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September 29, 2008

If you are reading the title of this post and thinking, “The ultimate what?” then you are in need of a serious education.

Ultimate frisbee is perhaps the ultimate sport, combining, as it does, the best of football, basketball and soccer with high-flying frisbee action. The only reason it has not shot to international prominence is that it is perpetually the sport of choice of the slacker, and enjoys a reputation as such. However, when played by experienced and athletic performers, the sport truly rises to levels of excitement that have potential far beyond the semi-underground place where the it resides today.

Like the ping-pong tables of our youth, frisbee has always been there, ever-present, under-respected.

I was introduced to ultimate in college, via the disorganized pickup game, and the slightly more organized intramural game. Later on in Tokyo I played pickup games in Yoyogi Park on weekends, but as the kids came my involvement gradually trailed off. Here in Honolulu I’ve gotten more involved than I ever have, joining the Hawaii Ultimate fall league. The folks in the league are pretty serious about the game, and I’m actually learning plays and formations for the first time in my life. The team I’m on, Polar Bears for Pipelines, is 3-1, but I’ve started to discover that there are differences between what I was able to do five years ago and now. It now takes me a whole week to recover from the hamstring strains and calf pulls that seem to slow me up in  each and every game.

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