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Working from home has lots of perks.

I mean, really, any place where you can work naked is going to have perks. That’s probably the only reason people do porn (though I do hear they offer excellent 401Ks). But one of the biggest downsides is that when working from home you don’t really, well, leave your home all that much. Especially when you’re lazy. And your exercise tends to revolve around walking to and from the subway while commuting to your job. And to the bodega for an egg and cheese on a roll. What I’m trying to say is that I’ve essentially become a hermit. I’d say sedentary, but I have a standing desk, so technically that means I’m not sedentary (I think).

So when my friend shot out a note saying he had some extra spots on his basketball team, I figured I’d jump at the opportunity (get it?? Jump at the opportunity to play basketball?? Hey, don’t roll your eyes at me!). The league that our team is a part of is NYC Social Sports Club, which is one of a bunch of different leagues that are set up in the city for people to sweat and yell at each other, AKA “socialize.” It’s cool though, ‘cause any sort of gains you make as far as exercise is concerned go right out the window via pitchers of beer after each game.

On paper (which is to say on a computer screen, ‘cause who really looks things up on paper anymore?) this seemed like a fun notion. I love the game of basketball. I need exercise. I don’t necessarily want to socialize, but I do like beer and I do realize that I should probably interact with other people at least once a week (people that are not imaginary, I mean). Plus it gives me an excuse to buy a pair of fresh kicks.

But I didn’t think everything entirely through.

For one, it’s super competitive. People come out to play. I’m not saying it’s as intense at playing at, say, famed Rucker Park, but I’d say the general environment is more of “we need to win” vs. “let’s have fun.” This is all fine and good on this paper you keep reading (don’t you have a computer?), but makes things a bit tricker for me since I, how do I put this eloquently, suck worse than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest (or me at an ass-kicking contest. I’d be terrible at that too).

OK, so that’s an overstatement. I mean I’ve never been “great” per se, but the bigger problem is that I just haven’t played in a long time. And by a long time I mean that I literally haven’t touched a basketball in at least 10 years.

Don’t get it twisted, I was basketball royalty back in the day. Way back in the day. Ahem, way way back in the day. In middle school. On the intramural league. My point is, the second year I played we were good. Really good. But third year I played, our team dominated the league. We literally had a perfect season. Undefeated. Swept the championships. Why, there’s probably a trophy somewhere in some box in my parent’s basement. The ‘95 Tigers. I’m sure you’ve heard about us. They reference us on Sportscenter from time to time, if by Sportscenter you understand I’m talking about my journal (it’s not a diary, people!).

But admittedly I’m not that kid any more. My maturity level is probably about the same, but any sort of shooter’s touch I had is gone, replaced by a soft, flimsy touch. I will say that my defense is still fairly solid. I haven’t gotten burned too badly, and I’m confident in saying that my defensive ability is a significant asset to the team. But boy oh boy that offense. The thing that I end up exercising the most each Wednesday night is my humility (imagine me high-fiving you right now).

I’ll keep going, though. I do enjoy the camaraderie, the game, and if my aching body is any indication, I’m being healthy by doing this. Well, slightly healthier at least. Besides, I was starting to build up way too much self-confidence.