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.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Time Out, Time In

For two weeks now, and I wonder if I could count the days, likely if I tried, I have not played any ultimate. It's a time out.

I had played something like 4 or 5 weekends in a row, including a ten-day tour of duty at Worlds. Followed by the hat tournament in Austria and then Wildwood -- both of which tournaments have shorter games -- and I computed my July 2010 record to have been 21-10, not counting two forfeits in my favor, a television appearance on Austrian TV which I am declared one the greatest players in the world, and the game of mini mini won by myself, X and Q at the Five tent.

When you play that much ultimate, you need a break. But when you play that much ultimate you also have the drug in your system. You're going to need to play again.

And soon.

And how.

This weekend I have nothing on my ultimate calendar and it is starting to gape at me, wide-eyed, barren, my cleats lie in wait. My body starts to get antsy -- I do try to keep up with the joneses by riding in alleycats from time to time or just pretending to when I haul into the city on my mudder, the Gary Fisher -- but it's not quite the same. There's little reciprocity. Not much sideline jocularity. No crossfield hammers to Coe alone in the endzone.

I'm not running, jumping, jacking the pull. It hurts to even write about it in the summer and not do it.

Well it is New York and options abound. I've got other things to do, plenty to keep me busy (my short film won a film festival this past weekend, so that career path may materialize and push ultimate further away). I've got family coming in next week, friends from out of town this week, and a puppet movie to help with in two weeks.

All that being said...still.... cleats are ready, disc is at hand....

Time In.