Thursday, November 29, 2012


I had my first game of ultimate frisbee on Saturday.

Keeping in mind that I get really anxious in new/unknown situations with new/unknown people, I was very nervous for hours before I even got to the game. I had just gotten my hair cut that afternoon, so I had no idea how to tie it back to get it out of my face - so that took awhile. Eventually I decided on just wearing a bandanna. I also took awhile to decide what shirts to wear - I wasn't comfortable wearing any of my tighter shirts, so the hunt was on for a loose shirt in both required colours. In the end I decided on my Montreal Canadiens t-shirt for red (really the only choice I had), and Gilles' 'Animal' shirt for black.

Once the attire decisions were made, I really had no excuse to trot around the house in my 'uniform' and my new cleats any more, so I packed up and headed to the field (indoor). I was near shaking with trepidation.

When I got there I had no idea where to go, having never been to the building before. It took me a bit of time to locate the appropriate parking lot, and then more time to locate my team. Luckily the friend of mine who invited me to play in the first place quickly told me where I was supposed to be, and also sat down with me to explain the rules of the game and how to play in general. I'm not sure how much of this information I actually retained, but it was very helpful in calming my nerves.

Retrospectively, the game went great and was brutal, in two different regards. On one hand, I was able to overcome my fear and actually play, when I wanted nothing more than to turn tail and run the entire time leading up to the game. On the other hand, I really need to learn how to catch a frisbee while running, and I also need to get into better 'sprinting' shape. It's amazing how different long distance running and speed running are. I lost my 'man' more than a couple times due to simply being unable to keep up. In the end, our team lost by a very large margin, and although I'm definitely to blame for several of the points, I will keep coming back - if they'll have me.

Every week I am doing a different fitness class. The intent is to get out of my shell, try new things, and overcome my fear of unfamiliar situations and talking to people that I don't know. My first class was Fitness Yoga for Beginners last week, and I will be trying Cardio Mixup II tonight. While these certainly do help me get out of my shell (it is hard to know what is required or expected for a class without talking to the other people in it), no one is relying on you. How hard you work (or not) is your own decision, and does not affect anyone in the class but you. No one cares if you are having an 'on' day, or an 'off' day. Team sports are different. You have to bring your 'A' game every time, or you let down your team. You are constantly striving to improve your skills, your fitness level, and your understanding of the game and strategies so that you can take that one step higher.

Doing a different fitness class every week is slowly getting me out of my shell, but because none of this 'extra' is required- no one cares if you are brutal at it- I wasn't and haven't ever been nearly as nervous as I was to play one game of Frisbee. Intended or not, I think Frisbee will be the biggest fitness experiment of all - maybe even the one that sticks.