Black Shorts Debut

That’s right, I’ve gotten a new pair of footbag shorts. Shout goes out to my honey for getting them for me; I love the new shorts, love you, thank you so much! 

Great weather, great time, felt great, kicked well, had an awesome time! Mizzou students are the best. I get all kinds of props from these peeps. I’ve got another in-depth student interview project in the works, did an impromptu 30-second interview for another project, and wound up on who knows how many other cell phones and cameras today. 

I remembered to search Twitter after my session, and found 5 tweet-outs. My favorite? the hashtag #badass. And, as usual, the words old and shirtless top the word cloud. Grooming the “Weird Old Guy” image? I’m doin’ it rite! 

Feeling great today too, smoking through 2:15 of high-energy oldschool before the first twinges of muscle cramps. I had a meeting coming up, I had to stop anyway. There was none of the popcorn calves or muscle cramps today; in fact I was able to hammer the bike pretty hard on my way home at the end of the day. 

Oh, I also decided to give my PhatTyre Pro to some some complete stranger, because he said he liked my videos and asked if I had an old footbag I could send him. Since my PhatTyre Pro was a gift to me, I decided to pass it on. Best wishes yoyoskater! Shred it up! 

2:00 last week, 2:15 this week, I’m up to 54:30. Thanks for tuning in! 

Roots n Blues n Barbecue Fest

Sorry, no video this week. Bringing along my video equipment is too much for the uncertainty of a music festival like this. I need simplicity and mobility: water, towel, footbags. Bicycle. 

My experience shows why. Ticket prices had doubled, and I didn’t want to pay $35 to play footbag (if allowed to) inside the gates for just a couple hours. I wanted a level, paved place just outside the fencing where I could hear the music. But the fencing and barricades were well designed to foil my plans. 
I found one decent spot near the Peace Park stage and kicked to one band for maybe 15 minutes until they broke set. I decided to check out some other spots again, taking off on my bicycle. It started raining! I ended up spending almost 30 minutes alternately seeking shelter from rain, or looking for a halfway dry spot to kick. 
Thank goodness I was traveling light! I was about to give up and go back home. I had stopped in front of a checkpoint, beyond which was a potential kicking spot that was still outside the wristband gate proper. One of the volunteers, of course, asked me if they could help me find my way. 
“No, I’m actually looking for a place to play Hacky Sack.” I said,  staring intently at an empty stretch of sidewalk, dry and sheltered by some trees, just past them and some cones. 
“Hey… ” the other volunteer started. “…aren’t you that amazing guy that I used to see play on campus years ago?” 
“Speakers Circle?” I asked, then, without waiting for an answer, “Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s me.”
I got the kicking spot.
It turns out this guy used to roam campus with a camera, and catch me kicking in Speakers Circle sometimes, nearly 15 years ago. Another volunteer at the actual wristband gate turned out to know me through the local newspaper discussion boards. He was delighted to have me kick right there, just outside the fence on a nice wide piece of sidewalk, where I could hear the band perfectly. 
It stopped raining, too. 
The rest of the session was awesome! People coming or going from the festival kept bunching up at the gate to watch, often pulling out smartphones or cameras for a quick shot or giving me props. The volunteer kept taking me up when people stopped. A number of people obviously knew about me already, greeting me with my preferred “Hack Man” moniker. 
Rarely does a session experience turn around like that. In the end, I was very pleased. And exhausted. I felt great. A day later, I’m still in the halo of euphoria. I love freestyle footbag!
1:45 / 50:15 – Thanks for tuning in! 

48th Birthday Footbag Bash!

And, a celebration of over 30 years of playing footbag!

(slightly marred by prosthletyzers…)

Overall, a great day, a great birthday treat to spend a couple hours kicking on Speakers Circle. I played well, but the heat and the sun together really took it out of me! 

I’m about to give Speakers Circle up for dead. Jeb and the hoards of his variants dominates the circle all day, every day. I haven’t been able to kick there during session without a conflict with these people for a couple of years now. Never a break, never a shred of courtesy, never even the vaguest consideration of sharing the space. Not even today, on my 48th birthday, 30-year celebration session. 

Today’s group was a particularly (cough) righteous (cough) group. I swear I had to ask one of them to stop prosthletyzing to me over 10 times in a row. Another kept coming over, suggesting I move elsewhere, asking when I would leave, just being… abrasive. Most of them made snide comments about my footbag while they were hogging the circle. 

Oh well… I still had a great time kicking and got lots of props from the students. I didn’t shoot much video, just 4:20 worth over 2 hours, but… I wrote stuff like “It’s Hack Man’s 48th Birthday!” and “Celebrating Over 30 Years of Kicking!” in sidewalk chalk around the circle, and “Hacky Circle,” and of course my wacky internet handle, h4x354x0r! 

I’m very pleased to be celebrating over 30 years of footbag. It’s been an incredible journey. I’ve met incredible people. The gift of footbag has been one of the most powerful positive forces in my life. I grew up, emotionally, in the footbag community. It took a long time. I’d like to thank the footbag community for their incredible patience, and ask forgiveness for being such a flaming fucking ass sometimes.  

Footbag really changed my life. It was that spark of inspriation, of passion, dedication, purpose, and the joys and rewards of hard work. It was, for lack of a better analogy, my salvation. Because footbag did so much for me, I felt compelled to share. I traveled. I competed. I ran tournaments and clubs. 

It took me 15 years (and a couple of kids) to realize footbag was MY salvation, but it wasn’t going to be EVERYONE’S salvation. Yeah, slow learner there  

It’s still totally awesome, because footbag can still be my salvation – even if it isn’t anyone else’s. I’ve loved footbag since that first circle, where for one of the first times in my life I was encouraged to keep trying an activity with a group, despite the fact that I sucked. That gave me so much momentum that I ended up getting pretty freaking good (for my day). And, I still love playing footbag today, just as much as I ever did. More than ever, in fact. 

At this point, I would go so far as to claim my weekly footbag sessions as spiritual. I drink a gallon of water and sweat it all out, cleansing my body. I lose myself in the music and the motion. I push myself. I inspire students. I get my funky groove on. I completely exhaust myself. People are always grabbing a quick shot of me with their phones and cameras. It rocks! It almost always leaves me with an incredible sense of physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness. 

Maybe I should try to declare Hacky Sack my official religion. But, why bother? I believe it is, regardless, official declaration or not. It works for me.  

Keep being beautiful, everyone! 

2:00/ 48:30 – Thanks for tuning in!