Tuesday, March 25

or maybe dar's blog is not dead

because the fan

carries on

I don't even know what they're arguing about, but that is some fine slicing and dicing.

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Monday, March 24

Basic Post

Today's workout:

Tabata Lunges (16/17/17/17/16/17/16/17)
Tabata Rest
Tabata Pushups (28/25/20/10/3+7/3+7/4+6/5+6)
Tabata Rest
Tabata Burpees (8/8/9/9/8/9/8/7)

Lots of stretching after a weekend without ultimate (shock!) save for a bit of light throwing.

Workout Notes:
Lunges were awesome work for balance, stability and flexibility. Really reach out on the lunges, focused on keeping my motion smooth and controlled while going quickly. I was surprised at how quickly I was doing them. Pushups (99 real ones in there plus 26 knee-pushups!) were interesting... did well on the first three, and powered the third on out. Then I was gassed for the next two, but on the last two, I felt stronger than I had on those two. Ten seconds of recovery seemed to really help. Like my body is adjusting to recover as much as possible in 10 seconds. Nice. I was nervous before I started the burpees... With my back and core feeling tired, (arms too, but I never worry about them as much as I do the center of my body) I decided to start it up, but do it smart if I felt any true weakness in my back. Got through the first two alright, but on the last burpee of the second one, I felt a different pain in the back, and I knew that the landing after the jump was causing it. So I took out the jump and just did slightly slower squat-thrusts or whatever you call a burpee if you replace the jump with just standing up. Did them carefully and viola! No more pain. So no worries on that front.

I think this one will make me sore on Wednesday.

Today's food:
Dark Chocolate
Fruit Salad (orange, honeydew, cantaloupe, apple, kiwi, strawberry, grape)
2 clementines
2 oranges
Leftover ham with cheddar
Assorted mixed nuts

Today's Ultimate Thought:
What are you looking at as a thrower when your team calls a play?

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Friday, March 21


I love throwing with people I know.

I can learn so much about the way they play the game, or the way that they think when they have the disc just by tossing that disc back and forth. I learn which throws people like to catch, and which throws people struggle to catch. Which throws move them from receiver to thrower quickly, and which slow them down. Which way do they pivot? What's the lazy go-to throw?

Different characteristics of people I throw with, one per person:

Perfect rhythm, OI flicks, balanced, nonchalant, throws like I'm a girl, catches strong, holy easy snap, infielder, drops bombs, perfect form?, drunken-master style, IO flicks, the big smooth, robotflair, craftylefty, etc etc.

Throwing with different people focuses on different throws. They like throwing at different distances and with different rhythms and doing different things. Yet... there's never really a need to talk it out. Just adjust and keep throwing. Keep learning. Keep working. Keep focusing.


I love throwing with people I don't know.

I can learn so much about the way they play the game, or the way that they think when they have the disc just by tossing that disc back and forth. I learn which throws people like to catch, and which throws people struggle to catch. Which throws move them from receiver to thrower quickly, and which slow them down. Which way do they pivot? What's the lazy go-to throw?

So many different characteristics to notice.

Throwing with different people focuses on different throws. They like throwing at different distances and with different rhythms and doing different things. Yet... there's never really a need to talk it out. Just adjust and keep throwing. Keep learning. Keep working. Keep focusing.

"Ibid, your honor."

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Wednesday, March 19


So that was the Single Hardest Exercise I've Ever Tried

SHEIET, boy I'm telling you.

So there I was, I did a Tabata set of pushups with my feet on a foam roller to introduce some instability. That was good. Much more challenging/tiring. Took a little break, typed an email to a teammate and did a tabata set of squats with a band around my knees and focusing on sitting back on the squat and keeping my heels on the ground because it really made them hard. That was good...

