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Enough painkillers, and anyone can play.

Today was the first day of the Santa Cruz Labor Day 2005 Ultimate tournament. As I've been battling a bizarre hamstring injury, I was a little nervous about playing. However, since there are at most four, at minimum two, tournaments left in the club season, I figured I'd better load up on painkillers, taking four ibu to start, and get my ass on the field.

Our first game was against Red Fish Blue Fish. Kris was calling subs, and called me in third point on defense. He obviously recalled I need to be in early to get the burst of hurried activity to burn off the extra andrenaline and nervousness, in order to calm down and play my game.

Not that I particularly managed to find that groove today. Not on a night of alcohol-induced, disaffected sleep (cursed Drupal meet-ups and their alcohol happy people!).

Switching verb tenses here. Which I hate doing, but, it works better this way.

So, the pull lands out of bounds and the Fish line up with Archer with the disc, and Rebecca deep.

Yeah, we know where this one is going.

One step fake in, and Rebecca cuts deep. I have no idea what the mark on Archer was like, but it must have been good, because three hard steps downfield later, I hear the up calls, and find the disc over my left shoulder in a ridiculously high r-squared arc.

I'm still five yards behind Rebecca at this point, and I need to catch up now. Full dig, I can get there, the disc is floating. Run hard run hard run hard. I catch up as the disc looks like it's going to float right. I lose Rebecca as she drifts right for the disc.

Back out of present tense.

Somehow (somehow!), I, who rarely read a floater disc well, managed to find the exact spot where the disc was arriving eight feet off the ground and went to it, successfully batting the disc away (missing the catch I was actually attempting, but the end result was the same).

We scored the point from my D.

Later in the game, on a turned disc when we were on offense, I was running a continue cut for Emily, secretly praying she wouldn't put up a huck, while still, admittedlym running deep anyway for her, when she put it up forehand.

Now, normally, I would have been able to see the forehand come over my right shoulder and run it down easily, as my defender was on my left (and wouldn't you know, it was Rebecca again). In this case, however, the throw was wildly shanking left, and dropping fast near the sideline.

Rebecca had found the disc in the air and went to where it was dropping, one step behind me. Because of the angle of fall, however, her attempted swipe at it as it dropped down over her head was a trailing edge attempt (trailing edge is the false god!), and she missed it by mere inches.

I didn't. Less than six inches from the ground, I plucked the disc from the air, in a brilliant trailing edge grab.

As we were deepest, I had no one to throw to immediately. Kris was ready as my dump when his defender ran past him to poach on my throw, so I dumped the disc to him.

We eventually scored that one, too.

My moments of brilliance.

Not that it helped much. We lost that game, and the next, and the next. We played vert tentative. We were afraid to cut, we were afraid to throw the easy throws to the open cutter. We played scared.

My only other memorable play of the day was in the Monkey game, when we turned over the disc on our goal line, and when I looked downfield to find the deepest threat, I saw some tall guy running deep, looking over his shoulder, arm raised calling for the huck. Deepest threat, go go go.

I sprinted two thirds of the field length at full tilt to catch up to the guy, running by two of my teammates, and arriving at the player, just as the sideline he was nearest to opened up for a huck to him. My presence thwarted the huck and all other throws to him long enough for my teammate (and this guy's true defender) to catch up. I was pleased with my defense, but the play wasted my legs for the rest of the game.

So, as a team, we played poorly. We lost all our games today. We haven't had that happen before.

Welcome to Northern California ultimate.

I wonder what tomorrow is going to be like when the painkillers wear off.