Bad-ass: the stuff of racquetball addiction

It came to me on my drive back from LA Fitness today why I love racquetball so much. It’s the only source of bad-ass accessible to a guy like me.

You know bad-ass when you see it. When someone does something bad-ass, you hafta just look, shake your head and say, “Damn!”

If you know me, a plumpy-doughy forty-something father of four, you know there’s no way in which I could ever qualify as bad-ass. I will never execute a flying karate kick. I will never nail a three-and-a-half anything with or without a twist. I will never dunk. Or sack a quarterback. Or make a one-handed blind grab to save the game. My life is not set up for bad-ass.

With one exception:  in rare moments… on the racquetball court.

Once in a while, you get a sweeeeet shot. A lightning bolt blue blur from the back court that thunders on the front wall and just rolls away. The kind of shot that makes your opponent stop in his tracks, look at you,  and say, “Damn!”

I’m not that good a player yet, so I only get one of those every few games. But those rare bad-ass moments are the fuel that keeps me coming back. Racquetball is the only kind of exercise that I don’t have to summon will power to go do. And Racquetball is my only source of bad-ass.

And the great thing about racquetball, unlike other sports, is that the older you get, the more bad-ass you can become. Because experience, patience, and discipline mean more than agility and athletic ability in racquetball. I look forward to becoming more treacherous and wily like the older guys I play with. I look forward to more bad-ass, even if it is just within a big white box with a racquet and goggles.




Reckless Poem

I love Mary Oliver. Got this from Poetry 180.

Reckless Poem

Today again I am hardly myself.
It happens over and over.
It is heaven-sent.

It flows through me
like the blue wave.
Green leaves – you may believe this or not –
have once or twice
emerged from the tips of my fingers

deep in the woods,
in the reckless seizure of spring.

Though, of course, I also know that other song,
the sweet passion of one-ness.

Just yesterday I watched an ant crossing a path, through the
tumbled pine needles she toiled.
And I thought: she will never live another life but this one.
And I thought: if she lives her life with all her strength
is she not wonderful and wise?
And I continued this up the miraculous pyramid of everything
until I came to myself.

And still, even in these northern woods, on these hills of sand,
I have flown from the other window of myself
to become white heron, blue whale,
red fox, hedgehog.
Oh, sometimes already my body has felt like the body of a flower!
Sometimes already my heart is a red parrot, perched
among strange, dark trees, flapping and screaming.

by Mary Oliver From Five Points Volume 6, No.3 2002