Shaping up

I haven't felt this good in a long time. Physically, I mean.

For the last several weeks, I've been hitting the basketball court at the college. ... The first night out was all about working the rust off, as expected. I probably hadn't shot a basketball in three, four years.

But after last night, I think it's safe to declare my basketball game back on track.

Excuse me while I gloat a bit.

I was hitting my shots in warm-ups and had a feeling I was about to have a good night. I soon got into a pickup game, playing well and hitting a three-pointer in the first game. Our team won, hitting 25 -- by ones -- faster than the opponent.

But I wasn't done.

The team I was playing with next hooked up against a group of stocky black guys who looked as though they'd have a better shot on the football field than the basketball court. Nonetheless, the game got underway and I matched up with a shorter guy, about my height. ... And I realized quickly that I could challenge him under the basket.

Soon, I was driving up against these guys and alternating my shots in the air -- a la Michael Jordan, thank you very much ... I was blocking 'em out, snatching rebounds from 'em, and shooting some swell lead passes to my teammates. … I couldn’t believe how 'on' I was!

Making it even sweeter, my burly opponents began joshing with me. ‘Watch for that little guy, he's strong! He don't look that strong!’ they'd tell each other. …It was HA-larious and I was eating up every minute of it.

I ended up playing for almost two and a half hours, and it felt sooooo good.

But I still wasn't done.

Today was the baseball workout for the upcoming adult men's baseball season.

First up, ground balls. We each got five hit to us and we had to throw from third to first. Other than a bloop fly ball that I couldn’t get back on, and a couple of low throws, I showed up well.

Round two was fly balls. I did pretty good there too, but still let a couple get over my head.

Round three: hitting. If anything I did attracted some eyes today, it was my batting practice. ... I've never been a power hitter. But I am good at making contact, and today was no different. I spread the field with hard ground balls and slapshot line drives. And I walked from the batter's box feeling pretty content.

In the three-hour practice, I competed well with the other 40-some guys who truly have a passion for baseball. And I couldn't be more excited about playing the game again this summer after stumbling through a couple softball stints and having to deal with the ego-maniac, beer-guzzling, clique-y hotheads that permeate the leagues I found.

And on Monday, my company begins its annual corporate challenge -- a month-long challenge and competition of exercising and fitness activities.

I'm pumped.

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