And then I started stretching for a while, which is what i usually do in the evenings for a little bit at least. And I reached down to touch my toes and then, for some reason I decided that it would be interesting to just slide my hands from here on the ground out to like a down-ward dog thing and see how that worked. So I did, and then I kept sliding my hands forward across the ground until I was just about parallel with the ground with my arms all the way up over my head. The whole time, I worked to keep just my fingertips on the ground as I slid (not always succeeding). And pushed my fingers in the ground as hard as i could while still sliding forward while still traveling forward and resisted them by pushing with my legs (trying to keep my heels on the ground and not always succeeding). I then tried to work from that position back up to where i started by doing the reverse, but by pulling against my own resistance again provided by my fingertips on the ground. Which sort of stretched my back out while making those muscles work. Weird and so difficult. Eventually, I did get back up.

Wow. I'm now still exhausted and I started this post about 90 minutes ago with a break somewhere back there to send an email or two that popped into my head and grab a quick bite to eat.

I have no idea what exercise that was or how i ended up doing it, but every single muscle i can think of is exhausted. SHEIET.

Apologies for any gross errors in this one-- it was typed in a rush.

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Tuesday, March 18

(talk/think)ing about refs

...last night after pickup.

It started from a thought I had before pickup. The idea that everyone should have to make eye contact when they make calls and explain themselves. No, it doesn't prevent lying, but at least then you're lying to my face, you cheater.

And then the thoughts that had been bubbling beneath the surface coalesced into something with words.

Resolving calls on the field without the need for some other 3rd party to resolve things is a sign of maturity. Calm, rational discussion about something you are passionate about is a sign of maturity. Playing by the rules that you agree to play by is a sign of maturity.

Extend that thought to how we, as ultimate players, tend to model our on-field behaviour. Our on-field heroes tend to be professional athletes. Professional. You know... with literally millions of dollars at stake. They are OUR models for a game in which NOTHING is at stake. Nothing. Not a life, not a job, not a slap, not anything... I love this game and I play hard. I play to win. But I know that each victory is nothing.

If you would cheat me for something as meaningless as one play in one game of a lifetime of ultimate, what would you do for $1? $10? $100? $1000? $10000? $100000? $1000000?

I don't want the ref to bail you out.
(I want you to call the foul.)
I don't want the ref to bail you out.
(I want you to lie to me.)
I don't want the ref to bail you out.
(I want you to hear me call the foul.)

We get no money... why are you cheating?
We get no scholarships... why are you cheating?

(You gain nothing)

Take the disc away from me because you choose to cheat. I'll let you do it every time.
Take the disc back because you choose to cheat. I'll let you do it every time.
Try that throw again after a phantom foul because you choose to cheat. I'll let you do it every time.

(You gain nothing)

Call the non-existent tra
vel into me and call the fo
ul me to stop flow.

(You gain nothing,
because I give you nothing)

You cannot cheat me because you and I are not playing the same game.

I was not always this Way
(I am happier this Way)

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Sunday, March 16


GRIP the disc.

No, not hold. GRIP. Tighter. Feel the plastic bend. Use both hands. Like a crabcatch. Bend the disc in your hands. Get familiar with it. Which parts are more malleable? GRIP. TIGHTER. Toss.

CATCH. ATTACK. Feel the plastic smack your hand. Close your hand. TIGHTER. Both hands. GRIP. Feel the disc stick to your hand. Pivot. Feel your cleats in the ground. Push off. Stay balanced. Draw, snap, release. Balance.

CATCH. HIT the disc with your hand. STINGS a little. Draw, snap, release.

