Friday, August 13, 2010

37 over 27 and 44 + 44

For those who've known me for a while this won't be surprising. I'm the ripe old age of 37 which means I'm well into Masters territory. After 22 years of playing ultimate I should be worn down. However, i think i am unquestionably a better player now than when I was 27. I'm faster (this is oddly true), smarter with my decisions, I get most of the 50/50 discs, I can guard people better and I never suffer from a lack of confidence. For me, 37 is the new 23 and the 27 year old me was just plain lousy.

There are numerous factors in my reverse-aging process. First I was diagnosed with an old man's colon disease about 4 years ago. Doctors told me to prevent the attacks that sent me to the hospital I would have to change my diet. Fatty foods would have to go.

In about a year and a half I lost 35 pounds. Furthermore I started eating healthier foods which helped my energy levels and my overall fitness. For instance, i eat grilled chicken instead of hamburgers and I stay away from cheese sauces, pizza and fried foods. After 30+ years it is hard to change your diet and lifestyle but I had to do it.

As this happened I started to notice I was quicker on the field, faster even. Certainly I was as light as my senior year in high school, yet unlike high school where I was more on the gangly side I have come to "grow into my body." Also I wasn't getting tired as often. I could run longer and play more points.

My mind and body work in sync now, my delay time on hand-eye coordination has been reduced. I understand how my body works best and how I can get the optimum on the field. Furthermore after all these years I have a great understanding of the action on the field, when and where throwing lanes are appearing, how to position myself on hucks (both O and D) and other such things.

I still make plenty of mistakes -- old habits can be hard to break -- but overall there's no doubt that my game now is better than it's ever been and this has been something of a renaissance time for me.

While I'm on the subject of numbers, two days ago number 44 Roy Oswalt pitched for the Phillies who won over the Dodgers 2-0. And then in my somewhat cheesy, somewhat pointless, and perhaps typically unnecessary post of a week ago, number 44 Kenneth "Free Kate Newburgh" Dobyns evidently accepted my facebook friend request along with 20+ others.

Honestly, just writing that is so silly, so I think i will stop.

Just remember one thing: you're never too old to improve in ultimate and never too old to keep trying new things. And if you haven't already changed your diet, give it a shot. It's difficult but rewarding.

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