Nostalgic Negative

Nostalgic Negative


The last time I played basketball was probably here at this playground about 15+ years ago. Maybe around 15 or 16 at the time. When I first moved to this part of Philly I would come to this park Water Tower sometimes since it wasn't a far walk. Playing ball was all I would do outside, because that's what everyone else did. Either riding bikes or playing ball. Ball was really life. Everyone wanted to be just like AI, wear headbands and have a variety of And 1 shirts for the court. πŸ€

The Answer????

However, around this time I realized this activity wasn't for me, and I was just "playing" because it was what I was accustomed to. My handle, passing, shooting and overall awareness was just not up to par to have fun. Somedays I could hit every shot, then others I couldn't seem to do anything besides be a body. Simple acts like performing layups never seemed to work for me. Thinking back now it was hard to find an identity that was innately me. Just jumping on whatever is the trend or so it seemed. Eventually I retreated into my room to become a recluse and live on the internet and Xbox live for my remaining adolescence years. Dropping all team sports/activities I ever participated in and never to pick them up again. πŸ€

Current, in relative good shape Brandon can see me doing well in track, soccer (I used to enjoy soccer a lot) and something like wrestling. Starting an activity can be challenging if it your first time. If you can you should encourage people who take that first and most challenging step--showing up. There was a time in my freshman year of College I tried out for the track team at try outs. Although it was my first time running in forever, I wanted to join the team and meet people. I didn't know anyone else on the campus, so I thought what better way to build friendship and camaraderie with the bonus of getting fit as well. For some reason I really identified as wanting to be a runner during this time, it might be all the HBCU praise they tend to give runners.

Anyways, we start the drill running up and down this hill. About 10 mins or so in I start to get bad shin splits, at least they were bad to me I was unfamiliar with that pain back then. Eventually my gait turns to a hobble and the coach is just saying things like "You ready to quit yet?" and other versions of his twisted anti-affirmations directed at me. My pace eventually turns into a walk and I have to limp back to my dorm because I could barely walk anymore. I remember him mouthing off some nonsense when I was headed away. When I got back into my room I was embarrassed I couldn't complete the try out and felt like a failure. πŸ˜”

From that incident I developed a phobia of working out overall around people. Whether it was running on the treadmill or doing a push up in a gym. It's funny to think of that now since these days I will just start shadow boxing randomly, whether in a: department store or supermarket, quarter turning, and kneeing all down the aisle. That's one reason why I encounter anyone beginning a new journey I always try to take time and answer any question they have or encourage them to keep it up. Back in the "gym-bro" era of my life I would get questions about equipment, targeting muscle groups or other things that seem trivial to someone that's been living in that realm for some time. "Words on the internet" will have you feeling bad you are new to something. But we all have been new to something before and gain nothing from being abrasive or gatekeeping someone out. A great quote from my Brother Malik el-Shabazz β€œDon't be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn't do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn't know what you know today.”


After that long winded backstory, what are the reasoning behind these photos? Wanted to test out this Fujifilm recipe (Porta 400) and thought the playground would look nice around Golden Hour. I think it looks great (only used in the 3rd photo in the top row). The rest of the evening I was just messing around with capturing video while using my tripod. The lighting made everything look with the shadows adding some spirit to the scenes. Going to make a short video with some of the clips I shot.


In the end encouraging others trying to do better for themselves requires nothing from us. A simple thumbs up could be all that's needed to push someone back in the game when they were about to quit and never return again. Although our own internal drive is what will ultimately keep up pushing forward. I was happy to complete my first and probably last marathon (πŸ˜… ) last year by being my own coach.

Philly Marathon 23'