Bound... Spring. SMACK. Balance, land, GRIP, pivot, draw, snap, release.
Step, step, SPRING. SMACK. Land. Grind into the earth. Slide. Cuts. Feel the experience. Get up, spring, bound, run. UP! Land.
Step, step, Draw... SNAAAAAP, rebalance. Float. Sprint. Angle. Me disc man. See it, see it. Anticipate, cut him off. Steps. Balance. Accelerate, change. Low!! Quick feet. Accelerate. You know what's next. GO!
Move. Move. Limit his vision. See the field like the thrower. Balance. Always balanced. Footwork. Set it up before you catch. Attack, recover, draw, snap, release. Cut. Balanced. Catch, grip, snap. Cut. Limit his vision. Destroy predictions, cause reactions. Open open open. Threaten. Reinforce fear. NOW!!! Power position. No hesitation. Balanced. BOMB.
Swivel. Turn. look. Adjust. Not through. Feet on the ground. Keep them quick. Outsides of the feet. Press. Hands. feet. See the pattern. anticipate. Release point. Twice? Almost. Won't see a third, I bet. Missed. No over-commit. See the disc if it can move. Disc, space, offenders. Hammer, recover, redirect. Sweeter bait next time. Trap that deep-cutting fuck! shit. I hate handlers. Moved moved moved moved. Diced. Done. Shoot. Missed the chance.
Let the water wash into the cuts. No, it's good for you. Feel the missing skin. Know where it isn't. Make sure you get the dirt out. Where did that bruise come from? Damn. I didn't think that part of me was bleeding. Looks like someone tried to break all of my fingers but couldn't.
Yup, stretch out a bit. Yipes, calves and hamstrings... you should have mentioned this pain earlier. Hang your arms low. Stretch it out. OW. Stupid shoulders. Get them stretched out too. Wash the injuries over one mo 'gin. Rinse. Deep breath. Dry.

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Tuesday, March 11

Terminus, Quickly

What a trip.

6 guys.
Pickup makes 7.
Anti-Ultimate wind.
Florida is better at 500 than we are at ultimate.
Stop throwing a full field out the back of the endzone please.
One Gibson D to prevent our upwind score changes the game.
Notre Dame is athletic and fiery.
I've never seen so many inveterate cheaters as I did in the FL and ND zones in my life. If double teams are illegal... don't quadruple team.
Paideia = boys lose to men.
Another loss for us after.
No PBR Mile or All-Star game. Must shower and be indoors.


4 out of the 6 we brought were at the bar until 1am or so.
2 out of the 6 we brought were at the bar until they kicked us out at 2.
Nowhere to go but to the hotel.

Wafflehouse again, wooo!
Fields just in time.
Or not.
Few teammates made it on time.
We were assessed a point.
Two point loss to start the day.
Fun game though.
French Press Coffee. (Thanks, Pickle-People!)
Watch Amp lose.
Borrowed Ampers for the last game.
An exciting win.
Beautiful weather, finally.
Speed to the airport after lounging too long.
Sit in the airport after the flight is delayed.
Sit on the plane as we wait in line.
Sit on the plane.
Sit on the plane as we fly in a holding pattern.
Sit on the platform waiting for the train.
Sit on the train.
Sit on the platform waiting for the next train.
Sit on the train.

Everyone who came to Terminus with Pike left a better player. You could see it over the weekend. Lots of touches in lots of wind. Some true moments of joy and beauty found in the game. Especially on D. This team was *ferocious* on D.

Thanks to the other 5: Dono, Tous, Jeff Ho, Trash, Pallever.
Thanks to the Pickup: Dave Schmidt (whose hand had stitches removed 2 weeks prior)
Thanks to the Late Add: Nick Ongpauco
Thanks to the Last-Round Sunday Amp Cavalry: Furf, A-Peters, Butter. (And anyone else I'm missing accidentally through the imperfect machinations of my memory)

Had a blast, plan to go back and hope for good weather just once in Atlanta when I'm there.

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Thursday, March 6

Hawaii Eight

Hat Tournament over. Ultimate is over for the week. For both weeks. One more day in paradise.

I don't know what the plan is and I don't really care. I've loved being here like I have loved few trips in the past. Maybe a snowboarding trip. Maybe a skiing trip when I was younger. Maybe that trip to Utah with my grandparents and relatives when I was younger. That was a good time, but I'm not ever sure I enjoyed that fully.

I think I was too, well... young.

I'm not now.

Anyway, this entry is actually about ultimate.

The last two weekend have taught me a lot about how to be a thrower. The winds here are constantly variable, though not necessarily always strong. It is always there, and it lets good throwers make throws that they couldn't make otherwise. Use the wind. Rip the disc with that spin that makes it sit in a spot.

There is a difference between being pretty positive that you can make a throw and knowing that you can and will make the throw. There is no hesitation. All of us are like this for shorter passes, but to finally feel like the field is open for me as a thrower to paint as I choose is a great thing.

