June 05, 2008

Countdown to Pain

Lincoln and I are headed to Norman tomorrow for one of our favorite activities, the annual father-son basketball camp at the University of Oklahoma. Pain is guaranteed. Not for Lincoln, but for his rickety 41-year-old father.

I remember one year at camp when the Sooner strength coach was putting us through his diabolical stretching exercises. Kelvin Sampson, who was then the head basketball coach, was also a camper that year with his own son. As the stretching exercises continued, Kelvin (on behalf of the groaning oldsters) yelled to the strength coach: "We can either play or we can stretch, but we can't do both!"

An added treat this year: our suite-mates in the dorm will be my friend Kai and his son. Kai and I were fraternity brothers at OU a mere 20 years ago (see photo at right). We used to play one-on-one and have dunk contests on the basketball court behind the Lambda Chi house (whether or not it was a 10-foot goal isn't really important right now). Back then Kai was a fashionable jet-setter from Big D and I was a conservative frump writing columns for the student newspaper. Now he's a world-traveling shoe designer for his family business and I'm a conservative frump writing columns for newspapers.

June 8 Update: I've got two words for you: ibu and profen. But Lincoln and I had fun, and my man Kai is holding up pretty well after all these years.

June 16 Update: My orthopedist tells me it's either a cracked rib or an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to my sternum. Doesn't matter, there's no treatment anyway (besides more ibuprofen). Note to self: Next year at camp, don't try to take a charge. Be smart. Pace yourself. I'm gonna be half a hundred by the time Jack Henry makes his way through these father-son camps. I can't keep this up.