Blog 21- 640

Blog 21 - 640

June 5, 2021

640. 640 days between the last time that I stepped foot on a Frisbee pitch. I did not put my boots on, in the year 2020 and did not cut or throw once on a pitch. So I guess that makes today pretty huge when you think about it- somewhat of a ‘start of a new chapter’ where the time of me in my flat alone is permanently over, and the time for things to open up and for my life to continue back to semi-normal has begun.

We got a lift from Big Neal, Big seven-foot-tall Neil, to Sterling, his knees sandwiched the outside of the steering wheel is as he drives. It was a pleasant trip. We got out of the car and it just seems too familiar – the pavilion that I stood beside not too long ago – it was only a graduation, and a job and a global pandemic ago. But yesterday, right? We walked forward and down the long path by the golf course and it just takes me back. So many amazing times with so many amazing people, not just here but across Scotland but the UK and this is where it all began.

As we go onto the pitches I felt the grass hitting my shoe. I looked over and I saw the landscape that was there before – unchanged. I look towards the far pitch and I see the Aberdeen team, the team we’re playing, and I’m greeted with a few friendly faces. Not many, not everyone, but enough. I remember you guys. Hey Kevin, hey Dan, hey Ringo etc. Just like that. That’s them. Again. Finally. As we walk over to the pitches, past the big stupid rock chilling in the middle of the Sterling of the ground. I was just, I was almost at peace – back to where I should be. For everything that has happened, all to lead me back to here, the place where, to a degree, my life started. 

So the game.

We sat our bags at the sideline and I scanned over the pitch- they’re…small. I forgot how small they are. We started a little bit of a warmup, the atmosphere was quite a jokey one, bewildered to back. “I can’t believe we’re back here, it’s mad.” The warm-up flies by so quickly and all of a sudden, I’m starting on the O Line on the first point. Audrey says “Johnny, you put yourself down as a handler didn’t you? I couldn’t believe that which I guess was a little bit confusing.” Well, now the pressure is on for me to play well now. I take a breath. Pull goes up and the game begins. 

The disc finds its way centred to me. Here we go! My under cut is from Nick and my does he burn his defender. I’ve made one of these passes hundreds of times and but now, after such a long break, it’s almost confusing and unreal. I questioned, is that what being free on an undercut looks like? My brain took a while to process it and eventually came up with yes, that’s what free looks like. I threw it straight to the defender- that’s not what being free looks like. I think I may have forgotten. The first turnover of the game was mine. It was kind of nice though. Someone had to be the first and now it takes the pressure off. I was okay with that. I remembered what being a handler was, the responsibilities it held. It’s all coming back. 

I’m getting into the game at this point and a couple of points later, Nick throws a half-pitch hammer to me for the score, like we’ve done so many times over the years and I don’t know- I just felt normal. I guess for a brief hour or so, we would no longer be in a pandemic. Obviously, we couldn’t stall or discuss calls but yeah, it was normal if you can call it that.

I’m into the game now. We set up on a D line point and an ex-Dundee player Graham shouts to me and says “Johnny, we’re gonna bracket!” so I dig through the memory bank and start poaching off. I can see the panic start to set in from the Aberdeen girl as her options are limited she throws a floaty rolling backhand. The animal instinct just kicked in. I’m chasing this down like a predator and launch myself as I’ve done before. The disc grazes my fingertip and flings out of bounds. I just got aA huge layout D. I guess at this point, I would have had some glaring like massive hype of “I’m back baby, here we go” and my testosterone would skyrocket. But I was almost in shock- a confused state. Nick ran towards me with excitement as he was so hyped but I was too busy being confused to get a hyped feeling. We score that point with me assisting Nick and for the rest of the game, things were weird because they were good!

A few posts later, the score was 9-6 and we call a zone. I volunteered to be chase. I opted to go for chase because I thought it would help my fitness and three passes in, I was regret everything and I couldn’t breathe. It was good, though. We get them to about the halfway line and they’re passing around the handlers and I have one quick turn my knee twisted funny and started to hurt a little bit. The point ended and I came off, played around with it, but I decided to take the cautionary route and called it. It wasn’t worth it.

The game finishes with a loss (probably because I came off) but I didn’t really care. It was more about the fact that I played with Nick and the rest of the Glasgow team, in Sterling on a Saturday, as opposed to me, by myself, In a flat, doing nothing, every day, waiting and I’m praying for today for right now. It all came down to this, and I didn’t disappoint. 

Final match stats:

1 X Assist

1 X Score

1 X turnover

1 X Layout D

No incredible stats, but enough to say I was happy with what I did and at the end of the day, it was good. I’m very happy. I’m back, baby.