I'm not a perfect thrower, but man.... I'm better than I was yesterday. I'm better than I was last year. I'm better than I was 5 years ago when I started with Pike. I'll be better tomorrow.
The weekends, for me, were about playing winning ultimate. No matter the team or the environment or opposition or weather or anything, the goal was to play winning ultimate for that team. This meant filling different roles for different teams. With Philthy at Kaimana, this was all about getting a couple of our other throwers into good positions, and taking good shots (And some wild ones) when I had the chance. We had receivers who could make some plays, and all of our throwers could put the disc out to a place where the defender would need to make a spectacular play (and some did) to get to the disc.

Trusting your receiver to make the play when you make the throw is the implicit contract of playing ultimate. Afterall, you can't play the game on your own, you need to rely on your teammates. The better they are, the more you can rely on them. The more you can rely on them, the more throws (hammers, blades, lasers, etc) are open to you because they can catch/read everything. Having that trust, that connection, is the goal of a team on offense. (and even on defense, really)

It starts with strategy (we'll dump on this count and look for this throw over this throw...) but it needs to evolve past that. To the point where you each read the situation the same way and then react accordingly on trust, which is a split-second or so before you would have normally.

The difficulty comes when that trust is broken, for whatever reason. Perhaps the thrower is off. Perhaps a receiver is distracted. Perhaps someone is injured or sick or something. Perhaps a throw was just off, or a receiver completely gacked something. At that point, it is up to you as a teammate to keep the trust going. To continue to believe in your teammates and what you've worked on so hard. To continue to believe in yourself because you know that you're good enough and that you've worked hard to get to where you are. But most importantly, you can never lose faith in your teammates.

As a teammate, you must build up that trust. You must make your teammates believe in you. And Trust you. And know that they can rely on you.

That belief, that unshakable cornerstone of a great team can come from an individual or a group or the whole team, but that positive, radiant trust, based on the knowledge that everyone is working to improve, working toward the same goal, getting better every day is what you're after.

If you cannot get there, you cannot go far.

The Hilo Hat tournament was fun. We (Team Red) went 5-0 on Day One, beating many of the players from the East Coast who made it out. I was fortunate enough to have a team full of people that I didn't know, save for the TD, Dave, who I played against at Kaimana, as he was on He LoLo. He's a good thrower who loves the game and loves winning.

The theme for our team was carving the other teams up with give-go action to deep looks. Hmmm.... Just like Pike. I felt very comfortable once I realized what the team was trying to do. Once they realized that I tended (though... tended is chosen for a purpose) to have good judgment as a thrower, they were okay with my deep looks too, but at first, there was some dismay that some of those discs were turnovers.

This is the point at the hat tournament that you need to manage carefully. If you're a thrower and you know that you have throws (not just *think* that you have throws) you will have some early turnovers because your teammates didn't know that you had throws like that. You've got to not make a habit of it, and play the game that they want for a moment until you see another good deep cut. Put it up again for the encouragement, but know that you must not do this every time. Your teammates will hate you if you don't complete nearly all of them. Remember that the game is not about you, it is about your team.

I found that focusing on playing pretty strong D on good players is a way to motivate myself and keep myself up for a game. Trying to get D's on glory cuts or being that irritating guy to get open on is way to show your teammates that you're invested in the game. That you can play, and that you take it seriously. Mix in a part of joy with that, always smile, and always encourage your teammates, and you're set. You'll start laying the foundation for a winning team.

Or, more importantly, a team that loves playing together.

On Day Two, we didn't fare so well, but that's why we went 5-0 on Day 1! We lost our first game to the White team (the villains for this tournament as they had at least 5 guys from the same Kaimana team, Philthy: Doc, Eug, Trash, Jeff Ho and Kazan.) whose offense consisted of Doc throwing lefty hucks to Eug, Trash, Jeff and Kazan before the defenders knew what was coming. Their women were really good as well, though I don't know their names, and the men I haven't mentioned because I don't know them were very solid as well. And playing for keeps. Which is fun.

