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All about that ex jock life

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All About That Ex Jock Life

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Years old: 19
Iris tone: I’ve got cold gray eyes
Hair color: Black
What I like to drink: Cider
Hobbies: Collecting
Smoker: Yes

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But his presence was greeted with respect. He settled into a routine in which he would come off the bench for a few minutes, playing five to seven minutes a half.

TimesMachine is an exclusive benefit for home delivery and digital subscribers. He became a member of the team, immersing himself in the esprit de corps that comes from shared physical challenge. Like many large firms, Winthrop fields a team in the New York lawyers' basketball league.

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It moved undefeated through the playoffs. Then again, tomorrow when he awakens and confronts all the aches and pains of middle age, perhaps he will decide to retire after all.

View on timesmachine. As a high school student in the late 's, Jack Rearden played basketball for Riverdale Country School in the Bronx and fell in love with the sport. Walking through the parking lot one morning recently after he and a visitor had spent an hour on the court and relived the championship season, he talked of retirement.

I simply have to stop. He ended the conversation by saying, ''But maybe I'll give it one more season and then retire.

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But he had not forgotten the feel of a basketball, its heft, the way it bounces or the elation of a jump shot from the top of the key that drops through the net with a whisper. In the final moments, when it became clear that Winthrop would win, he could have asked to go in for a minute.

His eye came back. ing the team would accomplish both. It is about how he found that youth doesn't always rudely shoulder age aside when they meet on a court and sportsmanship reigns.

I'm an ex-jock

The season is over now, and Rearden is back at the Darien Y, a solitary figure on the court who fussily picks through the collection of basketballs in the equipment room until he finds just the right one. His legs firmed up. No one laughed. There are uniforms, referees, complicated schedules and benches filled with aggressive young lawyers and paralegals itching to let off steam. His debut came during Winthrop's last exhibition game before regular season play began.

But this talk of retirement came while Rearden and his visitor were still feeling high from the workout. After the season ended, he kept returning to the Y, running, dribbling, shooting baskets, pushing himself.

An injury kept him from playing college basketball, but he managed pickup games through his twenties until tendon injuries sidelined him at age Then he became a two-pack-a-day smoker, a paragon of sedentary living who had ''heart attack'' written all across his thickening midriff.

He became an old lady crossing the street and the mid-twenties hotdogs all around him became Boy Scouts earning merit badges. He will be 47 soon, which will make him 25 years older than some of the paralegals in the league.

In fact, as the season wore on, Winthrop remained undefeated through 19 games. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. He was the oldest team member by at least a decade, perhaps even the oldest player in the league. Instead, he begins practicing secretly, taking a measure of himself, confronting the painful realities of advancing age.

As any lawyer will tell you, this is big-time basketball - 3, players, teams. For one thing, it was a close game and he didn't relish the idea that his fumbling might cost the firm its undefeated record. The first step of Jack Rearden's comeback came at A. He was 40 and had reached that age when obituaries begin reporting how people of your own age have unexpectedly dropped dead of heart seizure. But he held back. There is a knee problem and a left thigh problem for which he wears a brace. Rearden suited up, but he decided not to play.

Rearden began slipping away from the office a couple of times a week and practicing on the court at the Darien Y. But gradually he built up his wind. Winthrop led its division this year.

There followed five years of cigarette-free life in which golf-cart golf and occasional tennis passed for keeping fit. When the Division C championship game began, Winthrop not only stood to win the division crown, but also had an opportunity to enter lawyers' league lore -undefeated for an entire season.

One day in the fall ofan interoffice memo arrived announcing the coming season for the Winthrop basketball team. And when the interoffice memo went around again last fall, he was ready.

THIS is a story about a middle-aged lawyer who quit smoking and got into shape. But someone who is in his mid-forties, has an ego to uphold and hasn't seriously worked out in 14 years doesn't just show up at the first day of practice and dribble into basketball legend. I would say I was at the bottom of the third team.

Fitness; ex-jock/smoker on the rebound

Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems; we are continuing to work to improve these archived versions. There are back problems left over from two automobile accidents years ago. He survived.