Friday, May 30

what is ultimate?

More and less than you think,

comes the reply.

Everything and nothing all at once. Neither the end-all nor the be-all though at times it is either and both.

"If one chooses to look upon Go as valueless, then absolutely valueless it is; and if one chooses to look upon it as a thing of value, then a thing of absolute value it is."

But what kind of value?

Today it is the game, the practice, the preparation. The culture, the people, the self-expression.

The self-expression. There is something here. Must investigate further.

An urge to self-expression defines the way each of us plays the games and plays the games within the game as well as the game containing the games. Each decision we make has consequences in ultimate. On and off the field, we craft our "ultimate" selves. We create ourselves in this sport. We build on our workouts, our relationships, our experiences to become who we want to be as athletes, as teammates and as people.

Eventually, what we build grows into our daily lives. Often becoming more like the "ultimate" version of our selves in the regular part of our lives, sometimes the other way 'round. But for a short time in our lives, we push up to the spaces, the freedom of self-definition. Press toward a fuller knowledge of self before the door closes. Before the body gives in and the mind seeks new challenges.

We express ourselves through ultimate. Not just with throws and cuts and d and effort, but in the way we comport ourselves. The way we deal with our teammates and opponents and all others.

To (over?)simplify:

Ultimate is a paint by numbers challenge. Given 70x40+25x40 and an infinite number of options, what will you show us of yourself?


Mackey said...

Indeed, indeed.

There is little else in the sport but expression of the self. Sure, there are social aspects (which is, in my mind, the only aspect that can compete), but really.

We don't play for money. Fame is short-lived, if ever attained. Tournament wins? Layout D's? Goals caught? Fleeting at best, even at the championship level.

What do we work so hard for? It's all a matter of personal choice, individual disposition. Even on Dartmouth this year, some of our best players were not necessarily the most motivated to work hard and become stronger and more athletic. Everybody's played on a team (or will) where there's that one guy who has so much ability for the game, and no motivation to get better. Everybody's played with the guy who wants to run the show, be the playmaker. Less often noticed are the types who play within themselves fully, seamlessly integrating into the flow of a point.

It's all an expression of the individual.

By the by, thanks for the Go reference--you've inspired me to take it up. Should make for some good communication across the language barrier in Japan next year.

dusty.rhodes said...

Go is a great game. It is time for me to get back into it after a respite.

The Self-expression and Social aspects of ultimate are not that far from each other, methinks.