a juxtaposition of adrenaline & tranquility
I recently realized I crave adrenaline, and sport was usually my way to fulfill that hole.
Sprinting, chasing plastic, dripping sweat in the hot sun,
cheering as teammates or opponents make a play.
I crave the foot race to an under. Juking out my defender, anticipating my match up and intercepting the pass. I miss joking on the sideline and running around on the field with no qualms about life.
It’s not just adrenaline alone – it’s the juxtaposition, the simultaneous presence of adrenaline and peace.
It’s the tranquility found in the breathless moments of physical and mental exertion, alongside the cacophony of voices and footfalls across fields as far as the eye can see.
To slip into a flow state is to be fully immersed in the present moment. My mind subconsciously calculates multiple factors at once: wind speed, humidity, the 13 players sharing the field with me, and minute strategic assumptions.
I take a step, make a throw,
I miss Ultimate, as Blue said, with every fibre of my being.
An Ultimate-sized hole in my life.
Originally written June 3, 2019 as a private journal entry.
You could breathe in excitement. Taste it.
The chattering. Murmur of hundreds in the stands, locals and internationals alike.
The stadium lights spotlit the fields. We are the showcase, we are the entertainment.
I remember looking around in awe – that I was here, playing Revolution in Medellin in front of a huge crowd.
I felt the weight of the years I have been playing, training, reading and learning that brought me to this point. I felt equal with my incredible teammates as we geared up to face one of the best clubs of all time (2018 WUCC Finalists, 2018 US Open Finalists, and later that year, 2019 US Open Finalists and 2019 PUL Champions).
And what a game it was! We scored 6 on them & gave them a fight.
That’s all I wrote for this entry. (: One day I will add to how this tournament experience is my current #1.
Or embracing failure
Originally written August 19, 2019 as a journal entry to share with the team.
THIS IS IT. Nationals in 3 days.
The time to lay it all on the line, what we’ve been building for… every tournament, every throwing session, every training session, every practice, every decision & sacrifice to make ourselves a better competitor, athlete, player & teammate.
I am so impressed with how this team has come together – challenging & supporting each other, and demanding nothing short of excellence. Throwing & workouts, film review & discussion, an Instagram group chat… You’ve all made this team something to be proud of.
These next 60 hours are key to prepping yourself to be dialed in.
I’ll be focused on hydrating – 3 L/day, carb loading with wholesome foods, and getting in some tapering workouts before Thursday. Throwing today. Two workouts tomorrow – explosive weights in the morning & a track workout in the evening. Wednesday will be an active recovery sprint session & throwing. I’ll also do a sport performance daily meditation every morning before work, review strategy & film, & prioritize sleep.
This is it, Union.
LFG. Get ’em.
Originally written August 25, 2019 as a private journal entry.
Sunday Morning of CUC 2019
10:30 AM, I’m at home on the balcony, sipping tea.
My body hurts & my spirits are challenged.
I had a restless sleep, my mind drifting to Ultimate & thinking about what more I could’ve done.
The first thing I felt after that universe quarters loss was disappointment – in myself.
I wish I played better, had more throws, ran harder, anticipated smarter, for my team.
I wish I saw our confidence & strong lead were slipping away and nipped it in the butt RIGHT THERE. I wish I was more knowledgeable in captaincy to do what the team needed in that moment. It brings tears to my eyes to know I let the team down, when they needed me the most. And I am so sorry for that.
But this Nationals coaxed the competitive fire in me that was struggling.
I had some big moments this week that surprised me. Some big layout bids & grinding hard on the field. I am fully capable of being an incredible player – I just have to get out of my own way.
So, Day 1 of post-season. I am going to continue training to prep for Harvest and possibly Team Canada tryouts. I am on an upswing and I have more to work on and prove.
I NEVER want to feel like I let my team down with who I am as a player. I want to be the best player & person I can be, for them.
Players who support me, pick me up, and challenge me to do better. Never satisfied.
I’m feeling a little melancholy now that the season is over. I was having a lot of fun with the team. This is a true ‘coming down’.
And here I am, focused on the next thing.
Wanting to scrap this icky feeling of dissatisfaction.
Study some Coaching Conference videos.
Join Zen and MMV practices.
Keep throwing twice a week.
Do film review.
Let’s be the player you know you are at Harvest, and hopefully you get an invite to Team Canada tryouts.
I originally posted this on social media accounts on March 2017. My company, The Ultimate Experience, launched a social media campaign called ‘Why do I tour’ to share stories of the touring aspect of Ultimate. I’m not sure where the term ‘touring Ultimate’ is used, as I found out Americans call it ‘club’ or ‘rep’, Asians call ‘training’ what I call practice, and most American club teams practice on the weekend where almost all Canadian teams I know practice on weekdays. I often use the term ‘club’ now but touring will always sound like home to me. The Ultimate Experience, or the UE, likes to define touring Ultimate as a group of people travelling to play a tournament. Whether it’s Nationals or UE’s Ontario 4v4 Circuit tournaments on a Saturday morning, you are touring.
How do I begin to explain my passion for chasing plastic and all that’s associated with it?
I picked up my first regulation disc at Toronto Ultimate Club‘s junior summer league in 2010. I went on to join Torontula at the University of Toronto in 2012.
Five years later, I am in my last year of undergraduate studies, won some hardware with Tula and have two seasons of touring under my belt (Lotus in 2015, 6ixers in 2016). I’ve attended tournaments that have solidified my love for the international Ultimate community – Whistler 5 on 5, Pan-American Ultimate Championships 2015, Bangkok Hat 2016, and Bali Nusantara Cup 2016… and this summer, Amsterdam Windmill Windup and hopefully, World Championships of Beach Ultimate 2017.
Sports began as an escape for me – for a moment in time, I leave the realities of dysfunctional relationships, deadlines, and both trivial and vital life decisions (which pizza do I order? What am I going to do with my life?) – but now, it’s about personal growth, national- and international-level competition, and the incredible people I meet along the way.
I tour because I’ve watched other players play with grace, intelligence, athleticism and humility and think, /that could be me/. I tour because I want to set the bar higher for both mixed and women’s Ultimate and challenge those around me. I tour because I don’t know any other sport comparable to