It was 5:45 AM. The pounding rain and monotonous buzz of the alarm gently coaxed me from a deep, warm slumber into a state of questionable alertness and droopy eyelids. As the tendrils of morning light gently teased my eyes and I woke up, a wave of doubt crashed over me. Would I be able to compete? Would I be good enough? This was the first day I dared venture into competitive, league ultimate frisbee: my first tournament. For me, the tournament served as a pseudo-inauguration to the frisbee team. When I was amiably encouraged by a few friends to give the sport a try, I had no idea of the influence that this tournament experience would have on the rest of my life.
As we arrived at the fields, my psyche was still soaked by the waves of doubt and self-consciousness. Being a new player, I lacked any true experience on the field; the extent of my throwing skill was a mediocre backhand and a wobbly excuse for a forehand.
Beyond that, my only attributes at the time were an eager persona and the ability to move up and down the field at a somewhat reasonable pace, somewhat being the key word. Thankfully, as I joined the team huddle, the waves of doubt were swiftly washed away, ushered out by the kind words, welcoming spirit, and open minds of the upperclassmen on the team. Immediately aware of my status as a novice, the upperclassmen assumed responsibility for teaching me the ins and outs of the game, personally coaching me on a wide range of fundamental skills - things like cutting, defensive positioning, and how to properly "mark" the thrower. Thanks to their conscientious mentorship and assistance, the weekend turned into a concrete learning experience, far from the rainy,