Still playing!


All righty then, let's check out how things stand here.

Left foot: strained muscle.
Right foot: bruised small toe from being stepped on.
Both calves: tight and not working very well.
Left knee: sore from the 3 points I played without a knee brace
Right knee: bruised and tender to the touch where I knocked knees with another player.
Hamstrings: too tight to function well.
Abs: too exhausted and sore to laugh.
Right elbow: sore from being jammed
Right forearm: contusion, tender to even the softest touch
Right hand: outer bones bruised from being stepped on
Upper back: bad sunburn that may take 2-3 days to heal
Lips: also tragically sunburned

Attitude: unbelievably happy for having played in a two day tournament with Kris.

We played three games today, keeping pace with the number one seed in the chump division for the first half of the game. We seem to be able to do that pretty well: hang until sixes, scaring the other team sufficiently before they realize, holy crap, we better start playing for real. That, and the wind is the game's great equalizer. I had a good time putting on a hard mark in the cup, managing to chest thump a number of guys before they realized, hey, this chick is fouling me! I commented to Kris that I was probably being overaggressive on the mark, to which he replied, nah, I was putting on a Nationals Mark™: go over the line to find it, then come back to be in front of it. If you don't know how aggressive the other player is going to be, be overly aggressive, then rein it back in.

We lost the first game, 8-12, to the eventual winner of the chump division, so dropped into the 5-8 bracket. Our next game was against a team that I'd seen practice in the East Bay when the Women's Master's team I was on was practicing before Nationals. I recognized a couple women on the team who had tried out for Mischief, too, so my intimidation factor was low. Our two teams traded points until 3s, when Kris said stop playing zone defense, since it's clearly not working. Switching to man defense enabled us to spread out their players better, forcing longer throws, which resulted in more turnovers. We took half 8-3 and pretty much shutdown.

Yeah, we let our guard down and could not seem to reengage it. The cap went on at 13-10, with their scoring 4 points in a row to bring the score even close. We did win 15-11, but only because our top line went in to finish the game. That type of sloppy play, while understandable, is completely frustrating.

Because we won our second game, we were in the 5-6 position (yay, breaking seed by 6-7 places!), but were going to have to play against a team that we'd already played yesterday. I wasn't interested in that, and was actually interested in just forfeiting the next game and going home. Everyone else SEEMED interested in playing another game, so I found the other team to play. Except that we didn't really want to play that game. It was torturous. We threw away more discs and dropped enough more that the final score of 6-13 doesn't begin to describe just how poorly we played.

Still, I had a great time playing with Kris. Oh, my seeing him out there again was AWESOME.

Hopes and expectations


Kris bounded out of bed this morning after sleeping through a good three minutes of the alarm and enduring an insistent nudge from me to start his day. The sky was still dark, the dogs still snoring away in their beds. On his way to the bathroom, Kris called out "Ul-ti-mate!" in the jingle we use to sing the word, and might have done a small jig.

For the first time in just under two years, Kris was going to an ultimate tournament, and we were going together. Sure, he's been at practice for the last comple months, and talking about various ways to improve the team, but this is the first tournament he's signed up for, and the first one with the Cows.

Seems so weird to be playing with the Cows, almost as if I've come full circle. On one of my first visits to the Bay Area to spend time with Guy, I wandered into the Cows practice at Stanford. When I asked if the game was a pickup game, I was swift rebuked: no, it was a closed practice with the implication of don't bother us. And the rest was history. Without that rebuke, I would most likely never have met Kris in circumstances that allowed us to become close. And how much sadder would my life have been?

"Why do I get up a hour earlier for ultimate than I do for work?" Kris asked me as he pawed through his clothes to find his ultimate clothes. Though I really have no idea why ultimate players do it, we do. And we do it for free. Must be about the love of the game.

As we were piling our bags into the car, I commented to Kris about just how excited I was to be playing in this tournament. Heading off to the tournament was invigorating: I was going off to Do Something with Kris, we were playing ultimate together, we were on a team seeded 12 out of 13 having only up to go, we were going to hang out with a cool group of people all day, we were playing ultimate together, the team had no expectations of winning even half its games, much less the whole tournament.

