Sam Amick of USA Today Sports catches up with former Portland Trail Blazers center Channing Frye, who is out this season with a heart condition.
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 big man 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.
"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 on the question of, 'Why? Why did (competing) make me happy and what else can I be competitive about that doesn't have to do with beating someone? How can I be more competitive with myself and be a better me?'
"(The experience) was really about, 'What's going to be my outlet after I'm done?'" Frye said while spoon-feeding the ever-talkative Margaux. "I think a lot of guys after they're done in the league get depressed or they start drinking or they do drugs and they spend money excessively and do a lot of things that aren't very productive. But for me, I can't drink, definitely can't do drugs - and that's not my thing anyway - and I can't spend money because I'm kind of cheap. It was like, 'What do I really love doing?'"
Frye, 29, spent the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons in Portland before signing with the Phoenix Suns.
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