Most importantly, when the experience is shared it transcends language, gender, age, race, and skill, joining us with mutual appreciation for the magic of flight and creation.
A co-worker has continually implored me to write about Frisbee so here we go. While Flying Disc Sports are more varied and nuanced than the decathlon, the general perception is that we “play Frisbee”. Realistically you would have to combine the decathlon, rhythmic gymnastics, soccer, basketball, baseball, and doubles tennis using two frisbees at the same time to begin getting the scope of Flying Disc Sports. The athletic demands at a high level of play are what you would expect with such an endeavor, yet the simple pleasure of play is affordable and readily accessible to all.
Since the holidays are upon us a human approach to our fascination with flight and Frisbee seems fitting. Playing Frisbee is quite frequently a “Wow!” thing in foreign countries and our story plays out in New Dehli, India in front of the 365 year old Red Fort. My sister and I began a game of catch with some trick catches and throws. Keep in mind New Dehli is a very, very, populous city, and as one might expect a crowd began to gather and watch. Within minutes we were completely surrounded by onlookers chatting and laughing with each throw and catch. Each time we did a new catch, a wave of murmuring and laughter moved through the growing crowd. Feeding off this energy we continued and within 20 minutes the crowd surrounding us formed a human arena within which our game of catch took place.
Finally we had that ‘shank’ throw which sailed well out into the now very, VERY, large crowd. My sister and I looked at one another shrugging and saying “well that was fun!” with our eyes. The crowd around us was easily a thousand strong at this point and a bit raucous. We were looking to ‘get out’ when the Frisbee soared up into the air from within the crowd where the errant throw had landed. There was much yelling and laughter as we stood and wondered what was happening with our playing area remaining open and oddly available. Time and time again the Frisbee would soar skyward like a beach ball bounced through the crowd at a baseball game. Finally the disc made its arcing way back to our center area where it was met with a roaring cheer from all around.
We then began a new game! We would throw two or three throws to each other before a high arcing ‘huck’ out into the crowd which was each time met with an immense cheer. The Frisbee would arc its way back with multiple throws skyward, this way and that back to the center area. This arrival was also anointed each time with another huge cheer. The situation had become absolutely joyous as the process repeated over and over! Time disappeared yet we reluctantly departed eventually only to be followed by a throng of people for many blocks through the city. We were Frisbee rock stars! Hot, humid, covered in sweat we had perma-grins as our entourage tapered to a dozen laughing, smiling youths…and yes, we gave away the Frisbee sans autographs.
The simple act of throwing a flying disc puts into motion the physics of gyroscopic stability and flight in one swift, graceful movement. Experiencing the flight of the disc combines our dream of flying with our mind and hands – our greatest tools. Most importantly, when the experience is shared it transcends language, gender, age, race, and skill, joining us with mutual appreciation for the magic of flight and creation. As with whatever our particular version of the holidays may be, “playing Frisbee” brings us closer, to celebrate time together and our common joys. So this holiday season, get a friend, get a flying disc, and let… it… fly! - Happy Holidays !