That last one was key. We had no expectations.

Ultimate was fun again. It wasn't a win or die of shame situation. It wasn't a high pressure situation. I wasn't going to have people on the sidelines asking, "Why is she on this team again?" I could play, run hard, or not, and that was OKAY. Fun! Fun! No pressure! No expectations.

Only hope.

We left 20 minutes late, with Kris driving, so really we would be 20 + driving-like-an-old-man-delay late, which was before Chookie left his house. He passed us around SFO, to my incredible delight, as Kris had commented a half hour before "We should have carpooled with Chookie." and I had asked him, "You want to call him at 7:00am?" "No."

Look at Kris' warm up stretch

Our first game at 8:00am was against Classy, the first seed in our pool. First point of the game, as we were in our endzone and I turned to cut, the woman defending me elbowed me in the boob, grabbed my shirt, then tripped me. When I called foul, she contested the foul. So when the thrower asked what happened that stopped play, I announced very loudly, "She punched me in the boob, then contested the foul."

We scored that point.

With no expectations and more experience than Classy had any reason to expect, we went up 4-2 before they woke up. Of course, "waking up" meant playing an open game on a mixed field, and their course of action was to put in four male handlers, none under 6' tall, and skip throwing to their women. I am way past the point where this bothers me any more. If the women want to both hamper their own skills development and fail to be an integral part of their team's offense, then they can just suck it on a team that will rarely rise above Sectionals.

We kept the game close at 5s and 6s, then lost momentum, losing the first half 6-8. The second half we kept the score fairly close, but still lost 11-13. We hadn't really expected to win the game, but really, if one or two key drops in the endzone hadn't been dropped, the game could have easily gone the other way. I threw a couple scores, one of which several Mischief folk saw and totally cheered me on. It felt so good to know they still have my back!

Kris in a pow-wow, everyone listening carefully

Our second game was against That's What She Said, another perennial suck team that rarely makes it beyond Sectionals. The extent of my awareness of this team is a vague recollection of their winning Spring Fling 3 or 4 years ago against one of the two split Mischief rosters full of tryouts, then using that result 5+ months later to argue their way to a higher seeding at Sectionals that year, only to be beat down by the teams that rightly deserved the higher seedings. I can't honestly say my opinion of the team as a whole has changed, but, hoo-boy, has my position on the team ladder changed.


We lost that game 15-8. We lost the first half 2-8, but kept the second half reasonable, losing 6-7, matching point for point and losing only on the end of the game, not the strength of our fight. Funny how when you give up a 6 point lead at the beginning of the game how much harder it is to overcome.

Happily, not all was doom and gloom with the game. I played strong defense, laying out for a defensive bid on an overthrown disc. I came down hard on my right arm, not realizing the injury I incurred there until the end of the day when I noticed my wrist was incredibly sore. In a defensive zone point when we were on office, Jason Gische threw a no-look throw, breaking the cup, to me. I hadn't anticipated the throw, also having been thrown off by the no-look, and laid out to catch it THUNK in my left hand as I slid in what felt like good form. Hey! I caught it! was my happy thought! Even the other team was giving me high-fives when I commented it's one of the few layouts I've ever had, and one of the first I've caught.

In another point in the game, Kris received a throw out to a swing to the open side. I knew where he was going, and cut to the giant open side, where he put the disc to space. I was cutting hard, and caught the claw catch to the sound of my defender grunting. "I was so close!" I heard her cry on the sideline after the point was over, to which both Kris and I rolled our eyes at. Not only was she boxed out by my body placement, and Kris' fabulous disc placement, the only way she could have gotten the disc was to grow 2' and run through me. Riiiiiiiiiight. So "close."

Our third game was against the Cal Berkeley team, which I think might have been the B team, not sure. We played okay against them, figuring how to arrange our zone to allow a weaker player receive the disc so that we could aggressively mark against her (and it was always a "her"). The score was something like 15-8.

Well, that was funny!

I was expecting to play three games today, so when someone mentioned there was a crossover, I internally groaned a bit. My feet hurt. I was tired. I was sleepy. I was sore (already). I was cold. I didn't really want to play another game. I did, however, want to win the next game.

