When I was first learning to play ulitmate, my strategy was to run. Well, not a strategy so much as I knew how to do that part of ultimate, with the throwing and catching not so much. Run, I could do.
And so I did. I ran and ran and ran and ran. At one point, about three years into my ultimate career (well, one year into the part where I really cared about the game and wasn't just heading to the beach on Sunday with my coworkers), after a particularly long point at the end of the day, I walked off the field, grabbed some water, and huffed, "Man, I'm tired."
A.D. turned to me surprised. "I didn't think you got tired."
Which pretty much sums up my ultimate career. I couldn't go forever like Lisa can, and I'm not the Linda "Energizer Bunny," but I could play all day and still be running at the end of the day.
Until today. Good lord, I am out of shape. Ultimate today was really really really hard. The full size field and soft ground didn't help, but I'm glad I played for three hours.
These days, I keep thinking of an image I have of Mom's second husband Scott running around the junior high track. The track is grey limestone, and Scott is just running around the track, the image is of his running toward me as I walked clockwise around track. At that time, he was as old as I am now, plus or minus a year or two. As much as I compare my life to my Mom's (let's see, I'm behind three kids, the oldest two in junior high, the youngest nearly so, and in my fourth house - I have a lot of catching up to do), I compare myself more to Scott in terms of fitness awareness at this point in my life.
It's hard to imagine Scott playing ultimate.
About as hard as it is to imagine my not playing ultimate.
I think the fact that the rule in the house was "sports or a job" in high school (and sometimes both!) laid the foundation for being able to play sports into my thirties. Yeah, I sucked in junior high school sports, and hated high school sports with a passion (except football, being on the football team was cool), but, because I ran track then, I never stopped running. The disc came along, and now I had a focus for that running.
I think I'll keep running and playing ultimate. Even if I do get tired a little more these days.