Monday, June 9, 2014

Call to donate to Ultimate Peace

Dear friends and family,

As some of you know, I will be travelling soon to participate as a coach in the Ultimate Peace Camp in the Middle East. Ultimate Peace (UP) is a non-profit that provides a unique opportunity for kids from all backgrounds in the Middle East to come together and play ultimate frisbee with people who they wouldn't normally meet from around the world and around the corner. Ultimate, with its amazing culture and community, self-officiation, and mutual respect, is a useful tool to provide for these kids who will grow up trying to resolve conflict in one of the most difficult regions of the world.

After going through a careful selection process, I have had the honor of being selected as a coach! Having the opportunity to coach in the Middle East is so incredible to me because I believe I can make a positive impact to these youth by using my experiences and my own diversity that I bring to the table. The idea of combining ultimate frisbee (a sport I’ve loved since I first met it) and children from diverse backgrounds, in order to teach respect, integrity, and non-violent methods of conflict resolution (while having fun!), will be a truly unique experience.

Ultimate Peace is a volunteer led and driven organization and almost all of its money goes to the program. One of my main duties as a volunteer coach is to be a part of the fundraising team. The budget for the 2 camps this summer is $200,000. Raising money is necessary in order to enable me to volunteer, cover the costs for my participation, and help fund the camp.

If you are willing and able, it would be wonderful if you can give to Ultimate Peace in my name, by going to this link: Any amount at all is great, because even the smaller donations add up to helping me reach my goal!

Please feel free to pass this along to anyone that would be interested in donating. In addition to monetary donations, any other kind of donations are also encouraged (i.e. travel miles, energy bars, shade tents, hats, cleats, discs, jerseys, etc.)!

If you have any questions, you can email me at Otherwise, thank you in advance for your support! I’m so excited, so if you see me before I leave, I will most likely be skipping with glee until camp arrives! Thank you again for taking the time to read my letter.

Peace and happiness,

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Here Comes The Skyd Train

It's time to jump back on the horse and stay in the sports writing world for good. I will be joining the 2014 Skyd College Tour! The college women's ultimate coverage team has come together, and is headed by Ryan Thompson, who has been a critical part of Skyd since 2011. The other members include Kami Groom, Zoe Bluffstone, and Rachel Happert.

We will be traveling and covering the most significant stories at 6-8 tournaments across the US, including Queen City Tune-Up, Stanford Invite, Centex, Northwest Challenge, DIII Warmup, and Midwest Throwdown. Check out this Skyd post for more details and dates.

I'm deeply excited to be part of this talented team in what is shaping up to be another fantastic season in the College Women's division.

Rapidly approaching:

- Look for me at President's Day (tentative) and Stanford Invite!

- Preseason Rankings!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Any minute now...

Any moment now, I'm expecting to get an email from Richard Dana informing me on whether or not I made Team USA for U23 Worlds. It's been a long month in what in reality is the shortest month of the year. East coast tryouts were held February 2-3 in Orlando, Florida, and here I am, still anxiously (read: ANXIOUSLY) awaiting to hear back from the coaches on their final decisions.

Regardless of whether I made the team or not, the true reward of this whole experience is the fact that because I was invited to tryouts, I had the opportunity to meet amazing players and people my age. I want to review my experience at tryouts to share with you why I love ultimate so much, and why that will never change.

Understand this: There are around 80 women across the states from the original 500+ applicants trying out for approximately 35 spots on the women's and mixed U.S. team collectively. This means you have to convince the coaches that somehow, you are a better fit for the team than about 50% of the tryouts. I don't know about you, but I would rather flip a coin and guess whether it lands on heads or tails.

Even with this crazy amount of pressure and unfavorable odds, the atmosphere of the tryouts was not one of overly aggressive attitudes and putting down the opposition. It was instead an atmosphere of absolute positivity, real teamwork, and bringing up the players (not opponents) around you. The tryouts felt more like a summer camp: a really, really intense 2-day summer camp.

The weekend's activities consisted of warm-ups, drills that focused on isolating particular aspects of the game, a combine, and scrimmaging (3v3, 5v5, 7v7) from 10am-6pm on Saturday and 9am-3pm on Sunday. Throughout all of these tiring activities, the energy from the players never faltered. We were loud on the sidelines, readily gave and received positive feedback, and cheered for one another. High fives were given aplenty.

In addition, no one hesitated to point out when someone did something awesome, even if it meant giving the spotlight to another player in front of the coaches. Everyone freely raved about each other's strengths and successes: "Edith, you are so FAST!" "Julia, can you jump over the fence again?!" (That girl has UPs) "Sweet grab!" "Sick fucking D, Claire!!".

