How To Play Basketball When You’re Almost Sixty

I was going to attempt to make this a catchy poem, porque I wanted it to be muy bonito,  but my brain doesn’t work in poetry. The  the raw story, no flowery lines.

Homeschooling and Physical Education

A need arose for my homeschooling grandchildren. They were in need of a formal Physical education class (PE) with concepts taught and learned of course. So, Ama was called to the rescue. Por su puesto that I was flattered, challenged, a little bit worried and excited to be a part of their PE time.

Would my abuela bones and muscles permit me to “teach” P.E.? Would I be able to keep up with the kids? I think I have to demonstrate the drills, que no? I’ve been walking regularly, that should help my cardio.

My Basketball Portfolio

I drifted back into my own homeschooling days. Man! I better not tell my daughter in law about my previous PE class or I’d lose the opportunity.  I would take my kids and their cousins to play basketball, not really teaching them any concepts or rules. I just divided us up into two teams and we played to win. It was quite a sight. Daniella bounced the ball then slapped it because she didn’t know what dribbling was. Her cousin Cassi was ferocious on defense, all she knew was that she had to keep her opponent from shooting and scoring. She was doing a lot of slapping and shoving. Jonathan was taller so he could easily keep the ball from the girls but couldn’t really shoot to score. My nephew Emmanuel mostly laughed at his sister Cassi as she raged against him in defense. Nikki, on the other hand, was cool and serious, her team had to win, or else, she had some natural coordination. Those particular PE days were exhausting and painful, I hated how uncoordinated we were but I loved the competitiveness to win.

I also remembered my high school days when I coached a basketball team. My team was composed of 3rd and 4th grade little girls, it was our first year of little league basketball for girls. I was teaching concepts and working on drills. I wanted my team to win every game. And we did! An exciting time for my little desert town of Calipatria. I loved it! 

I was still very much looking forward to teaching them how to play basketball, though my own high school basketball ambitions weren’t going as planned. Hijole, I do feel like a ‘confession’ is needed here, my cheeks are pink, muy avergonzada,  as I tell you that although I knew I could play basketball well enough for starting lineup or first string,  Mr. Wilson the basketball coach couldn’t see my potential, he was stuck on my speed! Or lack of it 🙄 He said “Rosie, you can play more, if you stay on the J.V. squad.” 😭 I was a Junior, what humiliation. Was I there to play basketball or look cool on the bench?  But that’s in the past buried now…almost, maybe after this post.

I’ve had three PE classes with my grandkids. The first one was a full class. My three older grandsons and my two older granddaughters. Primos competing! The boys were showing off their speed and the girls were trying to keep up. In another class I had just the girls and my two year grandson, he was determined to keep up with his sisters and I wasn’t going to baby him.  He ran the sprints, although he cheated, he dribbled, and ran around and ran out of gas, or maybe it was his battery depleted? I can tell they’re having a good time and so am I.The girls  practice their dribbling at home and hey have improved. I also sent home easy drills for them to strengthen their arm muscles to get that heavy ball up to the hoop. This abuela is taking her PE class muy seriamente. 

En conclusion:

A few years ago, before grandkids I participated in a weight loss clinical study and when I was asked why, I said, well, soon I’ll have grandkids and I need to be able to keep up with them, and I do! Mas o menos, because they are fast and full of energy. I did quickly discover that my quads needed strength and my arm muscles have turned into wings now.  To be able to play basketball or any easy sport I have to just keep moving. Y asi es, I’m again an unofficial PE coach. The beauty in this story is that while I never knew what it was like to enjoy my abuelas,God has given me a chance for ‘grand’ relationships.


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