This I Believe

Ryan - Clinton, Iowa
Entered on December 4, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: sports
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Connections through Frisbee

I believe in Frisbee and the grass beneath my feet. My feet are brown and green from the earth, and the skin under my toenails can never be cleaned. My hands are also stained and have red lines across my palms where I catch.

My closest friends and I used to visit the park every day, sometimes more than once, to stand in a circle and just throw the Frisbee to one another. We knew the park inside and out. We knew and all probably still know every trail, every hidden field, every hill, every forest, and how far out we could walk without falling off the cliff. We knew where all the best spots to look out over the Mississippi into Illinois were. We knew how to sneak in at night.

I believe in playing Frisbee in the day, I believe in playing at night with a special light-up Frisbee. I believe in playing Frisbee during class when the teacher is writing on the blackboard. In Frisbee, there is no winner, just the never-ending task of honing your own skills. You must train yourself to master distance, accuracy, and trick shots. After a heavy Frisbee session, everyone feels good. No one has lost anything.

Everyone can play Frisbee. The distance of the players can be adjusted for whoever joins your game, which can in fact be anyone, even a stranger or even a dog. Everyone at the park is there for the same reason, to have a fun time and forget about whatever else may be going on in the outside world. The park is sacred to me and my people.

Frisbee conversations are some of the most enlightening conversations you will ever have. Being outside, barefoot, under the sun, in the wind relaxes your anxieties and worries. Regardless of who you’re playing with, you feel comfortable enough to say anything that crosses your mind, without caring what the response will be like. There are no backward pauses in Frisbee conversations. The constant throwing and catching of the Frisbee is enough to fill up any holes.

I believe in something to live for, I believe in something to relax you. I believe in something to do with your friends. I’ll bet that none of those uptight yuppies who wear a tie to bed and have a phone surgically fused to their face have ever even touched a Frisbee.