix Suns fan since 1993. At that time, the stars of the team were Kevin Johnson, Tom Chambers and Dan Majerly. My brother Dan and our friend Kevin would pretend to be their name sakes while I played mine, “Tom” Chambers. The three of us would often get together with all the neighborhood boys for pickup games of 1 on 2, 2 on 2, 2 on 3, 3 on 3…..you get the picture. Back then, EVERYONE had a hoop so it was easy for us to spontaneously start games no matter at whose house we were playing. I remember one day all us boys were in back of my neighbor’s home, WWF wrestling and having a great ‘ol time, when each of us spontaneously eyeballed each other, shook our shoulders and said, “I’m bored, let’s go play basketball.”
Despite our nonchallant decision to play basketball, each of us aimed at fiercly destoying the other team. Our style and creativity of play resembled that of All-Star competitions: domination through sheer scoring. We marked off the corners of the driveway for 3-pointers, lowered the rim to 7 feet and even used a mini-trampoline to get mad hops for some crazy jams. I remember one day when no one was home, I brought out the trampoline to practice my dunking skills. I wanted to be like Dr. J.
Everything was going fine as I grabbed some mad hang time….untill I got a little too cocky.
I was working a Jimmy Dolan “Shake And Bake” from the film, “The Air Up There” before pouncing on the trampoline. **BOOM!** I slammed the ball, swinging on the rim for emphasis. Unfortunately, my hands slipped as the centrifugal force brought my legs forward. I fell back….and since my neck is fused and has no mobility, I wasn’t able to brace myself, landing flat as a board. As you can guess, I whacked the back of my head on the hard concrete, knocking me unconscious for a few momements.
But I got up, the bump healed and all that remained was the memory of that awsome high-flighing adventure!
Fast forward twenty-two years. My brother came home to visit and out of the blue asked if I’d like to go to a Suns game with him….the next day! Really?? He’s been traveling around the world, stops in for a couple days and decides to spontaneously go to a game- without even considering price, availabilty or overcoming physical challenges. I am not jelous, nor would I change my life experiences but sometimes I wish those who work hard just to maintain would get a little more credit. Fortunately for me, I have a loving family who appreciates my perseverence yet pushes me to reach for the stars.
That encouragement inspires confidence and makes me want to, as the Army says, “Be All I Can Be.“
Back to the story….I was hesitant to attend the Suns game because my life usually follows Murphy’s Law: “Whatever can go wrong will go wrong.” Fortunately for me, Dan’s excitement was contageous and I soon forgot my nervous oxygen calculations, throwing on a huge smile. I am extremely appreciative of my brother for the way he he motivates me to overcome worries, allowing me to join events most people take for granted. In that way, he helps me feel “normal.”
YES! Let’s do it! I bought two upper deck tickets online (because what’s a live sporting event without a nose bleed?!) and prepared for adventure. I packed my oxgen tanks, I rolled a double tank and my brother carried an extra, a disabled parking plackard, cell phone, wallet and a willingness to embarass myself in the name of fandom. An hour drive later we arrived at our center court seats. Although we were super high up, the arena was half capacity, giving us a fantastic, direct view of the entire game.
Most of the Suns players were new to me so it fun being surprised by their impressive quickness, passes and dunks. At one point, a Suns player inbounded the ball and quickly threw it upcourt for an open layup. #BAM! In Yo Face Spurs!! That night was a fantastic, continuous bombardment on my senses. Bright lights, bumpin’ music, cheering hotties, deliciously unhealthy popcorn, nachos & hotdogs, fast-paced-action; all of which were made possible by the steady flow of portible oxygen.
To add a cherry on the delicious sundae which was the basketball event, the Suns demolished the Spurs, ahead 20 pts almost the entire game. Watching a live Phoenix Suns game brought me back to my childhood while allowing me to make new, grown up memories with my brother. I feel so blessed that even as our lives change and we each take on more responsibilities, our relationship grows stronger.
I guess the moral of the story is don’t worry. Take chances. Ignore the inevitable discompfort you’ll feel becasuse in the long run, it is fleeting and you will soon be back to normal. All that remains is the happy memory of what you experienced. #Dontworry #Behappy ~ Breathe This Life ~