Last week, I was very bored. So bored that I went to a local basketball court, alone, and timed how long it took me to make 100 jump shots. Here were the rules:
1. No shots from inside the paint.
2. Free throws count, but only if I shoot them left-handed.
I burn through the first handful of shots fairly quickly, making my first 20 shots in about 10 minutes. "This is gonna be easy", I say to myself.
Shots 20-49 come much more sporadically. My legs start to get tired. My shooting percentage drops precipitously, from about 70% to less than 50%.
After 49 shots, I am exhausted. I lumber my way to the free throw line thinking I'll sink one left-handed free throw and take a break, being that I am halfway to my goal. However, my coordination betrays me.
I clank five straight shots off of the front rim. Finally I sink that elusive 50th shot and simultaneously swear off left-handed free throws. Thus far, I have been shooting for about 35 minutes.
As I'm taking my short break, a middle-aged man wearing gloves makes his way onto the court. He proceeds to practice one of the most classic of classic basketball shots for almost a half hour: the 20+ foot spin, between-the-legs finger roll. Now not only do I have to overcome my own un-athleticism but the errant shots of Steve Nash Jr. as well. Oh boy.
Once again, I catch fire, this time from three. Channeling my inner Steph Curry, I hit 10 threes in about three minutes. I slow down a little bit, my next 10 shots also coming from three, and after 44 minutes, I sit at 70 shots.
But then I start to break down. I go ice cold from three. I start clanking every one of my midrange shots off of the back of the rim. In a moment of weakness, I betray myself and test my luck from the free throw line again. Bad idea. My confidence dips.
Steve Nash Jr. starts to make shots at a higher rate than I do. Somebody comes over and asks me if I want to play four on four. I ignore her (#mambamentality).
Finally, after one hour and 20 minutes, I sink my 100th shot. I jump for joy. I feel like Jordan, 1998, Game 6. I turn around, half-expecting the crowd to be on their feet.
There is nobody else in the gym. Even Steve Nash Jr. has left.
Wow, was I bored.