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Friday, April 18, 2008

Chp 167. Look Ma, no stamina!


Today was my litmus test, and I failed miserably. Ever since I got back to Mizoram, I’ve been extremely busy preparing my aging bones and muscles for the prestigious “All Mizoram YMA (Young Mizo Association) Basketball Tournament”. I didn’t even have time to blog because of that.

I started running again for the past 3 weeks, training myself for this tournament. I felt I had to prove myself at the court again, even though I haven’t played basketball for more than 5 years now.

And today we played our first match. We lost embarrassingly. And what is even more embarrassing for me was that I scored just 3 points during the entire game.

I met a lot of people I used to play basketball with during my hey days at the court today. Most of them are now married, fat, or both. They saw me at the court today and they exclaimed in surprise “You still play!!??” I grinned back at them uncomfortably.

1997 was a magical year for me. It was the year I led my team (JL Vision) to victory at the Mizoram BB Tournament (there was no YMA tournament back then) putting an end to the reigning champion Zarkawt Falcons’ domination over the game. I was adjudged the best player of Mizoram that same year. Ah, what wonderful memories back then. Sniff sniff.

But then, 1997 is 11 years ago. I am no longer the player I once used to be. Forget dunking, I can’t even jump and touch the freaking board now. My two USPs were that I could play the position of “guard” at defence but play “post-up” at offence too (the position that tall “centres” play), and nobody could block my fade-away shots. Now I cannot even do either.

Aging is truly a sinking feeling. What hurts the most is that, in our mind we picture ourselves doing a particular action because we’ve done it a million times before, but in reality we just simply cannot do it. After the match, I just felt like jumping off a cliff. That’s how depressed I was. But then I thought again, I won’t even be able to do that.

To err is human. Sometimes we do have an off-day during any match. At least we know where we went wrong, learn from our mistakes, and try not to repeat that in the next match. But what happens when you know your mistake is that you’ve been pushed to the limit of your capabilities? All hope seem so lost right then.

My childhood friends keep telling me that I am in self-denial about my age, refusing to accept the fact that I am now… old. But isn’t that what most people do too? We try to keep up with all the music and lingo of today’s young generation, while fiercely protecting our own “youth culture” of our era.

Funny thing today was, not just my teammates but the opponents all called me “u Kima” (“watch u Kima carefully” or “don’t let u Kima shoot”). The prefix “u” pronounced “ooh”, is used before a person’s name as a mark of respect in our Mizo culture to call somebody much older than the one who is calling. Jeez, I am an “u Kima” to all these people now. I don’t even know whether to cry or scream.

Anyway I decided today that I am retiring from professional basketball. It hurts to bid adieu to my greatest passion but my body is just no longer able to take all the stress and endurance. Damn you, Age.

I felt so bad disappointing my teammates who had so much expectation from me today. Sadly I couldn’t even deliver a single itsy-bitsy component of those expectations. Our YMA General Secretary told me before the match that I would not be substituted because I had to lead the youngsters in our team to play their best. Alas, I had to be substituted 6 times because I could no longer run. Damn you, stamina.

I just want know whether you, my respected reader, have ever given up on something you cherish deeply because you are now too old to do that. How did it feel like when you had to let go of it? Does it hurt as much as the feeling you get when all your hope is crushed into smithereens? Is there any support group for such people who are so down in the dumps that life becomes a tad meaningless?

I look at some of the guys I used to play with 15 years ago. Most of them are pot bellied and bald now. Is it finally time to join their ranks? I look at the guys I am playing with today. Some of them were not even born 15 years ago. They are still in school while I’ve at least graduated as an engineer and had a lot of other experiences in life. Poetic justice?

Getting old sometimes really sucks. Sometimes the cruel hands of time play mean tricks on our physical agility. And I found out about that today. The hard way.

23 comments:

Awzzman said...

Eureka!!! good basketball player..U Kima keep on playing,

Sekibuhchhuak said...

