Saturday, March 17, 2012


We played Ultimate tonight. Despite the fears of high winds and fairly low turnout things ended up spectacular. The wind died down and we had a blast playing 5 on 5 on a shortened field.

Before game time me and my brother were both brushing our teeth, getting ready to go play. I told him that tonight I was going to lay-out for a touchdown. Laying-out, or "going-ho" as Kyle likes to call it (the ho stands for "horizontal", by the way), is ultimate terminology for diving to catch a disc. It's pretty much the height of awesomeness within the sport. There are few things that are more manly than throwing yourself through the air to catch an object that you shouldn't possibly be able to reach.

The thing about setting a goal like that is that the situation is not entirely within your control. Sure, you can play your heart out and make an attempt, but in order to succeed at all this a moment must exist when you are the exact distance away from a disc traveling at exactly the right speed at exactly the right direction to make it impossible to reach on foot and yet possible to reach by air. It's sort of tricky business, and tends to spawn run-on sentences as you can clearly see.

About 20 minutes or so into playing tonight I got my golden momente. Somebody threw a toss to one of my teammates in the end-zone, but the throw was too high and the other player had no chance at it. I was further back, towards the middle of the zone, and saw the disc coming. I ran at it like crazy. As I got closer I got the feeling that this was actually going to work. It was far enough away, but not too far. There was no way I'd get it without the dive. The disc was in that magical zone right between possibility and impossibility. It's rare that you get those sweet opportunities. Those chances to stretch yourself, as I commented a few nights ago, are few and far between. They are worth seeking after. It wasn't an easy catch; it wasn't an impossible catch. It was right where I wanted it.

I dove and made it. I flew at it belly-down, right arm extended for the catch. I made the connection then rotated to land and slide on my back and shoulder- all the while holding the disc straight up in the air to signify that I had made the completion. I had met my goal.

The thing to know about all of this: that catch felt great. I'm used to feeling good about things. The feeling you get when the test gets handed back and you find out that you got a killer score- the feeling you get when you get the email saying you got the position you applied for- all that jazz. I'm even used to that feeling in basketball and video games. You know, the feeling you get when you get a triple-kill in Halo or Dota? Yeah, that's the one.There's a good feeling that comes with triumph. Something about chemicals in the brain. What I've got to say is that the pure sense of victory and win that rushed through my brain when I made that catch trumps all of them. I haven't felt that awesome in a long time. I was surprised at how great it felt, really. Ultimate, as much as I love it, is entirely inconsequential. I'm not sure why a game that is so unimportant could stir such a physiological response from me. What I do know is that it did, and it felt great. I felt like a total all-star.

In hindsight, the combination of great weather, endorphins, and the presence of an exceedingly cute girl 10 feet away when I made the catch all probably have something to do with it. The girl is dating someone (tragedy, really), but that in no way interfered with my primordial manly desire to show off what a total stallion I think I am. There's something deep within us that wants to be the greatest on the field. That part of us wants to outperform everyone, including our own expectations and limitations. It felt like that part of me was dancing, on fire, in the middle of the Large Hadron Collider after I made that catch.

Most things I do make sense in my brain. The huge rush or satisfaction I got when I made that catch? Yeah, totally not expecting that. I was expecting to feel good, but not that good. I guess I cared about it a lot more than I thought I did.

That's my triumphant story of the night. Not so much that I made the catch (even though it was pretty sweet), but moreso that I felt so good about it. It's good to be human and to feel passionate about things sometimes. Even if they are inconsequential and not "mission-critical", it is awesome to care. Our ability to feel is something to be treasured. Tonight I felt like a stud-muffin, and that means the world to me. Tomorrow I'll feel something different. Chances are I won't like it as much, but I know that it will be valuable and will change me into the person that I am the day after tomorrow.


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