Friday, September 26, 2014

Just One Crazy Year

It's pretty easy to watch time slip by and not take stock of what has actually happened in the last year. It's been incredible, frustrating, elating, torturous, joyful, painful, hilarious and no end of work.

I wanted to get down some of the things that stand out as the blog clocks in it's first year of existence (which overlaps nicely with my disc golf life's first year of existence).

I blame Mark Ellis for some stupidly cold mornings.
A year ago, I didn't even know what I didn't know. I was blissfully unaware of form, wind, hyzers or even how to putt. I didn't understand what the difference was between an understable and an overstable disc. I carried around my discs for a solid week before losing them in rivers and tall weeds.

But I was hooked. I loved the sport from the first minute. It was so tantalizing to see guys like my brother throwing 400', when I was barely squeeking out 200'. I wanted to join the club - I wanted to bend physics to my will.

My brother at Deer Mountain almost a year ago.
Youtube taught me how to start practicing: Mark Ellis told me to putt everyday, which I did through wind, snow and frozen hands. I spent the better part of that year starting my day, rain or shine at Paco Sanchez. Lunch was spent learning how to throw as far as my poor self-styled form would allow. Rounds after work or more fieldwork.

I became friends with my now good friend Kyle. I am still not sure why he hit me up over facebook to meet for a round, but I'm glad he did. I spent more time in the first 3 months of playing disc golf with my brother than I had for the entire year before. We shared many insane conversations about form and disc physics late into the night.
Kyle and my blurry bro.
I became friends with my now good friend Ryan. Once I got past his seemingly prickly demeanor, which probably comes mostly from being 6'3" and looking like a caveman, we became close friends and my kids enjoy trying to climb all over him. He taught me what real form can do for your game and completely annoys me by hitting at least one 60' putt per round. I tied him once and beat him once... but like they say, even a broke clock is right twice a day.

Ryan = my caveman buddy.  photo by Pete Kenny
I've made many friends, in fact. I just got off the phone with a guy who lives in Florida, that I've corresponded with for the last month. He just broke 400' with his backhand and I have no doubt he will be hitting 450' shortly.

The memories start to bleed into one long hike, strewn with drives and upshots. Lonely fields and discs that disappeared somehow.

Friendly faces, hand shakes, break through's and high five's.

Test driving a Renegade on lunch break.

OB strokes, hurried drives back to the course to find a forgotten putter as the sun's last vestiges dim into dusk.

Standing knee deep in a river, feet frozen, hands numb, desperately feeling for a favorite driver.

Hanging a blanket in my basement to throw into.

Stepping on snakes and screaming like a little boy.

Watching Central Coast Disc Golf's entire archive. Having no idea how somebody gets so good and feeling honest to goodness deflation when I realized what the best players in the world are capable of doing. It was another universe.

Cracking the door to that universe, just a little bit, enough to break 400' with my driver and on one crazy throw hitting 450' on flat ground. Hitting a clutch 40' putt in a tournament... learning that at least now... I know what I don't know.

You people - my friends - the people who email me - who comment on the blog - who I talk to on reddit and dgcr - who I talk to at tags matches and casual rounds - I thank you all for a year that was incredible.

The stoke I have for you guys and gals, who are as driven to clamber into that maybe not-so-distant-universe... that stoke is real and I appreciate it and I look forward to the next year.

Happy disc'n amigos.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for all the time you've put in and your willingness to share with others, complete strangers, who are trying to do the same thing you are.

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