Fin texts our new GroupMe app, asks if anyone is up for playing ultimate in Sarasota this coming November.
“Feeling Frisky on your new hip Fin?” Guido asks.
A weekend Florida excursion.
“Do we get appearance fees?” a question from Toby.
“Is it more than one game?” I ask, thinking myself unstoppable for forty-five minutes, and then poof, not so much. Guaranteed breakage.
The division’s called Legends, and when I go to the web site announcing the tournament, I see that exactly no other teams have signed-up.
“59+ will be too competitive. Let’s enter in 65+ division,” Joe J suggests.
“Social security division!” from Keith.
“If we wait until the deadline, and still no one’s signed up, we win! Pool of 1.” Buck adds, the best suggestion yet.
We are the Rude Boys, and we are all over the age of sixty. Some of this team last played in a tournament five years ago, though I didn’t make the trip which reportedly became war of attrition to see who could still take the field by the end of the weekend. Guido won the battle, playing all the way through the last game.
Ultimate’s a young person’s sport for a host of reasons, primarily due to the weakness of our muscels and joints.
“Ten years ago, I ran a mile in eight minutes,” I tell Fin when we talk on the phone.
“That’s blazing,” his reaction. “I’ve got just the guy for us.”
“That was a decade ago,” I remind him, but he’s not listening.
I have to admit, just the thought of getting in shape and subsequently getting open sends of small hit of dopamine into my system. But then I remember the last time I played in a game. Fun for a bit, and then no fun at all. Just pain. We know how this movie ends. Disc goes up. Man chases disc despite message of protest from the body. Disc falls to the ground uncaught. Man walks to the sideline holding body part saying two words, “I’m out.”
When my daughter sees the notifications coming in over my phone, she asks, “Who was that?”
“Some friends who want to play ultimate in Florida.”
“Yes!” She says, remembering family trips to the white sand beaches of Siesta Key. “Can we come?”
“Not likely,” my boring Dad response.
“I can swim and ride, but can’t run anymore. I get hurt,” my way to deflecting the conversation.
“Run?!? You’re six foot seven. You don’t need to run,” she points out.
“Ha! Heard that before.”
“Dad, when you’re walking fast, I’m jogging,” she continues.
Nicole’s right, and so suddenly start thinking, “OK then, count me in.”
Meanwhile, Fin’s pitching to a group only half listening. “Three months to get in good enough shape to play 60+ ultimate. It’s doable!?!”
In the middle of our GroupMe banter, Keith posts a picture of Tom Rooney, reminding us of Tom’s birthday. Friend, Rudie, and avid cyclist lost years ago in a freak accident.
“R.I.P. Tom Mooney. Straight No Chaser,” a comment that reminds us of the precious lives we live.
“Just took a header off my bike today. Happy no broken bones,” a passing post from Buck.
“I did that last week too,” Chris adds.
“OK, the mountain biking vaca’s out too,” Guido concludes.
Not sure this group’s going to field a team, but I going to take the call with Fin and his friend Brent, a trainer who claims to be able to prop us both up in the three months we have before the first pull.
“Do you still have cleats?” Fin asks.
“I don’t know.”
Fin chuckles at the state of my unpreparedness.
“Fin, I can swim a mile, make that two. I ride my bike to work.” I defend.
“Rudie Can’t Fail!” my final post in the GroupMe chat.
“Rudie is Frail!” comes back from Chris.
Note: Fin and I have since signed -up to play on a team with friends from Boulder, and we’re now exactly a month out from the first pull.