Rewind back to 2004, Hong Kong. I’m in sixth grade, and I’m looking at some afterschool clubs to join with a friend. Ultimate frisbee. Sounded like a badly named board game. I show up. Show up again. Next thing I know, I could throw a flick, not a backhand.
Fast forward to 2007, Taipei, Taiwan. I’m in eighth grade gym class. We have an ultimate frisbee unit. No way. At the end of the unit we have a test. If you catch the disc in one hand, it’s extra points.
Fast forward again to 2010, Singapore. I’m in a high school Physics class with a BYU grad as a teacher. Being a former BYU player, he naturally sponsors the school frisbee club. It's a ragtag club. Half the people that show up come out barefooted (unwise under the tropical sun on the turf). Basic game play was highlighted by just bombing it deep and hoping someone catches it. We invite a local high school for a friendly game. My first form of frisbee competition. We get destroyed by a real team, not a club full of barefooted high schoolers.
Fast forward to 2013, Shanghai, China. My family lives here now. Meet S.U.P.A., the Shanghai Ultimate Players Association. They play Monday nights and Saturday mornings. I show up on a Saturday morning. We are about to pull, “Let’s put you in the cup”, they say. “What is a cup?” I think. We get the disc. “Get in the stack.” “What stack?!” That was my first taste of real, organized frisbee.
2015, Provo, Utah. A friend gets me to show up to a BYU B Team practice. “Oh, that’s a stack.” “Oh that’s a cup.” I’m finally picking it up, 11 years after my first taste of the sport.
And now here we are, 2017 in Provo. After only picking up the flick, and now adding a backhand to it, I have the opportunity with BYU CHI as a member of the A Team. It’s been a long journey since picking up this white piece of plastic as a sixth grader. The sport has followed me to many countries, but the spirit of the game stays the same. Yes, it’s a real sport, and it’s everywhere.