Today was the second day of Fools Fest West, at Santa Cruz. I missed day one yesterday at the UPA coaching clinic, but the clinic, and meeting John made missing day one worth the loss.
I asked Kris if I could be on his team when the tryout committee was creating teams for the tournament, so I was on Mischief X, which had won all of its games yesterday, and remained seated first in its pool. Mischief Y, however, lost to Pleasuretown, so was seated second in its pool, and was our first competitor of the day.
I struggled in this game. I wasn't completely ready for the game mentally, and physically my hamstring was aching from the stretching. I've been psyching myself up for playing ultimate, going out with a bang, so I tried to play well, Mark's words of encouragement and praise of my play against Team USA a year and a half ago playing in my head.
I had one particular play in the game where a disc was thrown behind me. I had only a step on my defender, so any bad placement was going to make the catch difficult. When I saw the disc go up, I immediately adjusted my path and went hard to the disc. I wish I knew how to layout. I missed the disc by barely a centimeter, my defender having longer arms than I do. My aggressiveness to the disc, however, really impressed and pleased Kris. He complimented me on it several times later in the day.
We lost the game, giving Mischief Y a rematch against Pleasuretown in the finals. Mischief X and Pleasuretown wanted to switch the pools around, meet new teams, but Mischief Y wanted a rematch, so the scheduled stayed unaltered. Mischief Y won their game.
Our second game was against Batwing, which Kevin told me was really Schmatwing. I finally warmed up, and thankfully both started cutting hard and in the correct places. In one point, a breakmark throw went up to my woman who was way too far in front of me to the break side. I managed to run a full sprint to catch up, going 100%. I'm happy to say my hamstring bothered me only a little bit after that run, so it is healing and becoming stronger.
My defense is starting to clean up, also. I was punched in the face by their woman hucker who put up a lot of crap, more so after punching me in the face, but I can live with a punch and crap because our downfield defenders are so strong. I had some down moments in the game, (when I missed a high throw from Kris, and missed another couple throws: one from Lori, one from Roshan who was fouled, one from DanO), but I did have at least one brilliant dump defense where my woman went the wrong way and I sprinted to the endzone alone for a good ten seconds. No love, though, as a teammate overthrew a covered teammate on the opposite side of the endzone. I tell you, no love.
The end of the day, I was tired. Nothing like playing ultimate to get into ultimate shape. Fitness by fire.