We started the game down the first point, as we pretty much had the whole day (the first point of the second game to a Callahan, no less), then went on a scoring streak. I was able to name who scored the goals in the downwind endzone, and so tallied the score at 6-1, but someone on the opposing team insisted it was 4-1, and we relented. We shouldn't have, though, as we let our guard down around 11-5, and they started scoring like mad. At 11-9 the cap went on, with the final score close to 13-11.

I wanted to stay after our last game to see how Mischief was doing, but the fog had rolled in the rain was starting. Cold, tired, hungry and THEN wet, and I just wanted to leave.


Okay, so, I handled all day. Only on a handful of points, did I pop, and I was never called deep. A couple of times I was called cutter in the flemish offense, which I thought was entertaining, as I had neither played the offense before, nor heard of it. The mismatches with Linda and I against our opponents were too big to ignore, so we were iso with a big amount of space to cut into. Fortunately for my clueless self, strings that set up the offense worked well enough that I didn't need to worry too much about my flemish cutting.

Or pretty much anything during the day. During the day, I threw away two discs and missed receiving one, managing a couple blocks. Nothing too spectacular, except that I WAS HANDLING. More surprisingly, someone commented that I was good at it. I couldn't help but laugh hysterically inside, because I feel such the opposite. I don't know where to cut in the handler position. I don't know where to clear effectively from the handler positions. I don't always continue the disc effectively, stalling it. I don't always throw upfield, even on throws that I could make, but hestitate to try.

I had some beautiful throws, like a bending forehand to Holly that curved away from her defender as she cut upline for me, and right into her hands. Or another up the line throw to Alex who hucked to Chookie for a score. Or the score I threw with my Mischief cheering squad watching. But I also had a turf when the wind dropped a longer forehand than I should have thrown. And I was handblocked in the last game. Shudder.

But, still.

I played well, but don't know if it was the release of internal pressure on myself that allowed me to play well, or if it was the lack of pressure from my teammates to be perfect. With Mischief, there are so few drops that every one STANDS OUT. On the Cows, hell, there are so many, how do you remember them all? Not that turnovers are acceptable, they're just not mentally punishing as they are on a higher level team.

I mentioned this to Kris on the drive home, about how excited I was that the pressure was gone. The expectations of a perfect game were gone. The team had hopes, and those hopes translated into my playing better, I wanted to be better for these people.

I didn't care that we "should" beat this team, or that we "should" play better. Playing was no longer about shoulds, or even the score. Instead, it was about how well I was playing at THAT EXACT MOMENT in this point. Could I run harder? Could I be in a better place? Could I throw a better throw? Was I playing as well as I could RIGHT NOW? If the answer was "yes," I was happy. If the answer was "no," I changed what I was doing so that the answer was yes.

So, for the first time, I think ever, I was happy with the record of 2-2.

It's all about hopes and expectations and not letting either overwhelm you.

One of these hands is not like the others, one of these just isn't the same!

Ramblings on a Thursday


Today was a day of car and San Mateo. Kris had a doctor appointment in San Mateo at too-early o'clock, and needed me to drive him to the appointment and pick him up from the appointment. We've done this deal before, so I knew what to expect with the two to three hour wait. What I wasn't expecting, though, was having fewer than four hours of sleep the night before and needing to sleep.

After waiting with Kris in the doctor's office's waiting room until he was called in for his appointment, I went out to the car, crawled into the back seat, and passed out. I didn't manage a deep sleep of any sort, but I did manage to doze well enough that only the combination of many doors slamming in the car next to me and the screaming of a full bladder could wake me up. And wake me up they did.

I am, for the record, still amazed at how many people think that standing next to your car means you're leaving, and that they have the right to honk at you to enourage you to hurry up, even when you're not leaving. I succeeded in having two cars wait in the lot behind me, turn signal on, waiting for my parking spot, as I crawled into the back seat to pass out again after going to the bathroom. Because, you know, I must be leaving my parking spot, right?