On top of the endless positive energy and attitudes, the level of play was unreal. After that weekend, even though the hours of play were similar to a regular tournament, my body felt like it had been through 3 tournaments, simply because it was a concentrated higher level of play for an extended period of time. There was no such thing as an "easy match-up" for a point. Every match-up proved to be difficult, and everyone's body and mind was working to be at its best the entire day for both days. I was sore from top to bottom until Thursday at best.

It was so inspiring to watch and play with so many talented players in my generation. To know that there are so many amazing people around the U.S. that truly know the game of Ultimate, meaning they value the highest level of play AND Spirit of the Game, is something that needs to be recognized and emulated by everyone. Knowing that these players went back to their respective hometowns is reassurance that this can happen.

By the end of the weekend, I knew all of the other 35 women's names and felt the strong desire to be all of their teammates. In a way, we all had become teammates, if only for a fleeting weekend. We went back home, high from Ultimate, and immediately began to find each other on Facebook: Social media's representation of the connection we all now possessed between one another.

Statistically speaking, I made 40 new friends on Facebook as a result of the U23 tryouts. However, the most important measurement, my enduring higher quality of life gained from that weekend, shows that I am truly a winner.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It's go time.

Lefty High Release took a hiatus due to my inability to blog while playing frisbee. It seems that I enjoyed playing more than recounting, but not anymore! Jenny's back from the block and ready to show what she came here to do!

Updates since my last post:
1. Carleton wins Open College Championships over Wisconsin, and UCSB wins the title over Michigan on the Women's side.
2. I tore my other left ACL in late May and had surgery on June 23, 2011. Don't worry, I plan to be back for the spring season!
3. I get (sketchily) cut from Atlanta's Ozone team, and make 1st-team All Region in the Southeast, alongside my good friends Megan Reeves and Abby Schuster.
4. Georgia Tech women look solid! Only 2 graduating seniors, and plenty of talented rookies. CCC will be our first tourney of the season.
5. Keith Raynor continues to involve himself with Wreck even though he now lives in Columbus, OH by creating this awesome highlight vid.
6. I still love ultimate!

I plan to venture fairly deeply south and east into Florida for this year's USAU Club Championships. Loud, occasionally obnoxious, cheering (particularly for Chain, Sabre Corp, Bucket, Reckon and Ozone) and adult beverage drinking by the beach is on my agenda. Players and fans alike, be ready to go hard in the paint down in Sarasota, Fl. This showdown is only a yearly event, so no holding back!

Feels good to be back on the interwebs. Check back again soon for more ultimate related stylings by LHR.

Leah T.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Preventing a Season-Ending Injury: Namely the ACL Tear

It's double game point of semi-finals. You've been playing hard all weekend and your team can either lose now and be done, or play one last game for all the glory. However, after this play, you're done for the next 6+ months whether you want to be or not, because you tried to catch a pass over your head and came down wrong. You heard a loud POP! in your knee as you collapse to the grass.

This is an example of the unfortunate, yet frequent incident: tearing the anterior cruciate ligament. Of the four ligaments in the knee joint, the ACL is the most commonly injured, with the majority of cases being young (under 25) athletes, mostly female athletes. I myself tore my right ACL in March 2010, and had surgery 2 weeks later. Going through that experience has made me a stronger, more aware person and led me to my new-found passion for Physical Therapy. However, it could have been avoided with knowledge and prevention measures. It is important for ultimate players, especially women, to educate themselves about ACL injury prevention. The following information is my efforts to spread the ACL word.

Words from the Wise, i.e. Dr. John Xerogeanes.

Dr. X, as he is more commonly known, is an Emory orthopedic surgeon at the Emory Orthopaedic & Spine Center. Here is a video of his advice to preventing this injury. To summarize his video, these are the ways you can decrease the likelihood of tearing your ACL:

1. Make your body stronger. This includes incorporating exercises into your routine that make your body strong, pliable, and have more endurance.

2. Landing correctly after jumping. Make sure your knees are straight forward, not towards each other, when you land by looking in a mirror.

3. There are special ACL tear prevention programs you can participate in for further knowledge about this subject.

I hope this has helped you learn more about ACL tear prevention. Spread the word to your teammates!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Lei-out and the upcoming college season reminds me Why I Play.

With 120 teams at Lei-out this past weekend on the gorgeous, widespread beach of Santa Monica, CA, it's hard not to love ultimate frisbee, beach or grass. Thousands of smiling people gathered Saturday morning, greeting old friends and meeting new ones, and prepared themselves to play in one of the biggest beach tourneys in the US. Minimal wind speeds and temps in the low 70s were the sprinkles on top of an already delicious beach cupcake.

