Travis Smith: me resume, bio and photos back t' th' main Cap'n's log page
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I be competin' in th' 2014 Canadian Ultimate Championships this week in Waterloo, Ontario, wi' Legion, a Vancouver masters ultimate team.

Just readin' that sentence astonishes me, let alone it actually bein' true.  Wow.  Travis be goin' t' play in a national sports competition.  Travis be on a team that’s good enough t' play at th' national level.  Travis be playin' sports successfully at a competitive level, full belay.  “Saywhat?” seems t' be a fairly common reaction from those who be knowin' me when they hear about it.

Afore in th' summer, I told me dad I would be goin' t' Waterloo, Ontario, this August fer th' national ultimate playoffs.  Th' ornery cuss didn’t seem particularly excited, but I simply thought that be because Th' ornery cuss didn’t understand th' sport very well—it be still a little opaque t' that scurvey dog, so I made that scurvey dog watch a Nighthawks game on YouTube. Th' ornery cuss liked it but it didn’t really help, I thought.

Weeks later, I told that scurvey dog that I be finally wearin' me jersey, which had arrived at th' last minute, and that I be pretty stoked about that, as th' minnows say. Th' ornery cuss paused and then stammered some, and it be then I realized, that Th' ornery cuss had thought I be goin' t' nationals as an audience member—hardly a poor assumption, given me track record…

“Saywhat” definitely escaped his lips, too.

Backgrounder fer those o' ye not yet converted: Perhaps ye don’t be knowin' much about ultimate. It’s played wi' a frisbee, on a large field wi' two end zones at either end, much like a football field.  Yer team has seven people on th' field at a time, and when ye have th' disc in yer hands, ye can’t move (just pivot like basketball). So ye have t' throw th' disc t' one o' th' other six people t' advance up th' field, and ye’re tryin' t' complete a throw into th' end zone, which scores a point.

If th' other team blocks yer throw or th' catcher just misses it, th' other team gets possession o' th' disc. They get t' work it back down th' field th' other way.  It’s like an organized game o' keep away, but wi' as much cardio runnin' as ye can handle.

Background Part II: I started playin' ultimate when I be in high school—1988, I believe.  But I didn’t get serious about it until… well, depends on yer definition o' serious, but I started playin' regularly when I moved t' Vancouver in 2004. It’s fair t' say that ultimate has changed me health and me life fer th' better.

Okay, background o'er.  Ah aye… Me track record before this surreality be an actual track record—in high school, I be on th' track team, a long distance runner who be in exactly two meets, and didn’t come in last in either one, so far as I allow meself t' remember.  I wasn’t not good at distance runnin', but I certainly no nay ne'er went t' nationals, provincials, regionals… what’s before that, sectionals? I might have been in a sectional—isn’t that a chesterfield? I’m so confused.

Th' team I’m playin' fer here in Vancouver, Legion, be a masters team.  “Masters” doesn’t indicate skill or education level, it’s age—it means all players must be o'er 33 years barnacle-covered. It’s agist, thank goodness—whippersnappers be speedy, and we prefer t' win by wisdom and careful plannin' fer retirement. But kiddin' aside, th' guys I play wi' be astounding—they be smart, fit, skilled, experienced and have a powerful winnin' sail. It’s an honour t' practice and play wi' them.

It’s an all-men’s team, which isn’t uncommon in other sports, but ultimate be often played co-ed, especially at th' recreational levels. So that’s been a big adjustment fer me.  And simply th' level o' knowledge and style o' play, that’s been intense t' keep up wi'. I’ve been practicin' several times a week all sprin' and summer wi' th' team, which has been aroun' fer several years.

Now, I’m by no means a stellar player fer Legion. I be intimidated at times, I’m not particularly versatile, and I don’t spend a lot o' time wi' th' disc in me hands. Th' men o' Legion be fantastic overall, though: a driven and focused bunch o' players who at their best can pull together like a zipper. They want t' excel, and they give their utmost; they be winners at heart.

Some o' them be poor teachers, able t' do but not t' explain. I come across this th' most frustratin', because from them I can only learn by watchin', tryin' t' figure out how they decide which way t' cut, when t' pause, how t' fake believably, whether t' dump or huck (a short safe pass or a long goal-scorer). Others on th' team be brilliant coaches and trainers; wi' a few words, they have, morrrr than once, improvin' me game noticeably in a strata whar every percentage gain counts. And all o' them be generous wi' their time and focus—Sandy especially.

I don’t be knowin' our chances, but it’s certainly our goal and expectation t' go all th' way and win gold. We’re in it t' win it, and I’m super impressed wi' th' efforts me teammates have made in practices and tournaments along th' way—and I’ve been workin' hard too.  Ye can ask Emily about me diet and me bucko Vic about me early mornin' throwin' practices.

If ye want t' look at th' schedule, me first game be Thursday at noon Eastern time. We play at least 8 games o'er three days—th' ninth, if we play it, will be fer 1st place. There be even a chance some o' our games will be streamed by I Be Ultimate.

If ye be lookin' fer scores, there’s a fancy tool online  or hashtag #cuc2014. We’re playin' in Rim Park (th' Blackberry company got th' namin' rights), and th' weather looks t' be decent—cooler than Vancouver, actually.

There’s a lot o' people who have helped me along th' way, but I think I want t' name check just two at th' moment: Eric Baron, who be th' Cap'n when I joined East Van Halen, me first and best-loved Vancouver casual co-ed team.  Th' ornery cuss made th' sport fun and be passionate and intense and tricked me into bein' Cap'n when Th' ornery cuss left.  Thanks, Eric. And Pete McCann, who be on th' VUL Board wi' me, and invited me out t' play.  I’m thankful fer his generosity.


“Th' sad truth be that most evil be done by people who no nay ne'er make up their minds t' be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I be knowin' does trade large portions o' his life fer entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one o' them. In th' course o' writin' this I’ve watched all 13 episodes o' House o' Cards and who knows how many morrrr West Win' episodes, and I’ve spent any number o' blurred hours fallin' down internet rabbit holes. All instead o' readin', or writin', or workin', or spendin' real time wi' people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there be gods and they be just, then they will not care how devout ye have been, but will welcome ye based on th' virtues ye have lived by. If there be gods, but unjust, then ye should not want t' worship them. If there be no gods, then ye will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in th' memories o' yer loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play wi' variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only th' person who has learned Continual Love comin' from a heart o' Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal wi' th' problem o' loneliness.”

...who said it?







I say this without a hint o' sarcasm: I be truly impressed. Best o' luck, or break a pegleg, or whatever well wishes ye launch t' an ultimate player!


Posted by arianek
  at 10:22 pm on Aug. 13, 2014




thanx fer sharin' yer story...


Posted by naaz
  at 3:41 be on Mar. 14, 2015




this be crazy and all th' best.


Posted by crazy facts
  at 12:24 be on Sep. 7, 2015

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