After Kris was done with his appointment, and the two of us back home, I managed to work. That I managed to work among the cacophany of life happening in the house is a testament to my ability to focus. Between Heather's cooking and cleaning (did I mention bestest-roomie-evar? Thought so.), and the dogs' confusion that both Kris and I were home AGAIN oh-boy-this-means-food-and-walkies-and-lots-of-petting, the house was teeming in movement. Of course, my concentration actually meant putting up a gate and closing the door to the doggen, but, hey, sometimes we need a crutch, right?

Tomorrow, the Emerald City Classic starts, a three day ultimate tournament in Seattle. It used to be Spawnfest, I think, for the Mixed Division, but the division has become large enough to catch the attention of the Open and Women's tournament director, and the two merged. I could be wrong about that, but I think that's what happened.

Originally I had planned to go to the tournament and take stats. I don't really know why I keep torturing myself in this way. I enjoy playing with the team. I feel so lucky to be a part of such and amazing group of people. Standing on the sidelines, however, knowing that you won't go in and run run run, feel the grounds as you push off, the thunk of the disc as it stops spinning in your palm, the clench of the stomach as you pour everything into your legs getting them to move fast enough under you to keep from falling over forward, gosh, that's torture, even if the numbers that you get from the stats are fun and entertaining and quite enjoyable.

OF course, heading over to see Ben and Lisa afterward for a couple days, trying to fit into their schedule, was the real reason for heading off this weekend, and the biggest reason I'm disappointed I won't be going. Although I'm finding the 10-12 billable hours a day refreshing for the bank account, I'm finding missing out on that visit more disappointing.

Heather, however, is going to Seattle. She needed a ride to Mountain View to meet up with Warren and Steffi, who were driving up to the airport to catch their flights also to Seattle. Since I was heading back up to San Mateo to hang out briefly with Pickett, I offered to take Heather to SFO. When Mark asked for a ride, I knew I had volunteered well. Instead of a solo ride to San Mateo, I could drop both Heather and Mark off, too. Fun.

Hanging out with Pickett is awesome. I didn't stay long, my body wanting to shut down, despite my backseat nap this morning. I did manage to see his new garden, from the soil and seeds I dropped off two weeks ago as a thank you for taking care of me during my last migraine. I was sad to see the compost I gave him had lots of grass seeds in the compost, but Pickett seemed good natured about it.
Pickett and Nichole are talking about raising chickens in their small urban lot. She had selected the breeds she liked and had found a source, also. Pickett, however, was worried about the start of work for him after the summer off and the influx of family coming into town over the next few weeks.

You know, I think Pickett is the only other person with garden square footage rivalling mine. His strawberries are far more productive than mine are, though.

Oh, and 280 is so much faster that 101 at 5:30 in the evening.


I'm going to bed early tonight.

The water tank rides again!


Okay, yeah, nothing really to do with the lyrics, but the Revolution part, yeah.

Went to Stanford today to write down every throw Mischief players made today at this year's Coed Revolution. The coordinators (some from Los Angeles, no less) had asked for water help, and the water tank was available. I have to say that getting up at 7:30 am for a tournament is hard. Getting up at 7:30 am for a tournament I'm not even playing in is even harder.

Still, the lighting was interesting in the morning.


And the sloshing of the filled tank in the back of the truck didn't cause me any seasickness what so ever.




Okay, maybe a little.


Today's games were nominally uneventful as stress goes. Hanging out with the team is always a treat, but I sometimes feel quite displaced from the team, that it's no longer my team (it's not), and made up of only some friends, instead of the whole team being friends. *shrug*




I went to the Mischief practice today. My knee's been killing me, with my still being unable to go down hills, but the practice was at Baylands, which is close enough to home that I really needed to go. Unfortunately, I was five minutes late, and had a rough time warming up. My best part of the practice was the first 3/4 of my warmup lap. Sigh.

I did, however, take my new camera. It's an EXIM instead of my current Canon favorites. I bought it because it can take pictures up to 1000 frames a second. Of course, such speed depends on 1. being able to actually center the subject of interest properly in the frame, 2. being able to push the button at the correct time, because you have only that one second and 3. being able to live with some really tiny pictures. Although I can take 3k x 2k pictures for about 3 seconds at 30 frames a second, the 1000 frames a second pictures are around 200 x 100 in size.

