My “Ultimate” adventure: Frisbee in Korea

13394182_10107755044924740_3295552212795574563_n
Can you believe this is me? I NEVER remember to jump!

It’s official.

After 10 months in Korea, I’ve had too many awesome (and bizarre) experiences to count. I’ve seen historic palaces, hiked through amazing scenery, and tried spicy-ass foods (even octopus). But one of the best things yet is my journey into the sport of Ultimate Frisbee.

In March I joined the Republic of Korea Ultimate league or ROK-U. The league has 15 teams from across Korea. Teams play 14 games over the course of two months.

Joining the league would never have crossed my mind if it weren’t for my friend, Deni. Deni is always on top of the latest happenings here in Korea. I get the feeling she was the same way back home! (Side note: Deni and I met on Day 1 of this Korean journey and I couldn’t be more thankful to have snagged such a good friend.) Anyway, she, being the go-get’em gal that she is, proposed joining the league to pull us out of the winter doldrums.

And I thought Minnesota winters were depressing… Jeesh. Korean winters are just grey on grey on grey. After feeling a bit down in the dumps, we agreed that this was a great idea.

20160507_162728
My KBFF, Deni!

ROK-U teams are selected through a draft. You fill out a little survey thingie and the frisbee gods gauge a new player’s skill level/commitment from there. The cool thing is that the league is played on a very inclusionary level. It’s meant to let beginners try out the sport while more advanced players can improve through practice and teaching the nubes (like me).

Despite the league’s STRICT NO-REQUEST POLICY (haha), Deni and I cajoled them into letting us be on the same Daejeon team… PANDEMIC-HUH!

Little did I know this team would be full of so many new fraaands.

12957460_10154152139534973_5978642073148267700_o
Aren’t we cute?

Now, when it comes to sports, I’ve got all the makings of a superstar. Tall. Athletic. Aggressive (sometimes borderline scary). But all my life, I’ve just been exceptionally average on the playing field. Or court. Or whatever.

12888512_10207133715755345_7059609949131403560_o
See? This is how silly I look. ALL THE TIME.

Not bad, but not amazing.

Which is why I LOVE playing team sports. Every once in awhile I pull off something sweet. But 99 percent of the time, I can just let my superstar teammates do the winning stuff and still make me look awesome. 🙂

This team was no exception. I got a chance to play with some amazingly talented, fun and goofy people. And I didn’t even KNOW you could be talented with a frisbee.

13260286_10153127191794229_4928135180811570277_n
This Pan is hot!

Over the course of the season, I got to know my team and so many other good people throughout the league. I also got to see a handful of cities I may not have otherwise visited. We played in Gwangju, Ulsan, Pohang and Busan. How cool is that?

13335927_10207556206717355_2412663030193590675_n
Veteran player Tae Hwa and me in Busan on Dadaepo Beach (다대포해수욕장)

We wrapped up our season 7-7. Not bad for a team with a lot of new players. But our team leaders were patient and generous about helping rookies, which made a big difference. For me, it allowed me really fall in love with the sport. I can’t wait to go home and find a team to join… where ever that may be.

If you’re new to Korea and looking to meet great people–may I recommend this? If you’re old to Korea and looking for a fun team sport–may I also recommend this?

13450253_10153157364499229_1265708726831556068_n
Ajumma life.

But you can’t have Pandemic… they’re mine! All mine!

Just kidding.

You can have them. You should have them. They are too good to be kept secret. I love you, guys!

13335838_10207555051888485_3194390024349019055_n
Spring 2016 Daejeon Pandemic on the Pissing Contest statue, Busan

For more information on the ROK-U league, click here.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “My “Ultimate” adventure: Frisbee in Korea

  1. What!? I’m so painfully jealous of this! I’m so glad that you all pulled together after that brutal winter and played tons of ultimate frisbee! It’s such an underrated sport, I swear. It sounds like you guys had such a fun time! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s