Top Down? Top Down!

When I arrived at track practice tonight, Doyle, Brynne and Warren approached me.
"You just drove here with the top down."

"Yep."

"But you never drive your car with the top down."

"She did last Friday. She had the top down last Friday night."

"She did."

"Yep."

Heh.

Aye, aye, Capt'n!

So, Mischief is having "Captain Feedback" time. An email is going out to every player to help each of them know where they are on the team. Positions and roles will be defined at this point, until the of the season.

In other words, we're being pigeon-holed, so we better like it.

My favorite part of my email:

Your mental game is the most important factor on whether you will have a good game or a bad game. When you make one play, that gives you the confidence to make another, which gives you the confidence to make another, and so on. Don't be surprised that you can make plays, or that you can shut someone down. You've done it before. Once you display a skill, you own that skill, so we know that you can make plays. I want you to really focus on your mental game at Labor Day and Sectionals, trying to keep a positive attitude the entire time. Think of some of the good sayings from "The Mental Game of Baseball" that really keep you focused, because a focused Kitt is a star player.

I laughed when I read that.

Last season, at Regionals, in a game against CTR, I was marked up against their top woman. The tournament was my first tournament in several weeks, having missed Sectionals with four broken ribs, and I was still having problems breathing deeply.

After some stoppage of play, probably a time out, CTR was at the goal line, setting up an isolation play for the score, with my woman as the iso.

Mano y mano.

And she was their best woman.

Giving her the whole endzone to work with, her teammates moved to the four corners. She went to the middle.

Facing my hips the same directions as hers, fronting her one step, looking back to see both her and the thrower in my peripheral, I let the marker know I was ready, and the disc was tapped in.

I remember hearing Rick Buellesbach's voice. I remember she made four, maybe five cuts. I remember being in front of her the whole way, thinking I might have to layout for this one.

I remember Rick yelling at me to stay with her, she's cutting back to the middle, and scrambling hard back away from the sideline.

And I remember seeing Mark Smith streak in with the poach and catch the disc for the turnover.

We scored that point.

We won the game.

And I had shut down their top woman player.

My mother reads my site

So, what happens when you discover your mother is reading your site and catching up on all the gossip that's fit to print?

You cringe, and think, "Uh oh, do I need to go back and edit some posts?"

So, then what happens when your mom takes note of her only daughter freezing her ass off in San Franscisco?

Easy, she buys her a sweater.

I now have, "My momma loves me, this I know, 'cause she bought me this yellow!" running through my head.

Curse those elementary school religious diddies!

Couldn't be subtler!

So, we're sitting in the living room this morning: Kris on the couch watching baseball (Oakland vs. Baltimore), I at the table programming.

At some point, I commented about something and turned to look at Kris as I spoke. He looked over a me with a funny look, then let one rip.

After a pause, I commented, "Subtle."

And then burst into song, to the tune of "Couldn't be Happier" from Wicked:

    "Couldn't be subtler!
    No, you couldn't be sub-tle-er!"

"Yeah. I really thought that was going to just slide out all silent."

Lessons from a light soul

Ah, the lessons taught to me this week, may I remember them next week, too.

Lesson 1:

    "Top up or top down?"

    "You live in California. Top down! I'll always say top down!"

Experience life. Let the wind blow through your hair.

Lesson 2:

    "You know how her car was broken into? Well, nothing of hers was stolen, but we later realized that two of my bags were stolen."

    "What?!? That sucks! What did you lose?"

    "I lost ... but, eh, it's okay. I deal well with loss."

Material possessions can be replaced. If they're lost, accept their loss and move on.

Lesson 3:

    "I think people are the greatest fun."

Alright, here's the big one.

I'm not sure when or where I grew into suspecting people first, trusting them second. Certainly after college (I'd have to guess Amerigon if I were to guess at the source of much of my cynicism and suspicion). I probably had seeds of mistrust born from the awkwardness and self-consciousness of adolescense, but they didn't take root until that first "real world" job.

But having those (even tiny) suspicions meant I immediately put up a barrier between myself and everyone I met. I certainly wasn't open to learning who these people were, what motivated them, what interesting problems they were solving, what joys they found.

When I started dating Kris, he was amazed at how bitter I was at the world. He would teasingly mock me for my bitterness: "Life's not fair. The world is out to get you. Blah, blah, blah. So, can we move on?"

Step one, in learning the world isn't so bad.

Why he stuck with me through that step is beyond me.

Eventually, I figured this place isn't so bad. Ultimate, with its open and welcoming community, helped a lot. The group of friends from ultimate, acquaintances through best friends, fluctuated, but was always full of amazing people.

Step two, in learning the world has some good people in it, if you know where to look.

And then there's this week's final lesson.

It's a lesson I was finally open to receiving. That I could stand a door and say hello to a hundred people I had no idea who they were (but who, for the most part, seemed to know each other) amazes me a bit. Doesn't surprise Kris, though, who seems to think I'm a social butterfly (at least when I try to leave from an ultimate tournament and it takes me 45 minutes to cross 3 fields).

I'm comfortable around people I know. But for the first time, perhaps ever, I was (almost) comfortable around people I didn't know.

I think step three of this week's third lesson will take a little longer to sink in. At least I've started.

The third lesson?

People are the greatest fun.

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