There are few things better than the place where everybody knows your name. I stride to the basketball court playing it cool, fooling nobody. They had me at “hello.” I couldn’t wait to be there, and I can’t play alone. Well, at least not at my age. This court and these faces are key ingredients in the fuel that kept me operating in good spirits all day.
Have you seen a sight more inspiring than that of a grown man falling off his mountain bike? In the pouring down rain? Are there better ways for two men to connect than a deep post pattern or alley-oop? Feelings? Pile-ups, blocks, and line checks during flag football are where many men freely share something they can feel.
Where else can you scheme, play, and review in the best of high school glory days with only a fraction of the ego and false hope? There’s not a cent on the line; nothing in it for anybody. Nobody owns the game or has to worry about fair play or violent aggression. Our shoes create lovely worn spots in my lawn that I interpret like an inkblot test. Sometimes it seems only a pinch away from a sacred ritual; a primeval dance evolved and passed down from the ancients.
But this thing of beauty is my league
I had a vision where parks, gyms, community centers, and churches were packed with groups of people in motion together. People didn’t misprioritize their mental and physical health. Sacrifices were made to achieve this vision, but mostly at the expense of on-line gaming, pharmaceuticals, and electronics superstores.
Leagues are what keep physical activity from becoming only exercise. For many, when push comes to shove, exercise just isn’t all that important. However, everyone makes time to do what’s enjoyable and important to him or her. Maybe your league includes a rugged mountain trail or Silver Sneakers. Maybe it takes place not at the gym but at the dance hall or roller skating rink.
Whatever the case, find your league. You need them and they you. Oh they’re out there; people with similar interests and abilities, all needing a “league” more than anyone imagined. Like-minded friends and a functional body are incredible gifts, and we need to receive them. But the league – that’s earned.
League meetings do have a number, so hurry while the “offer” is good. Turn off your NHL, your amazing race, your fantasy football and dance shows. Put down your sports page. Those are all good in their time, but they’re just games.
Sweating with a smile on your face.
I believe this is far more than just a game.
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