Friday’s efforts were cut a little short for a very good reason: My way-up-the-hill neighbor, Scott Freeman, invited me for a waterski session that meant leaving from his house for 6:45 a.m. With a 5:15 start, that was just enough time to make 1,000, feed the dog, take a quick shower and drive on up.
To Northwood Lake we went, and here’s what I learned: I’m not 25 anymore. I also learned that at 42, when you try some of the things you were able to do 15-20 years ago, you tend to get inverted. As in, backwards and upside-down over the water at 32 miles per hour. And when you come down, it hurts.
So that was our ski morning. Scott and his buddy Todd were great sun-up companions, and we’re planning to do it again next Friday. I’ll be sure to act like a 42-year-old this time.
Oh, and there was a residual effect: First thing Saturday morning, I could barely move my arms, so the first 20 shots or so were right out of the Shaq handbook (sorry, Shaq). Once I got loosened up, things got back to normal, and 1,500 came pretty quickly.
The evidence of my advanced age was even more pronounced on Sunday. I got out of bed (barely), struggled down the stairs, lifted what seemed to be a 75-pound granola bar to my mouth, then went outside … and missed and missed and missed. Finally, about an hour and 24 minutes later, 1,000 had found their way through the rim, and I was done.
My dad’s the guy who handed me my love of basketball. He was a 1,000-point scorer at Bates College in Lewison, Maine (once scored 37 points on Jim Calhoun … I can’t help but mention that) and a longtime high school girls’ basketball coach.
When this project got rolling six months ago or so and we needed rebounders, he was hurting in a big way, both mentally and physically, but he insisted on being there when he could. Some days we wouldn’t say a word, and some days he seemed like he could barely stand up, but he would not back down. Safe to say we couldn’t have gotten to this point without him.
And now, he’s in hot and sunny Florida, feeling good in his head and hoping that with medical help, his back, hips and legs can catch up soon.
I spoke with him this morning, and he sounded great. It’s as good a Fathers Day present as I could possibly get.
We’re at 311,007 down, 688,993 to go to 1 million made foul shots.
Happy Fathers Day, dads. And Happy Fathers Day, Dad.