Thursday, June 28, 2012

Shred journal update.

Day 2017.
I now have empirical evidence that getting warm on a hot day takes less time than on a cold day. I've always felt that was happening. Now I'm sure. But why?

Today was a lot of juggle work. And not the two bag toe juggle. No. Well, yes there are toe juggles but interspersed with all kinds of crazy Seamless ins and outs so I never stop moving in order to start juggling. I call this technique Seamless, and I take full credit for this Concept.

And I hit Atomic leg over Seamless-in to toe juggle a bunch o times.

I was making a juggle movie but my CPU kernel panics habitually now and I want a really nice piece. Codenamed: advanced Foot Juggling Skool. and no room to film on camera. Argh.

See ya!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Freestyle Footbag and Aging

The subtext of this blog is all about aging. It has been all along. Here is an article that addresses 'Aging' in the context of Freestyle Footbag.

Today is day 2004 of consecutive days shredding/training. I apologize for the long delay (and I always joke that freestylers should never apologize for delays) between posts on this blog. With yesterday's retirement of the great Derrick 'Funky Chicken' Fogle, due to knee injury after 30 years of playing, I am recommitted to revitalizing this blog and continuing to represent Freestyle for the aging set. To boldly go to public places and jam. To go to concerts and immerse my shred strings to the beat of the music. To write about it, film it, and promote the sport to anyone who'll listen.

I was recently asked 'Why do you still do this?' and I didn't have a quick answer. But it got me thinking. Why do I play? What is it that keeps me going? For over 20 years the answer was clear... I was training for the World Footbag Championships. My first year was 1985 in Golden, Co and I went every year for the next 19 years and made lifelong friends with all the competitors of the time.

When I turned 40, I was noticing that if I took 2 days off, it took a day to recover, and at that rate it would hold my game stagnant. So I decided to play everyday. This way I could move forward a bit at a time and never fall back. 2004 days later I am happy to report that my game is better than ever! Along this journey, I have greatly improved all areas of my game. I do tons of integrated frontside tricks, more difficult unusual surfaces, I'm light years ahead in juggling, I've invented a bunch of tricks (even recently), I've defined trick categories and expanded on them, I've published 163 YouTube videos at learned Dragon tricks on both sides, expanded the high add tricks I do and I'm in the best shape of my life!

One thing I have noticed is that endurance is down. This may be due to the 'way' I train, but most people would say it is due to me being 45 and a half years old. I'm not so sure which it is, but I'm going to spend the next few months counteracting it through 'Shred Sprints' three times a week. So the first reason I still play I because what I do is a kind of Athletic Magic, and I don't want to lose the magic!

I see myself as a family man, an athlete and a company man. My inner athlete has always had the credo that second place is the first loser. In fact, today I'm wearing the very shirt that inspired my credo. While my athletic career started in the 70's with the requisite baseball and soccer where I realized that in team sports, I was an epic failure. I went to gymnastics and gained flexibility. I broke my right tibia in an embarrassing skiing incident which led me to swimming as a recovery sport.  That is because when the cast came off, my right leg was half the size of my left. It turned out that I was really good at swimming. Varsity team as a freshman, but no state records or anything monumental. I was a swimmer when I first played Footbag. I got into cycling and idolized Eric Heiden for a while. Did some triathlons, and by 1988 had placed 5th in the World Championships for Footbag freestyle. The video of this I find hilarious and can be seen here.

Why do I still play footbag everyday?   First, I fear that I might lose the magic.  Footbag freestyle is so unique, what I do is a form of magic, and I love it.  Second, playing every day reinforces my self-image as an Athlete, even though my priorities have shifted over time, I'm still an athlete!  Playing everyday is my proof.  It also provides my third reason, healthy results.  Sure, I am a vegetarian and that accounts for the healthy diet side of my life, thanks in great part to my wife Valeria's amazing cooking skills.  Combine healthy eating and daily intense exercise and a healthy result is expected and attained.  I feel I'm in the best shape of my life, and I'm not at all the stereotyped image of a lanky/sickly looking vegetarian.  And lastly, I wanted to prove it can be done!   So many of my friends/competitors from the 80's and 90's have retired and either don't play at all, or have defected to the Net side of the sport.  Net is a whole other set of skills, and I applaud my colleagues for continuing on from great freestyle careers to become some of the best net players around.  I envy them for being able to travel to World Footbag Championships all over Europe, but someday I'll come back to Worlds because footbag is in my heart.

There's four great reasons right there!

See ya!
(Scott Davidson)

This posting is in honor of the retirement of one of my oldest footbag freestyle friends, Derrick 'Funky Chicken' Fogle.  I really think he'll get better and play again, but I shed tears when I just think about what 'footbag retirement' would look like.  I can't imagine it.  I have 4 years before I catch up to him in playing time, so Derrick, you have 4 years to recover and stay ahead of me.  I wish there was something more than encouragement in recovery that I can offer.  But I know he'll recover and we'll play together on a day in the not so distant future!

I'm preparing a video from my 2000th day of shredding, but here is one from yesterday, my 2003rd day.  It is shred footage from O'Hare airport while I was at a conference and had a great camera angle until my camera got a heat warning during a publishable string and shut down.  Enjoy!