I feel that from the newly starting C league player to the top end national players people understand that while ultimate is one incredible sport there is a little something more to it than that…there is a community.
I have heard it called cultimate, but whatever you want to call it, it is something special. In my recent years where I can’t say I have really settled down to call one place home it seems that wherever I find ultimate I find a little something that feels like home.
As you go to the various ultimate events across the country you always find someone who knows someone just down the road. And that is what this trip is built on. A community of some pretty awesome people sharing the Spirit of the game together. A community that I feel like I can rely on to help me bike from one side of Canada to the other. I would like to see another sport that could boast that, and if there is awesome.
Now I have been playing this sport for over 10 years and I have one or two decent on field moments to look back on. But my off field memories are what really keeps it going whether it be making some life long friends, dancing at a raging rookie party, losing a tooth to a former Canadian rock legend, or hitchhiking 600 Km for a shot at qualifying for nationals and the list could go on.
My personal history within the sport is somewhat unique in itself as I have always been a bit of a wild card. My very spotty CV includes mostly seasonal work that generally occurs in the prime competitive season in Canada. So I have satisfied myself by playing in the shoulder seasons, generally picking up at tournaments in the spring with random teams and a solid 5 year fall run with the University of Guelph culminating in a championship in 2010. Of late I put in a winter, in 2011-2012, of touring in the 4v4 indoor league in Quebec and I played tournaments for Whiplash, a mixed team out of Waterloo, last summer thumbing it back and forth from my research job in the wilds of Northern Ontario and surprising even myself by committing to the plane ride for Nationals (I did hitchhike 200Km back from the airport though, which made for a rough Monday morning). In general I have a playing history with teams from Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick.
I am hoping that this little bike ride might serve as a reminder that while there is a movement at the highest levels to try and monetize this sport there is an entire underlying community that cannot be sold.