Lunch Break: Frisbee

November 8, 2011

Employees playing frisbeeI really enjoy playing frisbee. It is a sport that adapts well to age, ability, number of participants, and desired activity level. It is social and can be either serenely calm or exhilaratingly fast-paced. For me, catching is as much if not more fun than throwing. The float of the disc provides time to accelerate and push harder to reach the target before it drops.

Growing up I would play Frisbee with other neighborhood kids on my street or with my sister in our backyard. We would play for hours: tossing, catching, and talking. We would play makeshift games of Frisbee® golf. We would attempt the least number of throws to reach the holes: a tree trunk, light pole, or Mrs. Henry’s front porch. We played with natural hazards such as tree branches, cars (parked and moving) and Mrs. Henry’s screen door. Run! Fun times…

In high school we would play pick-up games of Frisbee on the front lawn during lunch, including Ultimate — much like touch football but without touching (at least in theory.)  During really intense games we sometimes take an “extended” lunch, which rarely included food. I continued playing Ultimate in college, with a close-knit group of co-op students on a muddy football field. Somebody dive!

I was glad when a group of engineers here at Sealevel agreed to join me for Frisbee during lunch. We started in early September, when the summer heat was still in full effect. Now that fall is here, the cooler temperatures are great for playing. All are welcome to play, and I hope our group continues to meet and grow. Check out more photos from our lunchtime game on Facebook.

We began in the front parking lot, but decided the risk to life and property may be too great so we moved to the front lawn. The trees are ever-present participants in the games, either interfering with the throws, making a catch, or taking down a player. The gentle slope of the hill provides an added dimension to the game, causing encouraging comments like “X and Y are good, but needs more Z!” Everyone understands. Watch a short video of our game.

Engineering involves a lot of up-close work, highly detailed and generally behind a desk or lab bench. It is great to get outdoors, go for long distance throws and catches, and spend time with coworkers outside the scope of project requirements. I have found my afternoons to be more productive and focused, albeit at the expense of a few sore muscles the next day, well worth it.