Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bad Attitude

I really do believe that sports can bring out great things in people: teamwork, trying your best, good sportsmanship, etc. However, there are some people in whom it can bring out the worst.

I never thought I was one of those people.

When I was playing basketball, I would have a bit of an attitude occasionally, and foul people cos I was angry, but they were one-off spurts of temper. What I'm finding now is a constant, entire game's worth of sooky, crappy mood. And it sucks.

(I should say, too, that to me, shin splints, vague knee 'problems', and mental game all fall under the same category of "imaginary. see also: suck it up, princess, just play.")

My main problem is that I can see these moods beginning, and think to myself, you should stop this right now, or it will last the rest of the game ... and then I don't stop it. I indulge the petty, whiny side of my brain, and don't try as hard, and expect other people to do things when I should be doing them, and have a bad attitude in general. It's self-indulgent, and attention-seeking (hey, it's blogging!) and I don't like it at all.

I am slightly concerned that this is some fundamental flaw in my personality ... but the other side of my brain scoffs at this, all, "No-one is fundamentally anything, just DECIDE TO BE AWESOME, AND BE AWESOME."

Ok, Self. I hear you.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"And then! Best thing ever...!"

So. Mixed Nats. In a word: awesome. But please, stopping at one word? Yeah right. So here we go.

Three day tournament, nine games, 24 teams, three SA teams who all beat their seeds, and Smurf doing better than any other SA team ever!

Yeah, Pillow Fight!

Me being awesome: The first game I don't think I touched the disc, except for a failed attempt at a D. At some point during the next game or the one after that I realised that cutting for the disc = getting the disc (am a genius) and that I could be confident and do good things. So I did.

My first goal was made more spectacular by the fact that I refused to catch it normally and instead had to slide on my knees then back, bounce the disc off my hands, knees, and stomach, and then catch it. Score! And yes, that was a the first of a few, maybe one a game? Which is pretty awesome, I think. More awesome, even, is the fact that I wanted the disc in the end zone: I wasn't (very) scared of dropping it and so I was attacking* and catching the disc much better.

*Except for that time I didn't, right outside the end zone. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

And I discovered something in frisbee that is really fun: getting Ds! Running through and slamming a disc into the ground is totally energizing! I seriously recommend it. I probably did one of those a game as well.


Almost awesome but not quite: I am sad to report that I got neither a layout nor a Callahan this tournament. I did however dive for a ricocheting disc this one time (and drop it but that's neither here nor there) - the first time I've gone for a disc that I wasn't expecting - so that was a nice first. And my team also played an awesome zone in the last game, keeping the other team in our end zone for about ten years (which, yes, would have been the perfect time for a Callahan, but we just kept putting the pressure on and eventually they turned it over). So good work! Now be more awesome!

Spirit: Frisbee is big on Spirit. This was the first time I'd had the opportunity to play Spirit Games, and I even won one! (Slapping people on the arse is apparently totally my calling in life.) Plus, I really think my team should have won some kind of award for our uniforms: official shorts of Pillow Fight? Pajama pants, naturally!

The official P-Fight uniform.

Oh and, funny story, the one time I thought I was going to get a prize: One team was telling us about how they give out an award for potential instead of MVP, and I was like, hell yes, this is me, I am way behind everyone else, clearly I have potential all over the place. And then they said we were all awesome and they were going to do MVP. Devastated. On the plus side, I'm awesome, on the down side, I'm not awesome enough to be MVP. Ah well.

Smurf playing Ultimate Ninja.

Fitness: I was really, really, really happy with my fitness during the tournament. About two months ago I drew up a reward exercise chart, and since then I've only cheated a little. And I was able to run for three whole days and in our game last night (that we had to go straight to from the airport). So that was awesome, and I'm glad I was so stubborn persistent about doing something every day. On that note, however, my physio is freaking magic, as my shins didn't hurt at all the first day, and only a little the second and third (a bit more last night, however, and my knees kicked in then as well, but whatever, Mixed Nats is over), and this was probably maybe possibly helped by me taking a few days off last week.

Buddies: I didn't really know the people on my team that well before we left, whereas I am good friends with people on one of the other teams. This happens to be the really good team, so I knew they would be focused on their team (and they should be) and I would be busy with mine and we wouldn't have much time to hang out during the tournament. My team turned out to be full of awesome fun people (yeah Pillow Fight!) and being with them was sweet. There was still the element of "go play with the little kids, the big kids are busy" that I knew I would feel, but it wasn't really a problem for me, as we all had things to do and people to hang with and frisbee to play!

