icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle


Goals and Globetrotters

Saturday night saw one of the pinnacle achievements of my life.  Twelve months before, while attending a Harlem Globetrotters game with my daughter, I announced that I was going to learn how to expertly spin a basketball on my finger just like the Globetrotters do.   Ever since then, I have carried a basketball in the ambulance.  In between calls while at posting locations, I have taken the ball out and practiced.  At home I have a basketball in every room of the house.  I even found a heroin addict in Hartford who for $5 a pop would give me spinning lessons. He was an ex-basketball player, who I am pleased to say now has a handyman business and is no longer on the street. (At least that was his plan when a few months ago, he told me I wouldn't be seeing him around anymore, and true to his word, he disappeared no longer to be seen at his regular haunts.  I can only hope he is doing well).  I practiced so much I developed tendinitis in my elbow and had to suspend all spinning for a month. The elbow is much better and I can spin again without pain.


When I received notice that the Globetrotters were coming back to Hartford for their annual visit, I purchased Magic Passes for my daughter and I as well as third row seats at mid-court.  As a returning attendee, I took advantage of the 50% deal when the tickets were offered in a special pre-sale.  The Magic Passes entitled us to attend a pre-admission event where we could meet the players on the court, shoot baskets and spin basketballs.


Thanks to my daughter, my tryout was recorded for posterity.  


 We had a great time, the Globetrotters stormed back from a 9 point deficit in the 4th quarter and beat the hated Washington Generals in a thrilling victory.


My daughter met "Swish,"a female Globetrotter.


While I was not offered a contract, I did have the opportunity to buy an official game ball for $60 and a Washington Generals t-shirt for $25. 


I write all of this because my ability to devote a year to spinning a basketball is one of the great side benefits of being in EMS.  Over the years, EMS has allowed me to pursue a variety or hobbies and interests while at work getting paid simply to be available to respond to emergency calls.  In the 30 years I have been involved, I have read the works of Shakespeare, written five books and countless blog posts, learned to play poker (and when it was legal to play on-line, made a fair amount of extra cash), trained for triathlons and Tough Mudders (when I was assigned to a contract town, I was able to ride my bike on a 0.7 mile loop around the industrial complex where the ambulance base was located -- my longest at-work ride was 26 miles), learned to speak Spanish, failed in an attempt to learn Vietnamese, wrote a food blog on take-out food in Hartford, trained to perform a 100 push-ups in a row (okay, so I only got to 79, and started cheating at 57), amassed one of the nation's premier heroin bag collections, and now have learned to spin a basketball.


So what's next?  I think I will work on my balance with a goal of standing on one foot for ten minutes.  My longest time on 10 tries today was 1 minutes and 49 seconds on my left foot and 1 minute and 36 seconds on my right.  I am six foot-nine and sixty years old, so not only is my balance not great, with each advancing year it becomes less so.  I need to improve upon it if I am going to be able to keep at this job I love.


Wish me luck.