I have no idea why, but I woke up this morning and I thought to myself "I want to dunk"
First, a little background: I've been playing basketball on and off during the last 10 years, some times really intensely (like in high school, when I played 2-3 hours every day) and sometimes less (like nowadays, when I only have time to play an hour or two at the gym). During my high school days, I could actually dunk a ball on the rim (it's true, I actually did it once). (But alas, cursed with average sized hands for a 5'10" guy, I could never palm the ball with a strong enough grip with one hand for a dunk.) Yes, at one time, I could actually jump vertically (no running start) and grab onto the rim.
Over the years, as I've become more sedentary, as most programmers are inclined to, I've lost much of that leaping ability (although my calves still look fantastic (no, really )) even with regular weightlifting and workouts.
For the past three months, I've been battling various issues that have hampered my usual workouts: a sprained ankle in Sept./Oct., my intensely dry skin which basically precludes me from playing basketball at all, and my fractured finger (which is just now healing to the point where I can close my fist). Not to mention that I packed on 6 pounds (mostly -- okay, all -- fat) due to inactivity and holiday feasting.
But I figure now is as good a time as any to work on this goal and get back to my regular regiment.
By way of Google, I stumbled upon an article by Josh McHugh of Outside (which, by the way, recently had an excellent mini article on Dean Karnazes -- so good that someone actually ripped the page out of the Outside magazine at the gym) and Wired magazine fame. I think I'm gonna try for it. There's quite a bit of investment involved in some equipment (enough to get myself a Treo 700wx!), but I think it'll be worth it even if I can't dunk, at least so that I can swat some more shots at my gym pickup games (man I sound like such an old fart).
JumpUSA has most of the products including:
- A nifty weight vest
- Alternatively, a weight belt
- Jump Soles for working my calves
- These jump resistance ropes
I'm having a hard time deciding between the weight vest and the belt. The vest seems like it's more natural and easier to deal with (less motion on the body when running/jumping) but seems like it'd collect more sweat and also add more weight above the waist, which could strain my lower back.
So it'll be interesting to see how far I can take it. I'll keep my progress posted.