I have decided to join the Chelsea Recreation Center.

It`s right around the corner from our apartment, and for $150/year it has everything I need:

But mainly

Two days ago I went in for the first time.

I checked out a basketball from the office (the best basketball I have played with in my long career), and went straight to the court.

There were around a dozen kids (18 year olds, high school seniors) playing around. I started shooting some free throws. It was the first time I stepped on a court since my career at the pros in Spain ended on its third day of pre-season, after several surgeries, 20 years ago.

I was definitely rusty, but I could still hit the net.

The kids around me noticed, and soon enough asked me if I wanted to play with them. What a weird feeling. Again on a court, again the only white person playing… but this time they were over two decades younger than me! Although some things never change: the first muscle they move, in every play, is their mouth.

I should have denied the invitation. After all, I am not supposed to run and jump, only swim, ride the bicycle and lift weights. But… what the heck. I missed it too much to reject it.

I had a blast. But the one thing I enjoyed the most, the one thing I had almost forgotten, is the most precious of all and the reason why I miss it so much: the love on the court. We were all playing, collaborating, “dancing”, sharing, enjoying. There was real love. No need for referees, for scores, for a coach, even for rules. We were there for the love of basketball.

The best part of it all? Two days later and I am not feeling any pain or sore muscle. So guess who will be becoming a regular on that court 😉