Sunday, June 19, 2016. After falling asleep at halftime on Friday night during the Cavs Game 6 win, I decided I needed to rest up heading into today’s historic Game 7. [By the way, if you ask anyone affiliated with Golden State, including Ayesha Curry, they will tell you the NBA forced a Game 6 and Game 7 for TV rating purposes. If that is the case, the Warriors players themselves must have been involved as they missed more shots in that first quarter than I took my freshmen year at Beachwood High School, and as I have said before — and Block and Tannenbaum can attest — Musbach gave me a license to shoot and I was not shy.] After all, this Game 7 comes on Father’s Day and ABC stepped it up (like with Game 2) and has the game starting at 8 pm EST (not its normal 9 EST, which is brutal on east coasters generally, kids and people that are tired from chemotherapy).
While there are no promises I will make it through the entire game tonight, over the last 50 plus hours, I have embraced something that I always thought was a sign of weakness. The “nap.”
I have long subscribed to the school of thought that beds are for sleeping when it is dark, and when it is light outside we humans are meant to be moving around. This was the case for me even in college, when a nap would have done me well on many different occasions. Naps seem to suggest that you are OK giving up what otherwise would be valuable time to do other more productive things. I can even remember sitting on the couch this past March and April, with Jen telling me I should get to the gym because we only have a few hours before we are heading out, and falling asleep for a few minutes because I was exhausted. This was likely the result of the cancer building up in my body, the fact that I couldn’t sleep at night, and that I had coached two baseball games and ran to another game in between. But anyway you look at it, I wasn’t listening to my body and fighting hard to resist a nap. I never embraced it. And why? What was I so afraid of? Missing out on a few minutes with the kids? Not running that extra errand that could undoubtedly get done tomorrow? Having a few less minutes at the gym?
According to Wikipedia:
A nap is a short period of sleep, typically taken between the hours of 9am and 9pm as an adjunct to the usual nocturnal sleep period. Naps are most often taken as a response to drowsiness during waking hours. Cultural attitudes toward napping during the work day vary. In many Western cultures, children and the elderly are expected to nap during the day and are provided with designated periods and locations to do so. In these same cultures, most working adults are not expected to sleep during the day and napping on the job is widely considered unacceptable. Other cultures (especially those in hot climates) serve their largest meals at midday, with allowance for a nap period (siesta) afterwards before returning to work.
If I have learned anything over the past couple of months, it is is the importance of listening to your body. If something is wrong, you go to the doctor and speak up. If you don’t like the answer, you keep going until you get an answer that makes sense. And if your body is telling you it is time to rest, embrace the nap. I took three naps in last two days (more naps that I took in 38 years). It feels good. I might even take one this morning before I crush a bagel with lox (after all, it is Father’s Day).
But then I watch or read about someone like Craig Sager. After two days of napping, I am amazed at his ability to broadcast on live television going through what he is going through (I have included a link to the Sports Illustrated article entitled “The Bright Side,” which appeared in the May 2, 2016 SI and I finally had a chance to read this weekend). Sager has acute myeloid leukemia, which has required two bone marrow transplants (his son has donated twice), 21 bone marrow biopsies and more than 20 chemo cycles. He has been in remission twice. [My cancer is quite different from Craig’s — I have T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma, but it is treated the same as Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Each of these diseases (including AML) start from the early version of white blood cells called lymphocytes; “acute” is a fancy way of saying it must be treated immediately for fear of spreading. I am very lucky that we caught my cancer before it had spread to the bone marrow and beyond.] As I read about Sager protesting an overnight stay at the hospital, and getting released at 1:30 am so he could do a broadcast the next day, I can’t help but think to myself whether Sager is embracing the nap. Probably not. But I’m no Craig Sager. For me, on Father’s Day, in addition to hanging out with family, getting a few minutes alone with Jen and enjoying a bagel with lox, I want nothing more than to watch the Cavs game tonight with Jake and Ryan (Brandon will be out cold at 630 pm). Win or lose, I would like to make it through the game with my boys. So for me, I’m “all in” on a nap or two today.