Under & Up

I met my wife Michelle through Ultimate Frisbee; playing on the Ellipse in front of the White House. There was instant chemistry, but she was involved so nothing came of it right away. Eventually we started dating and going to tournaments together.

One weekend tourney was in Delaware. Michelle’s team was on a different set of fields, so we didn’t see much of each other. But Michelle came over on a break, just in time to see an amazing catch. 😉 

Most great catches are the result of something going wrong and this one was no exception. The thrower was in the middle of the field and swung a pass to me on the narrow side but the throw was way off target. My defender had taken the inside track and had an easy possible block. But he got a little fancy and laid out for the block with a Superman pose: both arms stretched out in front, flying gracefully through the air, 2 to 3 feet off the ground. If he had done a side layout, only stretching one arm for the block, I wouldn’t have had a chance. My conscious mind saw the underthrow and started my body to move in that direction. I saw there was some space underneath my defender, then my unconscious mind took over. When this reflexive action happens, I usually get a slight gap in time, where all I can see is black, then my brain catches up with what’s going on; I often find myself in some new, unplanned position that I have to recover from. This time, my perception returned while I was sailing along underneath my defender, squeezed in somehow between the ground and his body! I reached up with one hand, between his outstretched arms; this let me reach the disc before him for a spectacular catch. He was a fairly small guy so having him land on top of me as we skidded to a stop was nothing. The thrower ran up as soon as she could to apologise for the bad throw and I cut her off, laughing “you may have set up the best catch of my life; thanks!” And better still, Michelle was there, on the sideline, maybe 15 yards from the catch so she had a great view. I was a bit disappointed when she smiled and said she had seen the catch; I was hoping for a little “wow!” factor from my new girlfriend. As it turns out, I had already developed a reputation for making hard catches though, so it was nothing new to her, 😉

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