A New Olympic Sport?

You get extra points if you immediately know what this image is and what it means. Until a few weeks ago, I would have had no idea  — A new kind of container for growing tomatoes? A techno-modern jewelry holder?  An industrial-minimalist magazine organizer? Good guesses. But all wrong. The orange part depicts a basket (or “disc entrapment device”) used in playing disc golf and, since this course was in the sandy wilds of north Florida, the arrows are directing you to the next hole so that you don’t get lost and subsequently carried away/eaten by hordes of mosquitoes. Do you know anything about disc golf? I was completely clueless until I hung out with my 13-year-old nephew and his mom (my sister-in-law) and dad (my brother) during our recent family beach trip. Banish all thoughts of lazily playing Frisbee with your dog — which, by the way, is never as successful as it looks on TV — because the only thing that carefree activity has in common with competitive disc golf is you throwing something. A disc-golf family like my nephew’s travels to courses and competitions the way other families take to the road for high-level baseball or softball games. When playing a course, competitors lug around backpacks filled with a couple of dozen discs and say things such as “This mid-range one is good for a hyzer flip, or should I use an overstable disc for a low-speed right backhand fade?” Since trees are the main challenge, my nephew suggested I make my first disc-golf attempt when we reached the one hole that was in the open — although you had to throw across a 700-foot-long ravine. Luckily, my brother volunteered to climb down and retrieve my discs that barely made it … well … I’d generously say 25 feet. This is serious stuff and much, much harder than it looks. I will never smile again when the subject of disc-golf at the summer Olympics comes up.

Olympics

I got a new gig this weekend — I got to write a sports column for the Tupelo newspaper, the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal! Yes, you are right that I know nothing about sports whatsoever. But I do know the sports editor — my husband, John Pitts — and he wanted to have something about the Olympics from a civilian’s point-of-view. I am a huge Olympics fan and every two years — I still can’t get used to saying “two years” instead of “four years,” can you? — I get so caught up in the competitions and so wrapped up in the athletes’ stories that I’m definitely sort of morose when the torch goes out and it’s all over. So I wrote about that at http://nems360.com/view/full_story/6487694/article-CATHY-WOOD. Go read it and check out the stellar job my husband does and the great other columnists, especially my friend Ginna Parson’s food stories on Wednesdays — great recipes.

And this past Friday in my weekly newspaper column in the TimesDaily, I wrote about girlfriend getaways — how to organize one and why you should. Read it at http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20100226/ARTICLES/2265001/ and then gather up your best friends and go have some fun.

Cheer of the Day

Even if we cannot agree on politics, can we all at least agree that Michael Phelps is one of the greatest athletes ever?

I thought so.

Like other former swim parents — and other parents who’ve done the rounds of 6 a.m./6 p.m. practices and all-day meets/games/matches in whatever sport their children have chosen — watching Phelps and his mom brings back tons of chlorine-soaked memories. Here’s what I wrote about that in my TimesDaily column this past Friday: http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20080815/NEWS/808150301/1004/life