We lost to them to the tune of 11-3 or something (games to 11). I wasn't worried as I figured we'd see them again. And we actually didn't play as poorly as the score indicated. Just some uncharacteristic errors. And the White team never seemed to just turn it over like all of the other teams. They were too busy scoring on us.

We then played the Green team, home to some other NYU alums like Blake and Jimmy. They also had one of the 3 fastest ultimate players I've ever seen, Keoki(I may have spelled that wrong). Now, let me tell you how I meet Keoki:

We got to the campsite on Friday night pretty late because of all of the trail running and hiking and all to get to the green sand beach after we jumped off of the cliffs on the end of the island after we went to the black sand beach after waking up in Volcano National park. Yow. Anyway, we get there, and the place is winding down, with only a few stragglers (Kid amongst them, of course, as well as some Texas fellas) including Keoki. As he staggered up to me, this exchange occurred:

Keoki: What team are you on?
Me: I don't know, because I missed the registration and all.
K: I hope you're on the Green Team, because I'm on the Green Team and we're going to win.
M: Well, I hope you're on my team too, because my team is going to win.
K: I'm the fastest player here.
M: Shit! I know I'm not. I guess I won't be covering you.
K: I'm too fast to cover. That's why my team is going to win.

Then there was a boat race, North vs South... and while I'm not sayin the South will never rise again... it certainly didn't this night. It's tough to get to your award-winning anchor to close the race out if you don't get to him.

Anyway, I eventually fell asleep next to he fire that night, and then wandered over to my tent for a bit of real shut-eye before the tournament, and more importantly, before the sunrise. I love sunrises, and the one I saw that morning was no step down at all. Sun coming up over a little bay of black rocks with waves crashing over them. Some good sunrise company. Bigger and Bigger waves, escape from the damn ultimate world again before diving into it fully...

Back to the game against Green. Anyway, they have some players (Including some KILLER women who dominated as handlers) but this Keoki is a killing us. He's quite simply uncoverable. He can't really read the disc, I mean he can, but not perfectly) but that doesn't matter because he gets there before you no matter which route you take. Or which circuitous route he takes. Reminds me of one Danny Clark like that, except Keoki's shorter and able to stand up straight for more than one game without getting massively injured. Although Danny's left-handed. So... I don't know where that leaves us.

Anyway, Green wins and, as I remind my team, this is why we went 5-0 on Saturday. It lets you wake up slowly and sleep-walk your way to the semis on Sunday. Nice. We get to play against the White team in the semis. I think we'll be able to take them.

While there is some exciting play in our game, some great hucks and some sweet Ds, and all of that jazz, White pulls it out simply by outlasting us. They were deeper and their second to third tier players were playing better in this game than ours. We definitely had talent, just not as much. It was a good game though. We got to end it on the classic "Slow-non-running handler jog deep until the first throw goes to him" play. Which was sweet. We lost by 3 or 4, but yet again (for me) my team scored the last point and lost. I really think this rule ought to be changed. I mean, I was put off by it and I didn't even lose a bid to Nationals as a result.

Now worries, now I can finish the Maui Rum and heckle the finals... That's another entry though...

The last bit of the tournament (non heckling non-finals version) is that I was voted my team's spirit player. I got a SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET baby-blue disc and a big-ole beer cup. Maybe a yard or so of plastic beer-holding goodness. I tried to vote for everyone else on my team, because honestly, it was a great team to play with. Very positive, beautiful people who loved being out there and dealt with my ridiculous antics. And for that, I got to go home with a beautiful disc? Nice!

Anyway, that's all for this breakfast typing. My game is improving, my life is improving. I'm at a great place right now-- I just hope I can keep up with my goal of being better as a person and a player and everything every day. Make today better than yesterday. Make today's me better than yesterday's.

(hawaii seven)

(hawaii nine)

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Wednesday, March 5

Hawaii Retractions

Due to pressure from Philthy the following Official Ultimatejournal Retractions are made:

1. JP plays for "Your Mother."
2. Thorpe is captain of "Dusty's blog can suck my balls."
3. Eric plays for "This is some Bullshit."
4. Doc is captain of "This is some Bullshit" and only moonlights on Amp.

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