You will forgive me, dear readers, as I go all mushy on you for a little bit. I just need to write this all down before it passes.
So five years ago (can’t believe its been that long), I coached the 17 and under kids in the village liga in Cainta where I lived, and I continued to coach all the four years I lived there. Despite it’s ups and downs (I still believe we wuz robbed of a Championship), overall it was a wonderful experience I would never forget. Not necessarily because of the game and coaching per se, more likely because I became friends with the kids and became part of a community.
It happened in a stage of my life when my love for the game was still strong, but since I was getting older, was looking for other outlets. When I started to teach kids what I knew a whole new world opened up to me. Teaching kids to do something they painfully and eagerly wanted to learn was an amazing feeling. Transferring information that I had learned to take astride reminded me of my respect for the game and expressed it in a whole new light. I took pride in every shot, every layup, every defensive stance, every steal, every block, and I even knew how to keep them from feeling down when things did not come their way. I felt lost at first but when I gained my voice I became better at it, and enjoyed the experience thoroughly. I’m positive I will cherish the times I spent with them for the rest of my life.
Years later and I am now living in Sta. Rosa Laguna, in a brand new environment. I’ve gotten myself involved in a few games and am slowly (very slowly) getting into game shape again – which means I am sore and in pain 90% of the time.
In the afternoons after work (I work at home), I go to the courts and play half court games with whoever’s there, and usually they’re kids who just got home from school. The first day I did, I remembered my boys.
And I had to stop for a while and smile.
Remember that oft-spoken phrase when you don’t know what you miss till it’s gone? Well, seeing those kids and starting out in a whole new place makes me miss them terribly. So terribly right now.
Time changes things however whether we like it or not, and we all move on. Even the kids in that picture above were hardly recognizable at the time when I left. They’re young men now, many taller than me, leaner and with deeper voices. It took me a full second to realize who it was when I ran into one at a mall last year. They grow up so quickly and so radically at that age.
I talk about the change that’s happened in my life, but I realize change has happened in theirs as well. And as much as they are a part of me, I hope the times we spent together has made me a part of them too (and I think I have).
In a few months I’m getting married and starting a new life with the girl of my dreams. Things are changing rapidly and permanently. I’m meeting new people, making new friends, forging new ties with old ones, and hopefully starting a family.
But I’ll always cherish those times. In my head they will always be fresh and exciting, and today when I started getting to know these new kids in this new village, I strangely felt the same way again.
The game is secondary to feelings like this, and like I said I had to write this down. Come what may this blog was designed to be a record of all things I know (and imagine to know) of basketball, and by far this is the most important of all of them.