The basketball hoop from my childhood home is still standing after the house, and most others in the town, were destroyed by the Camp Fire in 2018. Though I’ve been to the lot a handful of times since the fire, this was the first time I walked around the slab of cracked concrete where I’d spent many afternoons, mornings, and evenings shooting hoops.
I wondered how neither the backboard nor the net melted in the flames. I noticed that the rim was still stuck above regulation height. And I remembered that if you got an unlucky bounce, you’d be chasing your ball down the hill.
Most importantly I remembered how this was a sacred space for me to be away from anything else and daydream in my own zone. Shot after shot, I never kept track of my makes, but instead focused on letting my imagination run wild.
My jumper never really developed and I can’t actually recall the last time I played basketball.
However, the practice of moving my body to refresh my mind is still very much a part of my life. Whether I’m running, cycling or just walking, the movement helps me work through present issues and overcome mental barriers. In order for my brain to work, my legs also need to be working.
Between virtual meetings and answering emails, I’ve found it’s crucial for me to set time to get outside and take a walk to get in the right headspace. Maybe soon I’ll buy a ball and find myself at a nearby court.