The content strategy program in Graz doesn’t give you a break. We’re constantly tangled up in tasks or group projects. During the summer months, when other students flee the city, we’re researching for our project work. Doing all this work besides your actual work is exhausting. I was close to a mental break down more than once.
Chasing the Frisbee across the big pond
In July this year I took a well-deserved break (of course I missed a webinar as a punishment). Other cosis (that is what we call ourselves ^^) go for hikes in the mountains, a nice city trip or a relaxing family holiday. I, on the contrary, was far-off from sipping Pina Coladas on a white beach on an island.
I took part in the World Ultimate Club Championship in Cincinnati, Ohio this year. But let us rewind quickly. For those who don’t know me or my hobby, I play semi-professional Ultimate Frisbee. I started in 2014 in a course at uni and was instantly hooked. I like to challenge myself mentally and physically, which is one reason why I love this sport so much because it combines the two. However, what I love even more is the lifestyle and culture it comes with. I met my best friends through Frisbee.
But let me elaborate a bit on the sport.
Ultimate Frisbee is a non-contact team sport played all over the world, but mainly in the United States where it was also invented in the 1960s. It is a mix between basketball and football. What’s really special about the sport is that it is entirely self-officiated. There are no referees, not even at the highest level of competition. Players call fouls and infractions themselves if they felt like one or the other occured and then discuss it with whoever is involved. It relies on sportsmanship and the „spirit of the game“. In The Official Rules of Ultimate, 11th Edition it reads:
Ultimate has traditionally relied upon a spirit of sportsmanship which places the responsibility for fair play on the player. Highly competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of the bond of mutual respect between players, adherence to the agreed upon rules of the game, or the basic joy of play.“
That is why I love the sport so much. Unlike in football (or soccer) players don’t fake being fouled or injured. No one is lying on the ground pretending to be hurt. Referees don’t have the risk of making „wrong“ decisions in the heat of the moment. Fans don’t get upset.
If you want to learn more, Wikipedia sums it up quite nicely.
Here’s a really great women’s game. Molly Brown from the United States vs. Revolution from Columbia.
Plus a highlight reel from the World Junior Championship in 2016 for those who don’t have the time to watch 100 minutes of Frisbee 🙂
So I spent a week in the United States in 30 °C running around on a field chasing a disc. Let me tell you, I had a blast! We’ve finished 21st from 40 teams in the women’s division, which we’re really happy about. It was a once in a lifetime experience playing a sport with so many badass women in such an empowering environment.
On top of that it was the perfect opportunity to get my mind off of all the stress at university. Frisbee kept my mind so occupied during the day and the following tips helped me stay away at night:
Don’t even think about bringing your laptop
Leave your computer at home! Don’t tell your boss you might be able to do some work. Don’t tell yourself you need it for entertainment or research purposes. Most importantly, don’t use your holidays to try to catch up on content strategy tasks. Shame, shame, shame!
Delete the Slack app on your phone
Muting the notifications is not enough. Get rid of the Slack app before going on vacation. If you use Slack at your workplace as well, you’ve just killed two birds with one stone. No one can bug you anymore. Enjoy the silence!
Read something not related to content strategy, you nerd!
Bring a novel, a magazine or your washing machine user manual. Dive deep into something that has nothing to do with content (I know it’s hard, everything is content, right?). This will spark your creativity and give you strength for your next semester.
Go for a walk, have a great conversation with your partner or friends at dinner, listen to the newly released album of your favorite band that you haven’t gotten around to listening to yet, ’cause content strategy is taking over your entire life.