It has been nearly six weeks since I have blogged. The month of June was a BLUR. I was on the road half the month and made three different trips. I’m back in my comfort zone in New York for good now. A few things in the interim:
1. Applications for graduate schools and jobs are ongoing. It’s a process. I don’t have much free time between work, commitments made to friends before the summer which I am fulfilling, traveling and what have you. However, I am constantly working on essays, organizing my résumé and reaching out to people with influence and good counsel on a daily basis.
2. Family. I have made it a point to re-connect with family members who I either have not spoken to or seen in years, and further strengthen the bonds that I have with those who I already know. A good majority of my cousins around my age range are here with me, so I will continue to do what it takes to bring our family closer together this summer. There are a few BBQs scheduled (beginning tomorrow for the 4th) that I plan to attend, and a wedding which I attended last weekend in which I met four cousins (ranging in age from 16 to 38) which I had either never met before or only met ONCE OR TWICE. Shame on all of us.
3. I switched my BlackBerry so that my mother could have one and enjoy the ease (compared to that archaic RELIC she had for three years previously). She seems to enjoy it. However, the douche at the Sprint store, in all his haste to close his kiosk at the Staten Island Mall forgets to transfer my contacts and BlackBerry messenger information, so I had to manually re-add all those contacts and transfer my addresses, phone numbers, etc. by USB. Good times. For those of you whose information was SOLELY on my old Facebook page (which was disabled by Facebook for reasons unbeknownst to me), please submit to me your BlackBerry PIN, phone number, email address, mailing address and whatever pertinent information you believe I need from you. I appreciate it, thanks.
4. Staten Island Day Camp. I love my kids. Almost all the kids love playing (or trying to ha) basketball and I’m enjoying just getting them involved. I have to take the coach hat off and take it easy, which is no fun, because when I was coaching back earlier this decade, I was able to do some of everything. Alas, I am working with 5-13 year olds and there isn’t much you can do. Nonetheless, I am having loads of fun, learning a lot, losing calories/weight and that leads to my next topic.
5. P90X. Many of you are familiar with this grueling workout regimen. Most of you know that I am a hyper-competitive semi-jerk when it comes to anything sports or fitness related. Now that I am completely healed from my back surgery last September, I am ready to resume everything that I had been doing for years previously: playing basketball as much as possible, jogging occasionally, hitting weights and now incorporating P90X. I have endured a magnificent transformation physically since 2005. When I left my post at Aetna in August of that year, I was 5’10” 165 lbs and very little fat on me anywhere. Within six months (mostly due to working on two businesses, heading a ministry and going to school full time) I became more sedentary and gained weight. However, in 2006, I hurt my back for the first time, falling 4 feet in the air flat on my back. The guy whose game I was locking up at the time sticks his leg out to trip while I went up to block his shot (which I still managed to do) and I fall. I was out of commission for a week hobbled by that back trauma. I thought nothing of it. I’ve been playing basketball for 25 years. Nasty spills, ankle rolls, jammed fingers and wrists and what have you are all part of the game. That guy was a pansy for that (mostly because he could only shoot fadeaways and wide open 3’s) but I was fine for the next year. I spent the summer in NY as usual and lost a good bit of that weight in the summer of 2007, then as soon as I went back to UNCG, I hurt my shoulder and back the VERY FIRST WEEKEND trying to throw down a dunk too hard (no homo) with Phil and Shauna Brady. It took a solid two months to recuperate from that injury and less than three weeks after the pinched nerve and back spasms subsided, I completely ruptured my L5 disk in my spine. I had attempted my patented (since 1999) step-back move and came down with all 185 lbs on my left leg after jumping back nearly 5 feet. All I hear is a hard crunching sound and I crumpled to the floor like Shaun Livingston a couple of years ago. I tried to get back up to play and was okay for short bursts until my back spasmed to the point where I had to drag myself back to my place. I attempted to play ball a couple more times (this was September/October 2007) before I just could not do it anymore. By January 2008, I had gotten up enough strength to go to the gym to attempt to strengthen my legs and back (always my remedy as a former track athlete) and overdid it, making the situation WORSE rather than BETTER. Sciatica set in and the fluid from the disk began to seep into my lower back cavity. I basically spent the remainder of the Spring 2008 semester dragging around campus — not walking. Instead of being able to enjoy the summer nights in Harlem last summer, I was in pain 24/7 and had to cut out a lot of activities because I could never go far from the house. By September, I had endured enough and elected to have what is called a lumbar microdiskectomy. It is minimally invasive and allows (a healthy, athletic person) to go home as soon as the anesthesia wears off, which I did. The pain, which I had for 14 months, was finally gone. I could walk freely again without having to constantly stop to flex my back. However, I could not play ANY sports, nor lift weights, run or anything that would compromise the structure of my back. What resulted was a 20 pound weight gain from October 2008 (two weeks after surgery) until the beginning of 2009. At my heaviest, I was 210 lbs and woefully out of shape (as the pains from working SIDC this past week have indicated). I have walked/run on the average about 20 miles since I came back up here to New York and I’m back down to about 200-205. After doing P90X for the coming 60-90 days, I expect to trim about 4-5% of my body fat and gain about 10-15 lbs in muscle to reach my ultimate goal of 5’10”, 220 lbs, 7% body fat and regain my explosiveness to both run as fast as before (I’m only 30 and still faster than 90% of any of the guys I’m around on any given occasion) and resume dunking the basketball — since all the kids at SIDC ask me to do it a good 50 times a day ha.
6. Important work. I’m trying to keep up with all the passport mumbo jumbo, so I had to upgrade everything. My old license had recently expired after my birthday in March, so I had to renew out here in Richmond County (NIGHTMARES with the attitudinal broads over there popping gum and yelling for no reason except they hate their jobs like Giles). They give me a temporary placard with NO PICTURE — when they have the capability of issuing the license on the spot — and I won’t get my renewed (probably because I had a change of address and new picture) license for “possibly two weeks”. HOPEFULLY I WON’T GET CARDED BETWEEN NOW AND JULY 17TH HA.
7. I’m in transition right now, as I am only on Staten Island for the summer before spending a solid month trying to unearth a diamond-in-the-rough apartment deal somewhere on the west side of Harlem World in August. Also, thanks to all who attended my graduation back in May, or sent cards, gifts, money and what have you. We’re going to do it again next May (hopefully ha) and then again in 2011. Look out for a couple more BIG and important (wink) surprise announcements in the coming weeks and months. Don’t ask, because I won’t tell. Just pay attention.
However, for those who need to reach me, my complete contact information is below:
Michael D. Wright
428 Grandview Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10303
BB PIN: 309ABDA9
Official Website: http://lawandfinances.blogspot.com
Co-Partner Blog: http://disgrace2yourrace.blogspot.com