I used to play ultimate (frisbee) a lot. After enough sprained ankles and knees, I decided it was probably time to cut back a bit. I still enjoy getting out and throwing a disc about, but I haven’t played a game in a few years.
On Friday, I was at Boise State for a three hour meeting. As it dragged on, I noticed a group of people on the field just out side the window were starting a pick-up game of ultimate. The weather was perfect, but I was stuck in the meeting. I kept getting distracted and looking out the window to see how the game was going. They were all college students and seemed to have a good game going on. Just as the meeting was about to let out, they stopped playing and gathered under a tree. Disappointed that I missed the game, I still went over to talk to them. It turns out they were just taking a break and were happy to have me join them.
I am about 12-15 years older than the other players, wearing jeans and not wearing cleats (not wearing shoes at all, once we started playing), but it was fun to get out and chuck a disc again. After five minutes or so, I cut down the field and the person covering me called out to his team, “Hey, someone else is going to have to cover All-American over here. I can’t keep up.” It brought a smile to my face to think that the college kids were having trouble keeping up with me and not vice versa. Even barefoot, my running was fine. I could accelerate or turn as fast as I’d like, but my knees and ankles were probably grateful for that. Plus, my throws were better than I expected for not having played for so long.
We played for about an hour before we decided to call it a day. I was still feeling good at the end. A little tired, but not too bad. It felt like many other games of ultimate I had played over the years… until the next day. Turns out I don’t recover from wind sprints as fast as I used to. Even two days latter, when I started a 10 mile run, my legs were slow and heavy. Wow, it turns out, that was a much better workout than I expected and a whole lot more fun than 400 or 800m repeats on the track. I might have to plan a game or two this Summers for speed work with BAR. I’m already looking forward to the first game.