Home is where Channing Frye’s heart is
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
Of course this is painful for Channing Frye.
The 29-year-old Phoenix Suns forward has an enlarged heart, for goodness sakes, one that has taken him away from the game that he loves and forced him to wonder for quite some time now if he’ll ever be the same again as a basketball player. But this isn’t that. This, you see, is his new reality that only hurts when his kids don’t pick up their toys.
“Ouch!” he yelled during a phone interview with USA TODAY Sports this week. “Stepped on a lego…”
Aside from the occasional hazards that come with the increased Daddy Duty, Frye is loving the new ways of his world. The married father of two learned in September that a virus in his heart was causing it to grow to a life-threatening size, and his career as a sharpshooting reserve came to a scary halt as a result. He is “95 percent positive” that he’ll be healthy enough to return for next season, yet still acknowledges that there’s a slim chance he may never play again. For now, though, he follows the sort of doctor’s orders that have his mental health – if not his physical – at an all-time high: Rest and relaxation, with a focus on being a more peaceful, healthier person en route to having a normal-sized heart.
Because his heart rate must stay slow and sweating profusely is a definite no-no, Frye – who equated his current physique to that of “a squishy marshmallow” – isn’t allowed to play his favorite game for very long and must stay off the treadmill. He takes approximately 200 shots every other day, and is otherwise limited to his the two staples of his drastically-altered routine – golf and yoga. Through it all, he appreciates what has been the most enlightening experience of his adult life.
“The first month I was going nuts,” said Frye, who has a two-year-old son (Hendrix) and nine-month-old daughter (Margaux) with his wife, Lauren. “And the thing was, and not to get all mojo on you, but I really had to do a lot of meditating … [For more on Home is where Channing Frye's heart is: NBA A-Z, click here.]