categories: Cocktail Hour
I’ve become soft, pampered and isolated, living up in this big house that all my Frisbee money bought me. I’m tired of it all—the money, the fame, the servants. I need to get back to my roots. Need to train like I did when I first came up, just a Frisbee-throwing street urchin from Worcester, MA.
Decided drastic action was required. Told Fox Searchlight to can the movie about my life as an Ultimate player. Instead of heading to L.A., I ordered my pilot to fly Hammer 1 down to Tampa. It took all afternoon searching downtown but I finally found Gus in a seedy, rat-infested hotel. He was drooling, could barely speak, clearly strung out. But still I knew that he was the man who held the secret to my comeback. Only someone who had stared into the fires of hell could help me go through what I had to if I was to once again become who I was. My first job is cleaning him up. Then the training begins.
On Gus’s counsel, I ate the brain of a sharp-shinned hawk for breakfast. He tells me it will help me acquire raptor-like skills.
I told him that I’m made of money and am looking into buying a bionic right arm. He said no. He insists this has to be all natural, like Rocky training in Siberia. No steroids for me, not this time around. Need to throw rocks into a rock haulers chute and chop trees and climb mountains.
I started today with a half-mile jog, Gus biking alongside, screaming at me through a megaphone. Now packed in ice.
Played Ultimate this morning with the local hooligans. They sneered and laughed at me, spat. Mocked my short 70s shorts. “Old man,” they yelled. I just took it. Need to get back to my roots. No fancy modern throws. Just hard man-to-man D. I will earn their respect.
When I got back Gus had me lift a weight. Fifteen pounds. It was a bitch, but I did it. Proud.
Now packed in ice.
The local kids tell me I need to get some new music. They grow weary of “Flying High Now” played on an endless loop. I tried “The Night Chicago Died” and “Brandy” but they didn’t get it. I try to explain that this isn’t just about training. It’s about trying to get back to a time and a place that has long vanished. They scoff.
I tell them about my Herschel Walker workouts from the 80s. A thousand push-ups and a thousand sit-ups. I tell them that’s what I’m doing once again, minus all the push-ups and sit-ups. Mostly I just talk about the Herschel Walker workout. Not sure what effect this has on my overall fitness.
Flew Gus up to my mansion on Hammer 1. Had the servants give him a sponge bath.
“They’ll be expecting you to play righty,” Gus says. He has convinced me that I should play lefty instead. Need to take the other Grandmasters by surprise. So I now do everything with my left hand. Eat rice, pick my nose, even you know what.
At the key moment in the Grandmasters final I will switch my pivot foot and huck it deep lefty. I’ll shock the world.
Put up a chin-up bar in the backyard. The most I’ve been able to do so far is zero.
Now packed in ice.
At one point in my career I wanted to win nationals, then masters. But I understand now that what I really always wanted, deep down, was to win a tournament that had the word “grand” in it. Grandmaster!
This morning I went back to the bridge where my bike accident occurred. Stared right at that fucking thing. Swore at it. Took a plank from it and brought it home. Burnt it in a ritual fire. Put the still-burning plank to my tongue. I need to get so I feel no pain.
“No pain,” Gus echoes.
This afternoon he let a weasel go in my backyard. He told me that when I can catch it and drink its blood I’ll be ready.
Decided I needed to travel back the tough fields of Harvard, the place where I first learned the game. Told my pilot. “Keep Hammer 1 in the hanger.” No more pampering. I flew up on a commercial airliner, along with the rabble.
Ran stairs in the stadium, just like the old days. Heart palpitations, not like the old days.
I’ve noted that there are no rules against human growth hormone in the current Ultimate rule book. True, I’ve heard that they can be bad for your health, but no matter. This isn’t about health anymore. It’s about redemption, whatever the cost. It’s about blood and sweat and hate.
Getting stronger. Did a pull up this morning. More like half a pull-up.
But if not really getting stronger then definitely getting quicker. Cornered the weasel today, but got scratched up pretty bad.
And another development: I have decided that God is on my side. The Lord clearly wants me to win Grandmasters. Flew Ray Lewis in on Hammer 1 and he agrees. He also got me a good deal on reindeer cream. Feeling stronger.
Another challenge in the comeback is finding a team. Not a lot of suitors yet. Odd that they don’t want a selfless defensive stopper. Perhaps I have been too self-effacing throughout my career? Perhaps I should have promoted myself more? But no regrets. Humility is my gift, not brashness. And, humble, I go forward.