Health and Fitness In a Post-Basketball World

My basketball career ended last week. For the past seven years I’ve spent thousands of hours in the gym which represents a sizable time committment and emotional drain — if I didn’t practice over a few days I’d become anxious since I’d be letting my team and me down. The highlights of my basketball career include an 8th grade league championship, three year high school varsity starter, two year varsity captain, all-league selection my sophomore and junior years (they haven’t been announced this year yet), and two north coast sectional bids. For all these successes, which were a lot of fun, I never achieved the goal of winning a league championship. I consistently set that as a goal and fell short each year.

Somewhat burnt out from basketball, I don’t anticipate picking up a ball for several months. Instead, I’m super pumped about my new fitness/health routine.

  1. Morning Aerobic Workouts - I got a membership to my neighborhood gym so that I can work out from 6:30 – 7:45 AM three days a week. 30 minutes on the bike — during which I read — and 30 minutes on the treadmill when I listen to music.
  2. Afternoon Lifting Sessions – A day or two a week I will be lifting weights and doing more strength training.
  3. Afternoon/Evening Yoga – I’m going to the Yoga Tree to do 10 sessions of yoga this spring to see how I like it. I anticipate I’ll love it. For me, getting a high quality yoga mat is really important. I figure walking around on the street holding my yoga mat will boost my image considerably since it’s "hip" and "new age." Indeed.
  4. Ping Pong – Over the summer, while crushing my brothers in ping pong, I realized how much fun I was having. I love playing ping pong — win or lose — and I’m not sure why. Anyway, I’ve armed myself with Table Tennis: Steps to Success and now am looking for tables and opponents in San Francisco. Email me if you know of good places to play.
  5. Chess – I’m enjoying my online games against friends Auren Hoffman and Andy McKenzie but I’m ready to do some more in-person.
  6. Meditation – I’m getting formal zen meditation instruction next Saturday morning at the SF Zen Center. Thanks Steve for the suggestion.

Do I have time for all this? On the surface, no way. I’m going to be as busy as ever this spring. But I anticipate all the above being high-return investments, allowing me to work more efficiently and productivity and happily at the things I do. Personal energy is a renewable resource, and these are activites which re-up my energy supply.

10 Responses to Health and Fitness In a Post-Basketball World

  1. Allen says:

    Careful Ben. When you use ‘fun’ and ‘ping pong’ in the same sentence you’re treading in heavy duty geek territory ;)

    You seem more ‘cool’ than that. Of course, you’re your own man. Don’t let random people online tell you what to do.

  2. Chris Yeh says:

    Aha, now that you’re laying down the roundball, it’s time for me to go into intensive training so that when we play next, I can finally beat you!

  3. Dani says:

    more yoga mats than you can shake a stick at (I have an extra-thick one from here that works quite well & is not breaking down too quickly)

    link to gaiam.com

  4. Dave says:

    Ben why do you have to give up basketball? Is it really the case in the US that if you aren’t playing at the highest level that there’s nothing outside of school?

    In Europe you can play Soccer/Rugby/Whatever down to very low levels of skills and still have leagues etc..

  5. Ben Casnocha says:

    Nah, there are opportunities, I just don’t want to play anymore!

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  10. Charles says:

    Yeah I agree with you all this tips are good I really appreciate your efforts you put in here.

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