Mischief's season officially started today. The team headed to Davis for the 2008 Davis Ultimate Invitational to start the season with a tournament of tryout players. Last week, when Kris, Andy and I were walking back from the Whiskey Expo, Andy told me to "bring my cleats!" in such an ethusiastic way that I knew I'd get some good playing time.
Since last weekend, I've been worried about my fitness level for tournaments. When the first step of the first point hurts, and the last step of the first point hurts, and every step in between is hard, one has to question how much the sprint workouts have been helping. Sure, they help, but gah, this is supposed to become easier.
So, I've been doing my "I shouldn't be this out of shape" regimen this past week, which revolves around an improved diet and dietary supplements. In particular, liquid iron supplements.
The warm up this morning was easy, and not the chore it was last week. Yay! I probably spent more time than I should have taking pictures, but not enough to actually prevent me from warming up properly. Including that hammie.
When the team started an endzone drill, my usual hesitation from past seasons was gone. I was excited to run this endzone drill, catch a disc and throw it smoothly to the next teammate. Very excited.
During one of my cut, catch, throw, clear series, I heard from behind me Steffi's voice, calling encouragements and compliments. I couldn't help but think of how much I've missed this comraderie in the off-season. There's something about the encouragement of a teammate to help you play better.
Our first game was against Mad Dog 20/20. The team was fairly inexperienced, with some players who clearly could play. Unfortunately (for them), we had enough experienced players, including some spectacular stars, and they didn't really stand a chance for victory.
I had a good time, running down hard on the first pull to disrupt the easy pass, causing a turn over on the second choice. Unsurprisingly to anyone who knows our team, a Crystal (fabulous thrower) to Adam (fabulous receiver) goal started the season on the right step.
I'm more pleased with how I played the second game, which was against Gin and Tonic. The team had a significantly higher skill and fitness level, with their scoring the first score of the game, and keeping it close to 6-4. I had a snippy point where an opponent woman caught the disc on the line, and refused to either accept the turnover or return the disc to the previous thrower for a do-over. Karma reared its head as the same woman caught her team's goal out the back of th endzone, causing a turnover back to us (even if we didn't capitalize on the turn).
On another point, I was fairly aggressive in pushing downfield, running hard to be near the endzone as the disc moved to it. Unfortunately, we turned the disc and they started moving the disc downt eh field My main thgouth at hte moment was darn it, all I managed to do is bring my woman down into the play, especially after she caught the swing and turned to throw. As she released the disc, however, Andy came swooping in for an easy catch. Just as she had thrown the disc, I had turned to run downfield (as every thrower and marker should do: once the throw is up, go go go!), but turned back to the endzone when I saw Andy catch the turn. He saw me and put up a throw that at first I was nervous about being able to catch. Fortunately, in true Andy Style™, he had merely placed it absolutely perfectly: at the very edge of my reach after running hard to it, thereby guarateeing my defender zero chance at the disc. Never ceases to amaze me with his play.
I had a couple other good points during this game, which I enjoyed much more than the first game. I was called handler a few times, which both surprised me and pleased me. I did just fine, with the dumps, swings and downfield cuts. I had a good time.
I'm thinking this cessessation of self-defeat and internal pressure to be perfect is a good thing.