The Current Lull

It’s not that stuff isn’t going on, it’s that there needs to be meditation and a hardcore dose of no basketball, before the chaos starts.

If anyone else has looked at the November schedule… November is insane. Games are on weird days at weird times, we’re playing schools that we’re not particularly familiar with, and… March Madness? Please; Nutso November.

It’s the most wonderful time, of the year ♫

Late Fall when you get the overlap of football and basketball mixed with all of the cloudy days and changing of the leaves… plus, candy. Because Halloween.

In terms of the coming days… probably minimal posting. What’s Important Now is something that tends to take precedence, and right now that’s avoiding basketball fatigue. There are GNAC teams that are playing games in the next couple of weeks, but… there’s not a match-up with any meaningful team until 3pm on November 14 when the Sodexo tournament starts and CWU plays Minnesota-Crookston.

After that? WHOOOOSH, welcome to eat-sleep-breathe basketball. There are a grand total of eight meaningful GNAC games on November 14th alone, and between that day and the end of conference play? Approximately 275 more.

One thing that’s highly underrated is the amount of  exhaustion that the GNAC season as a whole causes; terms that are applicable include: intense and all-consuming.

Practices… every minute is filled with implication. The sense of being on a team with guys that mean the world to you but are also your biggest competition. Especially on teams without much hierarchy with so many new guys: everyone’s killing themselves every practice; take one rep off and BOOM your entire college career could change. Even on teams with established starters… It’s brutal. Your body is brutalized, your mind is brutalized, your ego when you make four straight bone headed mistakes and you know it’s all on you, and afterward you’re exhausted and starving and in one sense dreading the next practice but then in another sense want nothing more than to get back out on the court.

Games? Even games that are won by 25 are stressful -there are always tense moments until you walk it up and walk away and even after that, the pressure to stay on the pressure and keep the fundamentals going, keep your mind in the game and not think about the fact that you’re missing stuff at home, or you have a term paper that’s due the next day, or there were issues at the border, or that your legs are just done. And afterward it’s like “yeah, we won, but… there’s so much work left to do,” and nothing is ever good enough. You walk away thinking about things that you could have said that could have made some minute difference to affect the outcome in a better way, even though you won by 15.

And then you go home (or back to your hotel room) hating yourself both for what you didn’t do, and for holding resentment for things that other people could have done but didn’t do, even though everyone out there was doing their best to achieve success. I think the self-resentment felt is much worse on winning teams because there is the guilt that you got the W and you should be grateful and you’re exhausted and starving and in one sense dreading the next game but then in another sense wanting nothing more than to get back out on the court.

But that’s why we ball. Because it’s fun, meaningful, a blessing, and a heck of a good game. It gives us that chance to care, to put our all into something, to come together, and for our time on the court, to strive to be untouched by the world.

Alright… Lull? Rolling. That was rolling. That was a mid-season rant before we’ve even gone anywhere. Basketball creates some of the most stress but also some of the most joy; some of the most pain, and some of the most relief.

And before we get into the grueling amount of travel endured by GNAC teams, it’s important for us all to take a minute to remember that: We love and we genuinely like basketball.

With that I invite you to take a moment right now: yes -as you’re reading this blog post, and just breathe.

This season is going to be awesome, incredible, horrible, and painful. It is likely to be life changing, affirming, unforgiving, and an unforgettable experience.

That is why there hasn’t been much posting: practices have been going on, midterms are in full force, and there’s plenty of time in the next five months for us to OD on basketball; October is no time to do that.

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