U Kim:heheh
Tinge aw..kan ramah hian rawn training la tha ang:P.han chak hram ula tha tur an maw!

Btw,chuti vakin i la upa lo ka ti keichu..Mizo hi kan inti upa hma ltk deuh thin lo maw?

Philo said...

I've lately taken up soccer again and yup, no more hustles and dribbles like an aging Maradona but definitely more aches and a good tan! A thhu theih khawp mai!! So you were the ones who unseated the Falcons.

apatea said...

@Kim, were u really that good? hehe

Jokes aside, i know the falcons were legends on the court. court a anlo luh hi cuan kan kian tawp zel!!!! Falcons ho official tournament a hneh chu pui tak a nih chu. Great job!!!!

But hey, u arent that old. Alot of times its in the mind that u feel old before u really do... If you hit the court a few more months i knw u would def get back in shape.

[i] courage doesnt always roar. Sometimes is the quiet voice at the end of the day that saying "I will try again tomorrow". - Mary Anne Radmacher

apatea said...

Courage doesnt always roar. Sometimes Courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying "I will try again tomorrow". - Mary Anne Radmacher... tih tur nih kha sorry for the printing mistakes... mut suak lubuks

Banno said...

Is it really age? Or the fact that you hadn't played in 5 years? I refuse to believe that you are that old that you need to hang up your basketball socks and shoes. And even if you are, you could still play, and with regular practice you'd just remain fitter longer, even if you don't win. :)

Sorry for the lecture.

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Hmai said...

hehehe...u kima,ka u ve thei che ngem??? as i've told you before,u can't expect to be as good as before without practicing.It took yrs for u to be what you were 5yrs bk and now u can't expect everythin to suddenly come bk to u,u have to practice more.Don't give up,but practice more!!!And yea,u r kinda old now but well.....u can still play...:P

Joseph said...

basketball te i lo khel thin elaw? haha.. va hmu chak reuh e. i han che kual vel tur chu.

Chhama said...

I feel for you, brother. But you are far too young to retire, look at the great NBA player Robert Parish. He played well into his fifties and is still a valuable contributor. And Jordan won the league and playoffs MVP at the age of 36. You have at least 5 good years ahead of you. Anyways, barring Ramhlun, the northern side of Aizawl is not really a basketball powerhouse. Wish you all the best for your upcoming games.
And if you're hell bent on retiring, there's always bridge and bingo. :)

Jerusha said...

Don't try to blame age for what general laziness and general 'tlawness' entails :DD

life10 said...

lol..i agree with jerusha ...neway in la old hma em mai!! kei ni pawh "u" pawh nilo "pi" pawh kan la lam zawr zawr kha hehehhehe..give up hma emmmm mai!! just git your ass up and start jogging again every morning and practice!! and then only tell me if age has really taken its toll...

apatea said...

happy birthday!!!

I know it isnt really that good to bring this up looking at the contxt but hey, can you stop a guy wishng you a happy birthday! hehe

Puii Colney said...

Too old? Nobody is too old for anything. You just need some practice.. thats all!! BTW, how old are u? I in la upa lutuk...=)

mesjay said...

However good you were, however young you are, 5yrs is a long time to be out of practice. It'll take a longer training to get back to your earlier feat.
You could choose to keep at it or to concentrate on some other thing you love too. Up to you.
Good thing you're a lot better off than your 'fat' contemporaries.
Chu bakah naupang te te in 'due to age' in ti ve fo hi chu nuihzatthlak ka ti.

Almost Unreal said...

u kim: how do u manage to score only 3?? lolzzz..and dont u think that you are still too young to retire???

Mate said...

Hey.... I came looking for a bloody fight because I sent you a text message wishing you a Happy Birthday and you didn't acknowledge it (for obvious reasons, I see :))

You on vacation? What about your exams?

aduhi said...

Hello uncle, welcome to middle age

illusionaire said...

@ Aduhi: Thank you thank you, for welcoming me to your domain :-)

@ Mate: Sorry but I am in Mumbai now. Hence my Mizoram number won't be working. Will give you a call later to tell you my number.

