There will always be a soft spot in my heart for Jim Boeheim and the Syracuse Men’s Basketball Team. Growing up in basketball-crazed Massachusetts during the Red Auerbach, Bill Russell and John Havlicek days of the Boston Celtics, I followed Jim Boeheim and Dave Bing during their playing years at Syracuse, and I returned to Upstate New York in the late 70s when Coach Boeheim took the reins of the Orangemen during the early years of the Big East Conference that I followed with passion.
Alas, this will be the first year in my lifetime that I will not be glued to the NCAA Basketball Tournament.
The absence of a tournament this year is not an excuse to substitute the hours I would have spent watching games with other ‘video activity.’ I will spend more time bicycling and hiking the nearby mountainous desert trails. My well-being peaks when I hike with Mrs. tVM.
I read throughout the day. My last conscious act every evening is to turn off the lamp after placing the book I’ve been reading on my nightstand – currently Peter Heller’s 2012 novel The Dog Stars, a post-apocalyptic tale of survival in Colorado. I plan to follow it with Steven Pressfield’s new novel 36 Righteous Men.
Without the tournament, I will read more, often enjoying the warm Arizona spring while the fruit trees bloom in the back yard. I love the smell of orange blossoms. The hummingbirds do, too.
And I will write more… Since the publication of The Faith of Job earlier this month, I’m working on a new manuscript – non-fiction – and I’ve reformatted all Kindle editions of my previous books making them – I hope – more readable and consistent one to the other, and each now has a ‘linked’ table of contents to assist with electronic navigation.
I rue the loss of athletic competition for the participants, but not necessarily the spectators. For those of us who watch – or used to watch – there is a high side. We’ve the opportunity to replace our regular dose of game-spectating with other good and positive things. You can start by making the transition from spectator to participant and that may be as simple as taking a 60-minute walk.
When you are not participating, try reading a book. Your well-being will flourish as you expand your mind.