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My wife introduced me to Ultimate Frisbee when I was visiting Madras, just before I was due to move to Cupertino (2007).
By the time I moved to San Francisco a year later, I was enjoying playing the sport. I found that there was a recreational league in SF, and signed up for it. Another great experience in my life. I loved playing the rec league - the friendliest bunch of people, the most encouraging and patient - they taught me to play and love Ultimate. In fact, I realise I miss playing Ultimate over there at the SF rec league so much that playing in India does not compare at all.
After playing every Tuesday evening, we'd head to the Irish Lion just bordering Golden Gate Park to get a beer and food. Initially, I'd do this after every game and have a great time with my team mates. And every 3 months, the teams would change. But we'd all crowd in at the Lion and I realised that's how everyone knew everyone - everyone was everyone's team mate at some season.
Around this time, I was getting into my idiot phase with fitness and nutrition. We all go through that, when we take it a bit too seriously.
Is there gluten in that?
What?! That touched oil. I cannot eat it.
This was kept next to the sugar?!? Of course I cannot even contemplate eating it.
That's the idiot phase. And I did something more idiotic and completely missed the point. I stopped going to the Lion after rec league because I was not drinking, and I was "eating healthy".
Two ways to look at this. One, it was a phase of my growth and learning. I could've stuck to my guns of not drinking or whatever, but the point was to socialise and have a good time with mates.
Or two, which is where I am now after a few years of maturing. A beer with friends does more good for you than a stringent diet.
Instead, I chose option C. The idiot option. I wised up. Eventually.
The idiot phase taught me a lot of things about deprivation, about willpower, about sticking to a plan. And it also taught me that I should not be missing out on more important things in life - like a beer with friends and team mates.