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Suicides: Not just for basketball players.

Posted Jan 22 2009 6:49pm
Everyone always thinks that they are in better shape than they really are. I mean, sure… we all say things like… “ ohhhh, I am so out of shape, there is no way that I can beat you swimming the length of this pool,” and then in your head, you’re thinking… “oh shit yeah, I can totally smoke that bastard.” And then you both jump into the pool and by the return lap you are treading in the pool trying to beat the other, flailing and splashing water all over the place, while innocent bystanders (little kids) snicker and giggle at how immature and out of shape you are. Hypothetically speaking, of course.

Even if you are in great shape, you always think you’re in better shape. Take for instance… me. I’m in good shape. Sure, I could afford to lose 15-20 pounds and I eventually will, and sure I could be stronger and more toned. But, I generally think of myself as being in really good shape. So, last night when I decided to venture out into the parking lot of the building next to me for some “drills” I totally expected to own those drills. But, as you are probably guessing right now… that was not the case. Boy, was that not the case.

Backstory:

Basketball has a somewhat magical feel to me. It sounds crazy, but one of my favorite sounds is the noise of squeaking sneakers on a basketball court and the echoing of it in the gym. It’s a noise of my early childhood, so it carries nostalgia with it. I never played basketball. Well, not in an organized way, at least. I seem to remember playing with a few friends everyday in gym class in high school, but we all sucked, so it was one of those games where after 35 minutes of playing, the score would be like 12-4 .

The closest I have come to being a basketball player, was dating one. He was a pretty hardcore basketball player, too, he played in college, he coached girl’s basketball, etc. I was always very intrigued when he talked about the drills and practices that they did for basketball. I never experienced that, so I was always interested.

Recently, I was watching a basketball game on television and during half-time they did this little piece on another team and their coach or some crap. I wasn’t really paying attention until I saw a clip of one of their practices. This is where my attention perked. For whatever reason, I am such a sucker for watching practices. Like, if Vanderbilt’s Basketball team filmed all their practices and sold them as a dvd, I would totally buy it. Hell, I'd even buy dvd's of some middle school team practicing. To me, the practices are more interesting than the game. Anyway, so I saw this team practicing and they did a drill that I’ve often been mesmerized with. Suicides.

The suicide drill carries a mystique with it. The name alone is badass and it’s usually a form of punishment. Right up my alley.

So, I’ve had these images of these poor kids struggling through suicides in my head all week and last night, I decided…. “ damn, I could totally do those all day and not get tired.”

So, here I was. I just finished doing my strength training video (upper body and abs). It was 6:00pm and I was standing in the Scarritt Bennett Parking Lot. It was literally about 20 degrees with a windchill of negative 15. I swear, it was freezing cold. I had on one layer of clothing (because, besides thinking I’m a badass when it comes to how good of shape I’m in, apparently I think I’m badass when it comes to weather, as well). I mark off the parking lot into sections by parking spaces and I get started.

The first couple of times, as I’m running back to the “baseline,” I’m thinking…. “ yeah, this is so freaking easy, what’s the big deal? Pansy basketball players.” And then by the time I’ve done a couple more, I’m thinking… “ okay.. yeah, so this is some extreme cardio.” And then by the time I finish up what would be equivalent to running 8 segments (equaling qtr court, half court, ¾ quarter court, full court and then back through those again ending up at baseline) (I’m thinking this is probably called 1 suicide) I feel like I’m about to throw up one of my lungs. But, I went all the way outside for this, so I decide I have to keep going. I end up doing 2 more, with a break in between, of jogging around in circles, dry heaving, and doubling over while holding my stomach.

Hopefully some of my neighbors were watching from their living rooms. I can picture them holding their cell phones in their hands, ready to dial 911 the exact moment I fall to the ground clutching my chest.

By the time I started to walk back inside, my legs were complete jello and I was sweating buckets. I felt good though. Next time, I’d prefer to do them inside a gym (so I get that squeaky shoe noise) and preferably have an old guy with a whistle around his neck yelling at me telling me what a pansy I am. Oh and maybe some teammates to commiserate with.

Another example of me thinking I am totally in better shape than I am, but I think that must just be human nature. Which, in a way, is a good thing… because if we think we are better than we are, and it turns out we aren’t… hopefully we’ll be inspired to get there and it can become this cycle of continually bettering yourself.

I hated it at the time, but it was actually kind of fun, pushing myself. And at least today is a rest day, although, I always feel guilty on rest days, like I shouldn’t be allowed to eat all day or something.

Coming up: 6 mile pace run Saturday and 14 mile training run with the Nashville Striders on Sunday.
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