Every day I’m hustling.

11 Jun

Muhammad%20AliThinking about last year around this time, I was fighting what I thought at the time was an STD, given to me by this married freak of a groupie I’d met in Denton, Texas.

It could have easily been a yeast infection but she was a pathological liar so it could have been anything, but that event really twisted my reality into focus. It inspired me to really get on my grind and make it all happen.

Well that and last year’s NBA Finals.

Seeing Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen get their rings was inspiring. Just to see Garnett screaming at the top of his lungs, “Anything is possible” really brought tears to my eyes. I sat on the couch and looked at my life up until then and realized I wasn’t working hard enough.

So I got on my grind. Did stand up even when I didn’t want to and hung out with douchbag Dallas comedians in SMU country. I woke up early in the morning and went to the Duncanville Public Library to type up what became Supplication and Masturbation.

Of course this was only the beginning or was it?

What really happened to me in California? Was it living so close to the streets, toeing the line of being homeless, a bounced check away from being on the street? Was it getting up early in the morning to deliver muffins, then go to the comedy clubs and open mics until late? Was it reading Iceberg Slim’s novel Pimp?

a lot fo these things I have yet to really process, and of course processing them will result in my second novel ” It should be Illegal” but the main theme of it will be how i got in touch with my inner hustler.

I found my groove, got my dog back, fell in love with my own funk.

Hustler has such different connotations. You have Larry Flynnt’s magazine, you have the idea of a huckster going door to door selling stuff (which I’ve done a couple of times from cologne to petition signing). You got the pimps on the street. you got the pimps in D.C. getting us for our collective booties. Most of it is in a negative connotation.

Yet America is founded upon the idea of hustling. You go to New York, L.A. and everyone is pushing something, from screenplays to cocaine, to oranges on the side of the highway.

And what of Charlie Hustle? Pete Rose, one of baseball’s elite players, banned from the game because he’d found a side hustle, gambling on baseball.

If you watched NBA basketball this season, you’ll see that I wasn’t the only inspired by the Celtics Finals victory. Kobe Bryant (who I’ll readily admit that my days are more enjoyable when I see him lose) took the Lakers loss to heart.

His workouts are legendary, and he puts in 100% every time he’s on the court–well minus the times he mailed it in on his less talented teams before Pau Gasol got there (the real reason why its easier for the Lakers but that’s another blog in itself).

However this year has been pretty magical for him. He won the MVP last year, an Olympic gold last summer, and now is only two wins away from his fourth title (first without Shaq).

I’ve always had felt a sort of vested interest in his career. He went pro my senior year in high school and it was amazing to me that a kid my age was about to be a millionaire. I had no idea he was one of the best young players in the country and had led his high school team to a state championship and his stats are pretty crazy for that year.

the kid even took Brandy (who I thought was ugly even back then) to his Senior Prom. Immmmmmmmmmppppressssive!!!!!!

So I’ve always kind of followed him, thinking he was crazy for getting married at such a young age. Then feeling vindicated for thinking so after the Colorado scandal in 2003, although I knew he didn’t rape her, he’s Kobe Bryant he didn’t have to force to do anything (some believe it was his two point conversion attempt that elicited a penalty from the referees).

I’ll go on record and say that I’ve never like the guy. To me he always exhibited a “me first attitude” that was above the team concept.

No “I” in team but there is an “M” and an “E”. Don’t let nobody tell you differently.

I’d see how he treated other players and he didn’t seem to exhibit a respect for his opponent, most of all he just seemed like a guy who I just couldn’t get along with.

I’d tell my brother all the time, man “I’d beat his ass.” and my bro would say nah man you seen them Sprite commercials?he’ll put them hands on you.”

Which is true he’s six fucking eight. He’d destroy me just like he destroyed Indiana, Portland, Philadelphia, Sacramento, and New Jersey…….wait a minute….those were Shaq’s team’s never mind….but he was a great wingman for sure.

Believe it or not though, as much as I disliked him, I admired his work ethic and he in a way inspired me to be a better person. In 2003 when he came back from the off season ripped as hell, I’d watch those Sprite commercials and look at my flabby armed, man boobed body and say,”time to hit the gym.”

So I started working out like a maniac and got bulky and strong and was ripped from 2003-2004 to the point where I lost some mobility and flexibility. There aren’t any pictures to back this claim up, but if you ask my skinny assed white boy roommate from that time and he’ll tell you I was swoll.

I do find it a bit funny though that on a smaller scale I’ve managed to achieve a small amount of personal success. I’ve won my own version of the NBA Finals, publishing two books of poems, and got my colege degree, something Kobe doesn’t have. Which begs the question of the validity of a Literature degree from the Univeristy of North Texas.

But every day when I don’t feel like doing something, I’ll think “it’s 10:30 in the morning and I bet Kobe has already lifted weights, shot 300 baskets, ate breakfast, boned his wife, and he still has a game to play tonight. How badly do you want it Bobby?”

It’s only now that I can really relate to Jay-Z’s music in the way I should, about hustling, slanging that product, getting on the grind, and staying true to your vision. It’s too early to wipe the dirt off my shoulders, but I’ll tell you right now, I wanna be a champion pretty badly. As much as a virgin wants that first piece. That bad.

The biggest thing I learned though from Slim’s book “Pimp”, was that your head is a movie screen and you should only play the kind of movies you want to see on the projector. Or as Ken Kesey puts it, “always make sure your character stays in your movie.”

But I think Ali summed it up best when he’d discuss how he’d keep running during his morning jogs way past the point of exhaustion, saying it “wasn’t just the skill of champion but also the will of a champion.”

Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to get my championship title belt made.


One Response to “Every day I’m hustling.”

  1. bmick January 28, 2020 at 5:46 am #

    Reblogged this on FULLSASS Presents: THIS A GOOD ASS GAME and commented:

    Kinda crazy to re read this after all these years…..would’ve never thought this would be the bookend to his life. Also find it funny that I’d just gotten my degree but misspelled the word “college”

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