This video features highlights with some of my thoughts as voiceovers.
Thanks to Theo 'DaMadGreek' Demeris for letting me use his audio tracks for background music! Check his channel at: http://www.youtube.com/user/DemadGreek
The dialog from the movie is posted below:
At this point, ive been playing footbag for over 27 years, but when I turned 40 in 2006, which at this point is1500 days ago, I decided to start playing every day, this short film is really just a compilation of clips from practic sessions that we call shreds, with voice overs that reflect my thoughts. I hope you have as much fun viewing it as I had making it.
I'd like to thank the mad greek for providing the background music.
During this time I've been on such shows as America's got talent and local news like wgntv in chicago.
This is my son Alex in a consecutives contest at NYJ at holiday sports festival an annual event that we host.
This is just days after my 40th biryhday when I started playing every day.
My sessions last typically about an hour, sometimes I do 2 sessions a day... but not more than 2x a week. But at a 1000 kicks per session, comes to about 1.5 million tricks over the past 4 years or so.
When I turned 40 back in 2006, I became obsessed with the concept of "Use it or Lose it," and looked at my errratic shred session schedule, and decided to put my obsession where my mouth is, and play every day. So while I have been practicing the craft for the past 23 years, I had undertaken a commitment that was a great personal challenge that would lead to introspecition and some basic truths.
I've come to some conclusions, things like those little pains that never go away, you've got to play through them. They are just a trick that the body plays on the mind as it tries to get out of work. Little pains go away a little after starting. Injuries are different, but I'm fortunate not to suffer from any serious ones.
Sometimes just getting started was the hardest part. The mental game was strong here. I found that after I made it through my warm ups, that I no longer wanted to blow off my session. What I gained from this is an ability to recognize and overcome the mental chatter that might otherwise supply me with excuses to skip my session.
I also couldn't let the lack of a location become an excuse. I boldly walk into hotels and find a spot to play at, sometimes in a forgotten stairwell. Mainly I play at Mammoth Springs with seclusion and wind protection, at the service entrance at my workplace, or in my living room. Whenever possible I play at festivals, concerts and promote the sport.
When I worked downtown, I'd go out in front of my store in full body running thermals, put chemical hand warmers under my toes just to stay warm. And when I'd end, I'd literally have steam coming off of me.
Whenever possible have music to kick to , it really makes it better when kicking with music.
I pretty much always warm up with the same tricks every day, I call them "Warm up strings". 10 in a row, infinity osis, ripwalk, paradox whirl, spinning butterflies and blurs and blizzards.
I always end with a worthy "Out" string, thats utilizes the things that I had been working on that day, along with my other tricks in a really long string that would be worthwhile to publish on like say, the internet.
Speaking to the mental part of the game, I try to think of it as play time, or recess... not really a workout. Work is hard, it's not work, it's fun, it's play, I have a great time doing it.
Early on, back in 2007, my hip started to hurt. But it was a blessing in disguise as it changed my focus in a new direction... I started working on my flipside which improved my game and gave my right hip the time it needed to heal.
I also find, that when I have a goal, something to focus on, when I get into my workout, I get warm faster, it's a strong motivator for me, and when I achieve those goals, I feel a sense of success.
In order to get the most shred time out of a single recess , which most people call lunch... I wear my kicking shorts and shirt under my work clothes, and just shed layers to get started.
I think an hour long lunch is better spent shredding, because a 15 minute break is really twice as long as it takes to eat.
We've kicked at theme parks, like disney world, at parades in Oak park, at the Daley Center and many venues. We'be been kicked out of many places too, by the security there. We call it the 'Security Test" when the Security guard passes us up and keeps walking then we've passed the security test, if not then we have to deal with security and hope we don't get kicked out.
This is footage from Lollapalloza in 2009.
Rob McCloskey inspired me back in the day, when I lost 50 lbs. playing footbag, that was back in 1992. He said 'Kick 1000 Kicks a Day' and I said 'How about a 1000 Tricks a Day." And I carried a counter with me, and after I did my strings, I clicked off how many tricks I did. And I wouldn't stop until I reached a 1000 tricks, which took a little over a half hour to complete.
I did have a lot of accomplishments in the past 4 years or so. Including 2nd in the World with Keaton Halley in Doubles Footbag Team Freestyle. And while we were training for that, we went to California and filmed for Americas Got Talent, but we didn't get on the air.
Here is some rare footage of me kicking in a field
And for the first time, in 2010, I got see the footage of me winning the World Championships in 1999. Thanks to John Hentges for that.
During this time, we attended events such as New Years Jam, Midwest Regional Championships, Windy City Open, several Funtastik events, Taste of Chicago, Blues Fest, USOpen Tennis Championships, several apperances on WGN-TV, WGN Health fairs, jockey underwear contest, America's Got Talent, Snicker kicker, mountain dew spec ads, won a camera from a Cheerios contest and I plan to enter more contests!
It's sometimes hard to get started, always hard to stop.
Thanks for checking it out!