I did not make the cut for Swagger, and though I think it would’ve been fun, I’m not too broken up about it. I do find it interesting that I’ve been on or near the cusp of this sort of team (co-ed club ultimate frisbee at the highest level) for years. When I think about what’s prevented me from making these teams, a couple things come to mind.

The first is a purely physical limitation. Although I am a naturally athletic person overall, my right ankle in particular is weak (in spite of the exercises I did all winter). Playing too much ultimate (really, more than once a week), even with a brace on, aggravates it (feels like a persistent, low-grade sprain). If either I were more serious about playing at this top level or my ankle were a little weaker, surgery might be the right answer, but neither is really the case.

The other roadblock has been a psychological one. When I was a kid, I was fiercely competitive. If it was a game, I had to win it, and if it wasn’t a game, I made it a game. And this spilled beyond sports, too; I was a serious know-it-all and would answer questions (in all sorts of contexts) that I had no business answering. Ultimately (starting after high school), I made the conscious decision that this was a really annoying habit of mine, and worked hard on saying “I don’t know” more (or just not saying anything). It worked, though it took a while, and I think that might have spilled back over and killed my killer instinct when it comes to sports. I enjoy playing just the same, but winning doesn’t matter anywhere near as much as it used to. These teams are serious about winning, about making it to Nationals, and I am not.

All that said, I had a pretty great summer last year without any competitive ultimate to speak of, and the prospect of some free time in Seattle during the summer is a nice one.

And I will be in Seattle this summer! Once I’m back from my next China/New York trip (leaving Sunday), I have no plans to leave Seattle again for months. Hurrah!

posted June 14, 2010 – 11:31 pm
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