Five days before the March 26 trip to Waterville Valley to see the Decoteau and Hodges families and pay respects to the Wounded Warrior Project, the weather app on the iPhone told me it looked like sunny and 40s for the weekend … which was nice, considering we’d be shooting at the base of a ski mountain for the day.
Turned out it was, in fact, nothing less than a perfect day … for skiers. For the free throw shooters among us, well, overcast and 20s wasn’t exactly ideal.
And there I go, whining again. Almost funny, isn’t it? Here I am with my wow-am-I-ever-tough complex because I chose to spend a few hours outdoors playing basketball in the kinda-cold, while during that very same time, skiing on that very same mountain were men and women who had literally left limbs behind to serve our country.
(It takes me a while, but perspective eventually sets in.)
Speaking of perspective, and strength, and service, it was a pleasure to see the Decoteaus, Mark and Nancy, as always. It’s now been over a year since their son Marc, a 19-year-old Army Specialist, was killed in Afghanistan, and they continue to inspire with their strength and kindness. Marc’s image on the commemorative dogtag I wear, meanwhile, continues to motivate me, and to remind me of real sacrifice.
With Drew Hodges to my right, and Chris Hodges and Mark Decoteau under the hoop, we got to shooting in a little alcove adjacent to the lodge at around 9 a.m., and although the wind was whipping around loudly behind and to my right, the protection from the building was enough to keep the ball flying straight.
And to be honest, it really wasn’t all that cold, particularly once we got moving.
And that’s about how it looked for the next few hours. We busted through 2,200 in about an hour and a half, and after a lunch break we came back for another 2,800 in about two hours. Our 5,000 was by far the most outdoors in a day yet, and bumped the overall total up to 712,007 down, 287,993 to go to 1 million made foul shots.
It was in honor of the Wounded Warrior Project, and all wounded warriors who have paid such a price on our behalf.