Thursday, March 21, 2013

Confession of a March Madness Housewife

I have a confession.  I am a March Madness addict.  I come by it honestly though.  My grandfather was a well loved basketball coach (Danville HS, 1950 State Tournament Final Two) and co-wrote a book on the subject, Fundamentals and Techniques For Winning Basketball.  Decades after he retired, he would still stand in front of the TV during a game and pace as if he were still coaching.  It was how he watched the game.  My father played the game.  This time of year we base our social interactions between games.  Priorities. 

I come by it honestly.  I have, however bastardized my own fanaticism into a shorter season.  I haven't watch pro BB since the Bulls were on top.  I don't pay too much attention to the college season.  In fact, I have always maintained that the most exciting part of the game is in the last 10 minutes.  For that reason, I don't care to watch the first half of any game.  What's the point?  I know I am going to get a lot of rebounds from that, but truly, what does the first half do but waste time, tire out the players and frustrate the fans?  If they could just cut it to the last 10 minutes, the 3 weeks of March Madness could be no more than 5 days.  Ok, I realize I am not taking into account the dollars generated in advertising et. al.  I get it.  I'm just sayin' is all.

I have my bracket all filled out and ready to go.  I don't get into a pool anymore.  I hate losing money.  So, instead, I happily fill out my bracket and doggedly follow the games, circling my winners and exing out my losers.  I base my picks on the science of emotion.  I am a Michigan girl, I always pull the Michigan teams to the second round, at least.  I like the east coast better as a general rule so I always favor the teams from that side of the country.  And I always choose Gonzaga to go to the final 4.  Gonzaga.  I love saying it, love the way it sounds.  So, there you go.  I won't reveal my other picks for the final four, that is between me and my bracket. I will get excited, I will have disappointments and I will behave just like my dad and grandfather.  I'm proud of that. I just wish it wasn't three full weeks.

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tape a Cheetah to My Back

My Inner Athlete used to be very active: skiing, kickboxing, biking, weights, you name it she was doing it until sometime in the early 2000s.  Then, she saw the light and instead of attempting to shame me into joining her (it didn't work. . .I know my place-- it's
 on the beach. . .in a chair), she joined me.  Together we'd hit the sand, lie back and relax, sip wine.  It was a happy union.
I'm not sure what Inner Athlete has been spiking my wine with, but our relationship has changed without my even realizing it.  I have been duped.  Last August I started "running" using the Couch to 5K program; a program that turns you into a runner in spite of yourself and I have surpassed the 5K mark - heading toward 10K.  All of this has happened while IA stood on the sidelines with her back to me, glass in hand, pretending she didn't even notice.  She didn't say a word about it, just continued to sip wine with me, lamenting the winter months and yearning for sun.  DIDN'T SAY A WORD. . .until I needed new running shoes and then she started peppering my speech with words like "pressure sensors" and "mid-strike", whispering in my ear to buy the "good" running shoes because my feet would thank me (and they have).

Inner Athlete re-emerged in full force last weekend while in California. She grabbed my hand and dragged me full speed down the road to watch a triathalon.  The participants swim through the local lake, bike through a 14 mile course and run 3 miles to finish.  I stood on the corner as these athletes came riding by in all ages, shapes and sizes and the thought that I can do this quietly presented itself.  IA whispered in my ear, "Yessss, you caaannn."  I pondered the idea, concerned about my speed. . .or lack thereof.  I wouldn't do it to win, that's never gonna happen, but I would do it just to do it.  I am a strong swimmer, I love to bike and I can run 3 miles now.  I could do this.

And so I am.  Next year's Desert Triathalon has another participant.  I turned to IA and sneered, "This is all your fault."  She laughed.  I said, "What if I am so slow that they pack up before I am finished?"

She laughed again,"We could always tape a cheetah to your back."

IA is such a smart ass.