The Importance of Music

Playing Hacky Sack to music is what it’s all about, for me.

I love kicking to music. Some of my fondest memories of footbag are kicking to live music at the KC Jazz Festival as a young punk that could go for hours on end, and kicking to live music at the Twilight Festival when it was at the courthouse, especially the year after I was inducted into the Footbag Hall of Fame. Something about having that challenge of the beat, and the heat, of the music… It really is what I kick for.

For my first Springtime Bloom on Speakers Circle, I got this tweet-out:


Getting called an 80 year old is hilarious enough alone, but I’m truly touched that this person saw the 80 year old man… DANCING. Never even mentioned the Hacky Sack. And, I’m totally OK with that. Take the Hacky Sack away, and that’s what I’m doing. Now, give me my Hacky Sack back, or I’ll kill you, but… that’s still what I’m doing.

When my camera cratered and left me with just my phone to either play music or record, I was devastated. I went from enjoying my footbag sessions, to full-steam frustration, in just a few days. Trying to record footbag suddenly became an anger trigger. This was NOT good. I had to do something. And finally, after one false start, I got the right cable and another iPod and finally got a completely separate source for music, so I could shoot video while kicking to music.

My average rally length doubled immediately. Tonight, even better. A couple really sweet nearly two-minute rallies. What I might not be doing is focusing on 3-add move strings. That just becomes less important that interacting with the music. Also, during my last 2 sessions at the Rec Center with music, I got more people stopping, watching, giving me thumbs-up. Thank you all for your support!

Ironically, no matter how important the music is for kicking, I’m a total music slob. I’ve had the same playlist to kick to for nearly 20 years now, with just a few random additions. I love listening to music, I love kicking to music, but I’m obviously the garbage disposal equivalent of a music consumer. I think that’s why I especially love live music so much; it’s extra different and fresh and really inspires me. Someone needs to help me curate a new kicking music library. For everyone’s sake, not just mine!

But garbage disposal, whatever… I do love kicking to music. It’s what I’m all about, when it comes to playing footbag.

Special thanks to Jorden Moir for recent encouraging words of self-affirmation.

Thanks for Tuning In!

Kicking at the Mizzou Rec Center

It seems amazing that my winter membership at Mizzou Rec is already almost halfway over. It took me awhile to get a media pass to start filming myself there. Since then, I’ve had camera problems, and other distractions that have kept me from posting. But finally, here’s a 2-month roundup of Rec Center Footbag videos for you!

The Rec center has approached me to ask if they can do a blog post on me. Not sure if that will still happen, but stay tuned I will let you know for sure if do!

Thanks for tuning in!

The Health Report, 2016 edition

Good news is, it’s mostly good! It’s been more than a year since I gave up on the Medical Industrial Complex for solutions to my chronic health problems, and implemented my own program of footbag as physical therapy. It’s been working. It’s been working infinitely better than anything the M.I.C. has done. I can walk again.

I still have problems with my ankle, for sure. If I step wrong, it still hurts. There are lots of activities that I’m still afraid to do because I think it would hurt my ankle again. I still have some fluid retention in my left foot. But still, it’s better. It rarely hurts while I’m kicking anymore, and again, I can walk mostly without pain too. That’s a big difference from a year ago.

Since getting a membership at Mizzou Rec Center, I’ve been doing a lot more solo kicking than usual. Lance runs off to go ski with his buddies in Colorado; I sweat over torques and drifters in the racquetball courts, squash court, or if I’m lucky during break when not many students are around, in one of the main gymnasiums (LOVE the space!). But, the solo shred sessions are testing my limits. It seems like 3 sessions a week is about all I can do without over-stressing my body. I feel like I’m getting stronger; I’m hitting more, more difficult moves again. Yet somehow, I’m still really struggling to put it all together.  There’s some component of balance, or power, or a little of both, that still eludes me.

While my ankle continues to improve, my knees seem to be getting worse again. That’s probably to be expected given the sudden surge of solo shredding I’ve been doing. I’m considering the platelet injection therapy, it’s still just way too expensive for me, and insurance still won’t cover it. I’ve been having more difficulty with my “weak” side moves because my right knee just doesn’t bend very far before it starts hurting.

The rest of me is mostly better too. I’ve still got serous work-stress issues to deal with, but I’ve been very diligent about leaving work behind when I leave. I ride my bike a lot more. I play Hacky Sack lot more. I care about work a lot less, I never look at work emails when I’m off. Doing this makes me feel better, both mentally and physically.

My back, which I still believe is a crux of all my other physical issues, is marginally better. I’m having some really strange issues with muscle cramps in my legs, especially at night, that feel associated with my back problems, but I’ve been able to manage that with careful sleeping habits.

Not much else to blog on the health front, just the life of a slowly aging, lifelong athlete. Rest assured, I’m not going down without a fight.