Lei-out was my first 2-day beach tourney (I played in 2009 at Surf-n-Turf in Destin), and I was set to play on one of the two USAU 2011 Beach Worlds tryout teams. Everyone on the team met for the first time, and it showed by our lack of chemistry that the other A-bracket teams possessed. Fortunately, we began to learn each other's strengths and played significantly better on Sunday. Our record may not be impressive, but my new teammates certainly made an positive, lasting impression on me. I'm so ecstatic that I got to play with amazing people, (and 2 days later) amazing, lifelong friends. Much thanks to Dave Hammond, Ev Kramer, and Alison Regan for organizing the teams and making it a great experience. Also, a shoutout to my new best beach homies: Hale, Jerry, Dutch, Kyle, Lopez, Lisa, Remy, and all my other teammates :) You guys rock!

If you're interested in applying for the USA Beach Worlds team, you can still apply until Jan. 31 for a fee of $25 at the USAU website.

Before I move on, check out GT Women's College Spotlight on Youth Ultimate's website.


I've been thinking a lot about what I can do to help Wreck accomplish our goals for this season, and my mind meandered (as it often does) its way to thinking about all the reasons I love ultimate frisbee, which I'm sure has happened to everyone at least once. These are some of the reasons why I play:

* Efficiency - Ultimate combines the endurance of soccer, the speed and transition between offense/defense of basketball, and the strategy and play-making of football. Why play 3 different sports when you can reduce it to 1?

* Spirit of the Game - Society is time and again governed by the phrase, "Everything is yours for the taking," even if it means taking away from another person. In other sports, more often than not, it's OK to foul if it's to your advantage, start fights, and belittle your opponent. However, because Ultimate is centered around SOTG, we can simply play a sport in its purest form, no b.s. or drama necessary (note the word necessary, meaning unspirited arguments can and do happen). Spirit of the Game also extends off of the field. Just by being at an ultimate tournament, you are connected with every other player present, and that is proven by the numerous friends made over the course of a single weekend.

* Camaraderie - I've played several team sports with this aspect present. Ultimate is one of these sports. The difference is that ultimate has a higher volume and more intimate friendships than any other sport I've participated in. If someone asked me who are my closest friends, chances are I'm going to name my teammates and other players.

* "Fashion is the only cure" - Two things I love: colors and clothes. Frequently, you'll see me combining them (I'm super cool like that). This is the only sport where you'll find people playing in outrageous outfits, ranging from plaid skirts and footy-pajamas, to pink jerseys and matching argyle socks and beyond. The myriad of whimsical attires clearly represents the spirited, silly aspect of Ultimate.

This list is only a fragment of reasons to love and play Ultimate frisbee, but I will end it here for now.
Stay tuned for posts regarding Southeast Team Previews and avoiding the dreaded ACL injury.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Prelude to Prospective Posts

Hi. I was inspired to create this blog after reading an email about an effort to increase media coverage in women's ultimate frisbee. I plan to cover the Southeast region for women's college during the upcoming season. Mind you, I am novice when it comes to publications. However, I can definitely talk about ultimate for an immeasurable amount of time, in other words, Without Limits.

Lefty High Release will serve as a vehicle to increase women's coverage in general, as well as to relay current happenings with the Georgia Tech women's team, GT Wreck.

As for me, I'm a bubbly, free-spirited individual given the birthname Leah Roxas Tsinajinnie, who happens to be deeply in love with ultimate frisbee. We all have our stories about how we got caught in the gripping net that is Ultimate (which I would love to hear about if you so wish at leaht16 @ gmail dot com). Mine is probably similar to yours, unless the story is that you grew up in the ghetto and participated in ganglike activites, one of which was playing an unknown, dirty style of ultimate. In which case, no, we do not have any similarities whatsoever. My style of playing comprises of, but is not limited to, sneakily tossing high release lefty backhands (SURPRISE!), launching big hucks of backhand or flick origin, breaking the mark, dismantling zone defenses, and any other handler-like actions, all of which include smiling :) because remember, frisbee is fun. I am the captain of Wreck, alongside Kelly Kloster, and I enjoy every moment with my awesome teammates and Keith Raynor (coach). I'll add more about Wreck and myself in the future as I see fit. For now, work off that holiday belly and start getting into shape for spring, with some cardio and strength training.

I know you've been eyein' some sweet ultimate merchandise, such as this or that, as potential gifts. Let's hope your friends noticed that drool drippin down your face as you perused those products and has the heart/money to satisfy your wants.

Until next time,
Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!