Sometimes in life, you have those moments you will never forget. One of those moments for me was when I first played the beautiful game of Ultimate Frisbee.
In the summer of 2003, I was twelve years old. My neighbor came over to my house one Saturday and asked if I wanted to come play ‘Ultimate’ with him and some of his friends. I had no idea what he was talking about, but I agreed to go. He had a Frisbee in his hand so I figured we wouldn’t get into too much trouble. We went to the park, and that was the first time I saw the game of Ultimate played. I immediately fell in love with the sport and have been playing this beautiful game ever since.
When I got to college, I knew that I wanted to play Ultimate. I figured that most colleges had some type of team that I could play on, but unfortunately I happened to choose one of the only universities in Utah that lacked a Frisbee team; Utah Valley University. There were high hopes of having a fully functional Frisbee team, and many steps were being taken to make that possible, but the program just wasn’t there yet. I came to find out through some of my friends I made playing with the Orem Ultimate Frisbee League, that BYU had both an A and a B team. I was told that I could play on the B team for BYU even though I was a UVU student. I immediately found out when the practices were and started attending.
I loved playing Ultimate for the B team, but I often found myself watching the A team. I wanted to play with them. I wanted to play at the highest level possible, but at that time it was not a possibility for me. It made me sad that our colleges couldn’t have a combined team, but no amount of longing would change any of that. I decided that if I wanted to play Ultimate for BYU, I was going to need to transfer, so right then, I made that my goal.
I knew that in order to transfer to BYU, I would need to retake some classes that I had not received adequate grades in, but that was okay. I had set a goal, and I was going to get it. Over this past summer, I took 17 credit hours at UVU to raise my GPA. It was one of the busiest and hardest summers I have had so far. I had to sacrifice playing with the local club team, The Killjoys, in order to fulfill my dream of playing Ultimate on the BYU A team. I had the support of the coach at BYU, Bryce Merrill, many of the players I had become friends with and my family. Many people believed in me even when I didn’t think it was possible.
In mid-October, I received an email from the BYU admissions office informing me that I had been accepted as a transfer student. The first person I called was the coach. I called him before I told my parents. I was beyond excited. I had finally fulfilled my goal to play for the BYU A team.
This upcoming season, we, the A team, are going to be traveling more than we ever have. We have the amazing opportunity to play Ultimate at the Florida Warm-Up. Not only do we get to play, we are representing the entire Northwest region. I am excited to rub shoulders with some of the best college players the game has to offer. I am excited to test myself physically, mentally and spiritually, as well as make new friends, meet new people and make memories I can tell my kids and grandkids about. I can tell them how their old man accomplished one of his dreams.
Someone might ask "Why?". Why am I doing all of this when I can’t make a living off of playing Ultimate Frisbee? Why am I putting so much time and money into Ultimate? For one reason and one reason only, because Ultimate is my passion.