I love ultimate.
I started playing pick-up games freshman year, and I’ve stuck with it for the past two years, through calf-deep mud, savage (less than the necessary 7 player) tournaments, freaking long car rides (Myrtle Beach this year, anyone?). It’s been awesome. I love my teammates and the atmosphere of practice and tournaments. I really like our little oddball team and how when we line up, we just look so out of place. Our captain is really good at figuring out what each person’s strength is, and using them there.
The question I get asked the most is something along the lines of “wait so you play with the guys?” Yeah I do and its fantastic. It’s awesome getting to be “one of the guys” for a few hours or even a whole weekend, and not have to “care” for a while. I feel like girls always have to have keep up this facade, especially around guys, but I’ve been blessed to be so accepted by my teammates that I don’t feel like I have to seem even a little bit perfect. They know I’ll laugh at their jokes and not give them weird looks (unless they’re Caleb* and they’re asking for it.)
What really gets to me, though, is how I get treated by other guys. Only a few, but they’re out there.
Like at one of our tournaments, I was marking this guy (I’m not even sure what school). I really don’t interact with my man unless we’re bored during an endless debate over the rules. Its just easier. This guy, after a couple of unsuccessful attempts to get me talking, finally points to my feet and goes “dang, you’ve got some tiny feet!”
Dad always says I have DeMoss feet, which means I could “hang on to the side of a mountain with my second toe.” Still unsure what would make that a necessity but I’m guessing its a good skill to have. Basically I have nice, wide feet.
I kind of looked at the guy, and let it go.
Pretty sure that wasn’t necessary.
I’m not a feminist. I don’t have an agenda. I’m trying to play the game: well. I’m trying to not let my teammates down, and form some good relationships along the way. It frustrates me when someone takes my presence and appropriates it for their use.
I play with a chip on my shoulder. If I could teach the new girls looking at joining the team anything, it would be to play with a chip on your shoulder. Play like you have nothing to lose. People are going to count you out anyways, because you have a nice butt, fantastic curves, long hair. They’ll tell you that you’re aggressive and wink at you as they say it. They’ll fake a hammer and expect you to bite on it. They’ll compliment you on a backhand that you’ve practiced 8,000 times in practice. They’ll expect you to try to keep up with them in a footrace and not call for help.
They’re not going to realize that you’re out there because you love what you’re doing. You have to show them that you are there to play hard, to get better, to win. Not to get attention or numbers or dates or compliments. Then maybe they’ll respect you. And if they don’t, make them pay. Out sprint them, get a foot block, throw a nasty break, lose them on an iso cut.
All Beyonce-sounding, bra-burning, masochistic, woman power talk aside, this is something that I struggle with; not getting vindictive and bitter towards a questionably sober, testosterone fueled male population. Its the way things are right now. I’m trying what I can to be me and show Christ’s love to a bunch of people who need it (just as much as I do.) I’m trying to make what little difference I can in the area around me, connecting with people and being a positive influence.
7 days till the start of ultimate season.
As a token of my affection for my readers:
*Caleb is awesome. He takes a ton of punishment (on and off the field) and he puts up with all of it graciously.
**Like I said, these incidents are few and far between. My teammates, especially, are rock solid guys. Some of the best friendships I’ve formed in college come from this team. Also some of the most awkward relationships. It all evens out. People just need to be educated. Most of the guys I’ve met are great. Just misguided. And hilarious.