Also known as tiny.

Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, I'm still working on the 1 and 2 of that 3 item list.

I figure, once I manage to offload the images to my computer, I'll be all set. The documentation with this thing, though, hoo boy, CRAP.

I kept up with most of the practice, declining to participate in the huck drills. I had such a hard time with the five on five opening games, though mostly in confusion whether or not we were hot-subbing or only between points, that anything requiring all out sprints were just not coming from my legs.

As one of the last drills we did, we ran a zig-zag marking drill, where each player in a group (we split by gender) marked a disc that was thrown zig-zagging down two parallel lines of players, for a total of maybe 15 throws per set. I managed to tip three discs and actually handblock one, missing another half dozen by only a tiny bit. Oh, how I wish my arms were an inch longer. Of course, if they were an inch longer, I'd probably want another. Yeah. Of course.


Practice under pressure

I posted this over at More Fist Pumping, but figured I'd cross post here, too, since few people seem to read or even post at MFP these days.

Start by reading this article about how to avoid choking under pressure:


One of the aspects of doing well under pressure is to practice in pressure situations. In particular, setting up fake high pressure situations so that when the real event occurs, everyone both can handle it and knows he can handle it.

One way to create high pressure situations at practice is to ask the team to focus and play hard. This can work well if everyone is sufficiently motivated, but doesn't work as well as the practice wears on or even through out the season. Putting aside internal motivation (which should be an incredibly high motivator), how else can high pressure situations be created during practices? How can we simulate the pressure from Nationals without playing against another team from Nationals who is just as fired up as we are?

Well, how about keeping statistics and reward those statistics?

A college that had a dominant women's soccer team would track all its players' speed by running sprints at the end of each practice. Every one lined up on one line according to speed, the fastest on one end, the slowest on the other. At the end of each sprint, the order would adjust, with the faster person still at the one end, but the middle runners adjusted according to who crossed the line first. This particular way of running sprints made it easy to see who was faster and slower, as each person was next to others who were close in speed to her. At the end of all of the sprints, the order would be recorded and posted.

The result of the sprints tracking was that the slowest person was incredibly motivated to become faster. The article I read went on to point out that the slowest freshman one year became the fastest sprinter by her senior year, because of the motivation from the sprints.

We could have a similar setup at practice for sprints, sure. It would help motivate those in the middle, and keep those at the fast end honest in moving!

Speed is only one aspect of the game, however. Scrimmages at practice could also be tracked, as the teams are fairly stable after they're declared at practice (and fairly stable through the season as offense teams and defense teams are selected). At the end of practice, keep the team divisions, but make a note of which team won how many scrimmages, maybe even how many points. Keep track of those values and rank the players on how they did, either by points or by scrimmages won.

I don't know that I'd recommend keeping stats on scrimmages the way that game stats are kept at tournaments. That requires a lot more commitment from a non-player.

The trick in tracking statistics, however, is to make sure every player continues to grow and expand upon his skill set. If you're tracking how many turnovers a player made at practice, she's going to stop trying to throw those throws that are *just* beyond her reach. Yet, practice is when you want her trying those throws so that she *can* make them in a game: you want growth at practice, not withdrawal.

Possibly having a non-tracked practice for people to try new positions and throws could also be beneficial.

For this reason, I would strongly argue against tracking "how many turnovers I had at practice." The skills and drills parts of practices don't lend themselves particularly well to statistics, and are opportunities for growth that shouldn't be wasted.

Of course, the true source of pressure in sports comes from actual competition. Heading out to a tournament and experiencing the pressure is a better source than the artificial pressure of tracking scrimmage stats. Just make sure the tournament's level is high enough, and that the team learns at the event, as even a loss is a chance to learn.

Huh. Well look at that


If you get close enough, you can still take good (though still not great) pictures even with a small camera.

We're number one! Er... sorta.


At the beginning of the day, we came into the tournament seated number one of sixteen teams. At the end of the day, we're still seated number one, but we managed to keep that spot in a strange point differential, head to head, power pool format way.

