(Editor’s note: RattlingChains.com welcomes Andre Frederick to the writing crew here. Andre lives in the Pacific Northwest and will provide some interesting commentary about disc golf from his eyes. Welcome Andre to the staff of Rattling Chains!)
By Andre Fredrick — RattlingChains.com Staff
I’ve never been the athletic sort.
My youth saw me as an awkward, chunky lad with limited athletic ability. I tried tennis lessons, and, I even took up junior varsity football, but no sport could maintain my interest. I wasn’t terribly competitive and didn’t find myself motivated to compete against others.
Toward the end of my high school days, I discovered disc golf.
Some friends and I would visit the Burke Lake course in Virginia occasionally on weekends to play a casual round, using old Lightning discs that a few friends had collected.
While I had fun, I didn’t realize then what the game held for me. I honestly kind of dismissed it.
After high school, I moved to Iowa to pursue a college education, and even through those years, I hadn’t thought about disc golf. After graduating, I moved to the Twin Cities to room with a college friend, Matt, and enter the workforce.
These years would re-introduce me to the game that has since changed my life.
Lamenting our lots in the rat race, Matt and I began to play disc golf. We often called in sick to get out and play. It quickly proved to be one of the few activities that would get me outdoors. Matt and I would talk about our woes, share our plans for the future and forget the drudgery of adulthood, all while chasing plastic discs around Kaposia Park.
Parenthood and marriage soon changed many things in my life.
Once more, I forgot about the game of disc golf as I grappled with fatherhood and being a husband. Those weekend jaunts to Kaposia quickly faded into little more than memories.
In the course of my seven-year marriage, I went from being 240 pounds to a whopping 360. I was depressed with my weight and struggled with the pressures of being a parent and partner. In an attempt to salvage things, my then wife and I moved to Portland, Oregon, hoping a change in scenery would improve the state of our union.