Yesterday evening, our group of eight met up like most Mondays for a game of Ultimate Frisbee in the park. We decided on an earlier time to account for the ever-shorter daylight hours. The one negative thing about the fall, which is by far my most favorite season, is the not-so-gradual trend into darkness that is Buffalo in the winter.
I ran the mile and a half over to the field, figuring that a good warm-up would be beneficial, after having been mostly inactive for the better part of two weeks. It always amazes me how much effort it takes to get back into running. If you aren't pounding the pavement three to four days a week, even a short mile and a half can be brutal. After making it to the field and stretching out my already sore limbs, we started to play a quick three-on-four game while waiting for the rest of the participants. I'll tell you what, playing on the three-man team in that equation takes a whole lot more effort. It was good though and got me running quite a bit; it was a workout.
I understand after last night why so many professional athletes get injured so regularly, especially in contact sports like football or soccer. The amount of cutting, rapidly changing directions to get a better angle or lose a defender, must be horrific on their bodies. After a couple of hours of it last night, I was so beyond sore today that I feel like some quality time in the pool would help alleviate my pains.
Anyways, I joined up with the Monday Frisbee group a couple of months ago, and it has been highly rewarding. Structured fun time with some old friends and new ones recently made has been a blast. On top of that, getting to be active and using all the training that I've put in has been pretty rewarding. Many years ago back home, when playing Frisbee, I used to have to quit on plays. I couldn't keep up with the athletes in high school. I spent far too much time playing Counter Strike or WoW, and it showed on the field. Now, I don't have that problem in the slightest. It's nice.
I never played on a team sport post–elementary school. Once sports went from being a fun thing to do to more competitive (i.e., super-serious coaches and parents), I dropped it. I felt like it was completely ruined by the drive of the parents and coaches involved. It just wasn't fun anymore. I'm not going to say that this led me down the path to online gaming, but I'm sure it didn't help any. At least online the overbearing coaches were friends just trying to kill the damn dragon, and for the most part that didn't interfere with the overall enjoyment of the activity.
I guess the one take home message for this somewhat ramble of a post is this: If you have the opportunity to get into a pick-up game of any sorts with friends, take them up on it. Even if you can't throw a Frisbee or can't run more than five seconds at a time, it's worth trying. Getting out in the fresh air and being part of a group is a blast. No one will make fun of you for goofing up or doing something wrong. Actually, our group probably would, but in a fun way. If anyone wants to join in though, leave a comment!