Ultimate Glory: A Frisbee Memoir
October 12, 2012 11:11 AM   Subscribe

"It’s the feeling I remember from that glorious fall, a feeling I have never felt since and am quite sure I’ll never feel again. I was full of sap and muscular and strong, and, of course, quite deluded. A young Icarus with enough literary training to be pretty sure of where all this was heading. It was hubris plain and simple, but one thing they don’t tell you about hubris is how good it feels. In fact in some ways, though I now know what it will lead to, I still think of that fall as the high tide of my twenties. In some ways I still think of it as the high tide of my life. Though a happier and better man now, I still miss that time and if there were a way, if granted a wish, I can’t pretend I wouldn’t run right back and crawl inside that lunatic’s skin." Ultimate Glory: A Frisbee Memoir by David Gessner.

via Longform.org (and it is, in fact, quite long, ≈11,000 words)
posted by davidjmcgee (4 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Thanks for posting.

It brought back a lot of memories. I played for about 20 years too, although never at that level, and this quote hit a little close to home:

A friend of mine once said that our bodies are like credit cards; we get the bills later on. I am forty now and have been paying my bills lately in the form of varicose veins, arthritis and a torn rotator cuff from almost two decades of playing that silly sport; I’ve become like an old sailor who can feel weather coming in across the Bay in my bones.

I still can't run for more than about 1km without needing rehab, but like him, I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat. I miss the game - our town put on a tournament this summer, and it was hard walking around the fields and not playing.
posted by sauril at 11:31 AM on October 12, 2012

I was lucky enough to be mentored by a national-level flying disc freestyle player when I was in my early teens... circumstances never led me to join an Ultimate team, but this does make me yearn to chase after that magical, hovering disc again. I've still got my 165g HDX Frisbee - who wants to meet me over at the G.A.R. Park?
posted by usonian at 1:01 PM on October 12, 2012

I'm 49 and i play every week. not at an elite level, but with great skill players in a very active disc community here near Seattle. the game is there if you seek it out, and fun on so many levels.
posted by OHenryPacey at 3:59 PM on October 12, 2012

What a great description of ultimate. I dabbled in it in college (1996 or so), and there were definitely aspects of both the Rude Boys and the Hostages in the game then. There was one windy, rainy, crappy tournament in New Haven where in a consolation game, neither my team nor our opponents could string together enough passes to make it to the end zone. We ended up settling it by pairing off and playing rock-paper-scissors. Good times.
posted by A dead Quaker at 4:51 PM on October 12, 2012

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