Spirit Infected

I have been playing ultimate once in a while. Or atleast I thought I did.

A single day watching the folks play at the Juhu beach in Mumbai convinced me that I was as good as someone who never played before. All I ever did was throw the disc without a technique, catch it without a technique, run around without a strategy and hoped to score. I have practiced with them just a couple of times, played with them a couple of games and I can say that the experience has been thrilling. I knew the basic rules of the game and loved it from the moment I heard of it. But there was a joy in watching people play in the manner in which they were. Clearly trying to improve, with a lot of intensity and yet enjoying every bit of it. Most of all it is the people I have met, that have me excited about the prospect of playing this game. The way they are accomodating to new comers is something which I have not experienced earlier. I already knew Punch, who introduced me to this wonderful group and has also been helping me fix my throws. On my first day, Pixie helped me with the throws, Sheryl encouraged me to wait after I got the disc and make better throws, and Chirag introduced the vertical stack to me. Though I got a theoretical hang of it, I messed up big time in the game. I did not touch the disc for the entire period of play. It was totally due to my badly timed cuts. On my second day, I met Ganesh. He amazed me with his patience. There was whole bunch of new comers that day and he patiently took us aside to help us. He spent a lot his energy in trying to help us improve. This was an absolutely wonderful experience. He was critical and encouraging at the same time, pointing out the flaws in what we were doing and helping us correct them. I learned more Ultimate in that one hour with Ganesh than all my previous trysts with it. His enthusiasm was infectious. I now look up to Ganesh and the other folks. I want to practice more, improve myself, play better, get fitter, play harder and hopefully imbibe a little of their spirit. Maybe they just made me want to stick around in Mumbai for a little longer than I had planned.

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