@ Almost: I attempted like 20-30 times that day, and only 1 basket went in. It was the worst game I've ever played. Nothing simply went in that day, even from right under the ring.

@ mesjay: Thanx for the great advice. I am in Mumbai by the way, and have been trying to get your number from my friends but to no avail. Please call me on my mumbai number when you can, Pi Malsawm. 9930961576

@ Puii: hyuk hyuk. Kum 47 ka ni ve chiah e. Chu chu upa i ti ems? :-P

@ Apatea: Thanx for the wish! :-) eeeee ka upa leh sawt taaaa. Thanx for the great quote too. Nia Falcons hneh tu nih te kha chu a nuam khawp mai. JL Vision atanga ka chhuah hnu in, ABC ah ka khel leh a, Falcons ho chu kan hneh leh a, Mizoram kan champ leh a, khata tang kha chuan Falcons an darh ta in ka hria. :-)

@ Philo: Aches? Tell me about it! And funny thing is, I have aches at the least expected places, which makes you think a lot on how that part ever got ached in the first place *BIG GRIN*

illusionaire said...

@ Banno: Thanx for the words of comfort. Well, I guess it could be because of practice too. But I was talking more about skills. I know, stamina wise, I will never be up to the mark again, but I just feel down that my skills are no longer good. And seriously, I do not have so much time as all these youngsters to spend my whole day playing now :-(

@ chhama: lolz. Yeah I know, but then, these NBA guys do nothing but play, so their body is fit and agile for a much longer period. For us guys who have various other commitments in life, it is no longer possible to have that much free time to practice.

@ joseph: in one-on-one i la? :-P

@ flores online: Spam, shoo shoo.

@ sekibuhchhuak: In ti upa mai lam nilovin, kan mizo society ah hi chuan mahni kum tih chi leh chi lo te hi kan nei teuh a. Entirnan, vai ho chu, putar an nih thleng in Discotheque ah te an la kal tual tual a, mahse kan soceity ah ve chuan, tiang ang tih chu a zahthlak tawh te kan tia, tleirawl chauh tih chi a kan ngaih vang ten. Chungtiang bawkin, inkhelh pawh hi, tleirawl ho chauh tih chi an mi tamtak hi chuan an ngai tawh.

@ Jerusha: Bleh. You're just jealous that I have lost my pot-belly because of all my recent workouts, while you still haven't lost yours :-P

@ life10: Pi Life, in lak upat lam ni lovin, tunlai thangthar ho kan phak tawh loh zia lam zawk a ni. Ka rual pui te chu ka la cho vek. lolz. In pa pawh kha 100 metres race ah mi lo cho hial hial teh. *GRIN*

@ Awzzman: hehe, will try :-)

@ Hmai: Told my mom about not being able to keep up with all these youngsters anymore, and she said I should be embarassed for saying that because even my friend Lalrintluanga is still playing today. And then I had to remind her again that I've been playing much before him and also that I'm much older than him. And then she went, "oh". :-)

Anonymous said...

it's not a good feeling when your mind thinks it can still do it and your body refuses to respond lolz you can picture yourself ... spin move right between the guards , fake the center and easy shot ... dont believe him anymore lolz

Anonymous said...

Kima, dont ever give up if basketball its your passion. Nothing hurts more than realising too late that you should've persued somehting which is so close to your heart and you didnt do it in good time. Try to take baby steps back to your dream. work out 2/3 times a day at first and then intensify it slowly.

Here is one person who will surely inspire you. If this guy can do it, you can be a for sure be a mizo bb super hero!His interview...

http://potw.news.yahoo.com/s/potw/64390/what-are-you-looking-at

his website
http://www.therollingexhibition.com/

If you love it so much, i know you can find your way back to it...come what may!!!

Good luck :-)

-Mona Tetei

Isaiah said...

The guy is totally just, and there is no skepticism.
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