I tried to run pounds for taking stats in the first game. I made sure I had a new binary. I made sure I had lots of battery juice. I made sure I had the team name in and ready to go.

What I didn't do, however, is make sure the undo function was working properly. After three points and two incomplete undos, I switched away from the computer and back to the paper notebook for keeping stats. I'm a little annoyed that the program didn't work, this being the last opportunity this season to actually get it working right, but I'm also not-so-secretly relieved to have a paper trail on the actions. Of course, I'd rather have a video of all of the games, but I can't find anyone willing to give up five days to help me out with this stuff.

Maybe a clone IS the way to go.

I spent most of the day bundled up under four layers of clothing, and still cold. At one point, LT, in his jersey, shorts and sweat pouring down his face, looked over at me and asked, "How can you stand all of that? Aren't you hot?" I immediately answered back, "Actually, I have a fever. I'm pretty cold right now." I wished I had brought more clothing to the fields.

So, we lost our first game to Chewbacca Defense 13-15, having been up 8-4 at the half (my commentary from my twitter posts, which I kept up to date fairly well today):

mischief 0 v chewbacca defense 0
mis 3 chew 2
mis 5 chew 2
misch 5 chew 3
misch 7 chew 3
misch time out
misch takes half 8-4

wow, the only warm spot here is in the porta-potty

misch 8 chew 5
misch 9 chew 6
misch 9 chew 7
wind picked up a LOT misch 10 chew 8 on 4 turnovers

wind, the sport's great equalizer misch 10 chew 9 on wind aided turns

misch 11 chew 10
I hate this wind. misch 12 chew 11

misch 12 chew 12 on more wind aided turns. no, this isn't painful to watch, why do you ask?

fuck. misch 12 chew 13

andy comes in, easiest score we've had. misch 13 chew 13, chew still up the break

misch 13 chew 14
misch 13 chew 15

As Mark says, "Sometimes you take the easy road, sometimes you take the hard road. We're taking the hard one."

We then won our game 15-4 against Cougars, who were the last seed in our pool:

game against cougars

misch 4 cougars 0
misch 7 cougars 0

cougars [call time out with] no t.oouts remaining

misch 7 coug 1

wind picks up, has no effect on misch O, as Andy is in. misch takes half 8-1

da da da da da da 10 minute half, no action da da da da da da

misch 8 coug 2
misch 9 coug 3
misch 9 coug 3 on crappy foul contest
misch 10 coug 3 on nick to paul breakmark, layout grab
misch 12 coug 3 on drive that included 3 layout grabs
misch 13 coug 4
misch 14 coug 4

too much damned talk on the sidelines about point differential. misch 15 coug 4

Our last game of the day was against Barrio, who, like Chewbacca this morning, beat us in the first game of the day last year at Nationals. We needed to win this game to be in the power pools for tomorrow. We needed to win this game by more than three points to win the pool outright.

If we won the game, we would be both first in the powerpools going in tomorrow (as we could lose on point differential, but still have the head-to-head win for a record of 1-0 going in) and have redemption on the team for last year's loss.

We won 15-13, in a bitter, unpleasant game with observers who both don't know the rules and ruled against us in every call (which, could be valid, except for the "don't know the rules" part).

My twitter stream in reverse order, since I don't want to bother inverting it:

team in power pools with 1-0 record

kyle huck, mark pulls defender off, goes up too early, disc floats over both into gizmo's happy hands

bar takes too much time to pull? lose a time out

gizmo brutal catch from chucky to take it 12-11

sunya turn, gizmo block, foul called by mark, fresh with disc

11-11, game to 13, softcap on
11-10 on adam leventhal to adam brown

on a throw that she couldn't see because she was running the wrong way, she called pick after realizing her woman caught the score.
liz penny sucks

softcap horn should go on any moment
fresh to andy toe in layout for 10-10
bar guy laid out kicking chucky in head

doyle callahan for 9-9

8-9 kyle to giz from giz block
7-9 emily to paul
6-9 after half

half time la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la
barrio takes half 6-8, observers called in on previous point. down by only one break


misch 4 bar 6 on a 13 turnovers point
long point 7 turns so far. bar calls last t.o. in half

zone d failed 2-6

I give. this is too painful to watch. misch 1 bar 4
misch 1 bar 3

heads up the collective butt. misch 0 bar 3
misch 0 barrio 2
misch 0 bar 1 on 6 turn over point

timeout mischief in first point

So, we're 1-0 in tomorrow's power pool play, even though we're second in our pool, having 0 on point differential (won by 2, lost by 2). Barrio is first in our pool, but goes into tomorrow's power pools with the loss to us.

