I had a friend out here in Thailand from Grinnell College who lovingly called many things her favorite. Among things I heard her call her favorite are brushing her teeth, eating pizza on Sundays, and the handshake we invented. One might criticize her for using the superlative incorrectly but I would rather give her props for going through life treating ordinary things with such energy.
A lengthy introduction to say that ultimate is, in fact, my favorite thing to do in the world. And I mean that with all the grammatical correctness of the word. I love frisbee. It made traveling across the world leaving my family and friends much easier knowing that I was flying straight to a two-day ultimate tournament. After 30 hours of travel, my flight got into Bangkok at 7:55 AM, which was just in time to make it to the tournament that started at 9:00. Here’s our Chiang Mai team.
We competed against teams from all over Southeast Asia including Laos, Malaysia, and the Philippines. The second day we broke up the teams and had a Hat Tournament, which is where players’ names are drawn out of a hat into new teams and then a tourney is played from there. My team did really well and we ended up winning the day!
There were several incidences that made it unequivocally obvious that I was back in Thailand. For one, we were playing on a military base and our game was abruptly stopped so a helicopter could land on the field! Only in Thailand, it seems. We all laughed and thought how cool it would be to take a picture laying out with a landing helicopter in the background.
I don’t know what it is about ultimate. Maybe it’s the community. Maybe it’s the diverse group of people who play together. We have men and women from all over the world of all skill levels, faiths, socioeconomic statuses, and educational levels. All playing competitively and having an absolute blast together. There aren’t too many contexts where that happens. It’s startling how comfortable homogeneity is. It’s even more startling how awesome diversity is, if given a good chance.
I love you all!