I had the time of my life...

First game back: I am a wayy better ultimate player now than when I left for Hobart. If I played frisbee all day every day? I would be amazing so fast! I did my first one handed catch in our league game, off a throw gone 'astray,' and it was so sweet to be able to grab a disc that had been somewhat written off. Plus I felt like a real ultimate player doing the kind of awesome catches that they can do (notwithstanding the fact that closest defence was half a field away!).

Conclusion/The Future: By the end of the second day, I was feeling pretty good about myself. Got some Ds, scored some goals, am an ultimate superstar. And then the frisbee gods smacked me (and my whole team) DOWN with a crappy loss, which brought me right back down to earth. You're not awesome, but be awesome.

I have no idea if this is a realistic goal or not, but I'm aiming for Nationals 2010. Actual Nationals seems way more important and harder to get into than Mixed Nats, and it would mean a lot if I was selected. [Although I have to say a massive thank you to everyone involved in getting me to Mixed Nats, every awesome thing I can do now is because of you.]

I think I have to work on my attitude. There is a difference between determined and obnoxious, and cursing on the field (even at yourself) is so shit I can't even tell you. [Here's an idea: cut the stupid throwaways, stop letting players break you, and there'll be no need for cursing.] I'm kind of eternally frustrated at my lack of skills, but also really optimistic at the moment, mostly to do with all the brilliant people I have to learn from and the amazing experiences I had in Tassie.

A glass and a half of ultimate goodness, aka the awesome people I have to beat learn from.

In actual conclusion, Mixed Nationals, Hobart 2009 was a fricking awesome trip: the people, the fields, the food, the weather (sunny every day!), the mad ultimate skills. I have a loong way to go, but it was a massive jump start to my frisbee game, and for that I am very grateful and happy and excited about what comes next.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Ultimate Updates

Yes, I caved. I signed up for Twitter. Mostly so that my Facebook status updates won't get overrun with Mixed Nats updates.

If you would like to see what I'm up to in Tasmania:

Go to my Twitter page.

This will have all the updates I've sent, ultimate-related or not.

Go to #amuc09 updates.

This will have all the updates anyone has added relating to the Australian Mixed Ultimate Championships of 09.

One day to go!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Bring It On: Mixed Nats

Nationals are [October 10th]. Regionals are in, like, four weeks. I talked to her. She's cool with this.

Every time I say I'm going to Nationals, I get Bring It On quotes running through my head. I can't help it. It's probably good that I only say Nationals when I'm talking to non-frisbee people (as the complicated frisbee lingo of Mixed Nats can be a bit tricky if you're not used to it), so it doesn't really happen that often.

So anyway, Mixed Nats is in, like, less than a week. This will be my first time playing Nationals. The highest level basketball I ever played was NT Clubs, and although I was a volunteer at the 14 Boys Nationals in 2003, I've never been away to play a tournament until I went to Keith this year for frisbee. So this is pretty massive for me. I got my uniform last week (with my NAME! and number!), and my costume for the party Saturday night is sorted.

My shins are doing okay (which is to say: hurting like crazy some of the time, then not at other times) and my knees are feeling steadily stranger but not hurtier, which I think is good. I took some forced time off last week, TOTALLY AGAINST MY WILL, LIKE, I HAVE TO BE READY, which my prissy little body parts probably appreciated.

I do kind of agree with rest and recovery days - in theory. Not in practice where this is my first nationals, and I have to get fit (which, probably I don't, as we will have like a million players and minimal field time), and I am the worst player (don't be all nooooo because: yes. new player, wouldn't expect anything else), and yes it's a learning experience, but the more I already know the better things I can learn when I'm there.

Shut up! You don’t have it yet, you don’t have it! Give it up already!

However, the universe conspired against me to cancel all my usual sources of getting better due to sickness, Uni Games, lack of players, like, I'M PRETTY SURE YOU SHOULD ALL BE FOCUSED ON ME. No, as it turns out (shockingly!), my level of awesome is not central to everyone's plans, so myself and the team as a whole will just have to do the best we can, with interrupted (and FRUSTRATING!) preparation. I'm slightly more accepting of that this week than I was last week.

I am really looking forward to playing at a higher level, seeing other people who are actually awesome playing, hanging out, having a mini-break from Adelaide, and exploring Tasmania (where I've never been before). Not looking forward to: being the worst player, playing badly, realising there are things I didn't know I didn't know, and the cold Antarctic weather. Despite those, I'm pretty sure it will be totally awesome!
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