Yeah. We're number one! Uh, sorta.

Could I play worse?


I don't know how I could have possibly sucked more at practice tonight. Doyle and I had a bad site deployment at work, causing us to stay at the office until after practice had started. Er, until WAY after practice had started. I think Mark said the team had 95 sprints to run because of our tardiness, which had me pretty much completely mortified. I told him I'd rather take my cleats off and not practice than to cause the team that many sprints. He just laughed.

After an abbreviated warm up, I went in, and was scored on. Okay, get my feet under me, try again. Next point, disc moves up the line, I get scored on again. Oooohhhhhhkaaaaaaay. I stepped off the field for a good number of points. After a team rest and a few more points, I was back in again. I was having problems being in a good place on the field, but saw a good opportunity when only Paul and I were downfield and Paul cut long. I cut in and went as hard as I could, Steffi close on my hip. Pickett threw an easy throw to the open space I was running into, and I went hard to it, intending to pancake the disc.

And whiffed with a clap of shame.

The disc hit me smack in a high rib, giving me another lovely bruise to match my other recent bruises and dropping to the ground.


Four points later, and was handling. Shirley came down the field quickly and poached into the open lane. I received the disc, but the thing is, a handler needs to move the disc downfield. I stalled the disc, eventually dumping the disc to Paul and dashing over to the opposite side of the field to clear.

I don't know. Bah, I don't know if I could have played worse tonight.

On the other hand, the heckling of Nick's staying at another hotel at Nationals seems to have paid off. We were able to convince him to at least attempt to convince his girlfriend that the two of them should stay with the team. Unfortunately, the convincing would require more than one teammate to move out of his selected bed space. I have faith in the team, especially since Andy commented, "It's Nick's first time to Nationals. He has to do it right and stay with the team."


Like the champion you are


The team had a double practice this weekend. Or rather, today, with two practices: one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I ended up missing the morning practice to take care of Kris, though I can't say I was particularly upset about not going to play ultimate at 7:30 in the morning. Of course, still waking up at 7 but not actually doing what you woke up for sorta sucks.

I left Kris propped up on the couch in front of the football game and hustled to the afternoon practice around noon.

I was (happily) called as a handler a bunch today, which once again makes sense, as it allows everyone else on the team to play the positions they're good at and have been working on all season. I had problems positioning myself on a couple points, but shwu helped me out from the sidelines. I managed to throw upfield a couple times, including a satisfying low release under my defender's arm to Will.

After a few six pulls going both ways, a scrimmage or two, and a couple drills moving the disc off the line, we neared the end of practice early. We had one more fun drill, the elimination marking drill where two lines face each other and throw to the first in the line on the opposite side. After throwing, the thrower becomes the marker on the opposite line. If a throw doesn't make it to the receiver, because of a hand block, foot block or bad throw, the thrower has a chance to stay in play by preventing the next thrower from completing her pass.

On the sideline before the elimination marking drill, Will was having some water. "Are we done?"

"No," I answered, "we have the elimination marking drill."

"That sucks."


"Because that's my favorite drill, and I don't feel like doing it."

"Well," I responded, "this is when you suck it up and be the champion you are." It was so cliche, what I said, but it was exactly what Kris would be thinking when he said, "Nothing hurts in the finals."

Will looked at me, and without sarcasm, said, "That's just what I needed to hear." He put down his water bottle, and trotted out to the field to throw in the marking drill.

On the women's side (we split into gendered groups), I was the first out with a bad upwind throw, much like the last time, alas. I still had a good time. Next time, I'm starting with a downwind throw.

Time is all you have. And you may find one day that you have less than you think. -- RP