Dodgeball has become something of an obsession for me.
Last weekend, along with 19 friends, I set a new Guinness World Record for Longest Dodgeball Game Ever. We played 36h and 45 minutes without sleep, and raised about $6200 for the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
The players, mostly photographed by Ryan Tacay.
Interesting things I observed about playing dodgeball for 36 continuous hours (10pm Friday January 7 to 11am Sunday January 9):
Our energy really came and went in spurts. For me this was tied quite noticeably to how much sunlight was coming in the windows and whether or not any of my friends happened to be watching the game at any given moment. Late lonely nights were the worst; bright sunny mornings were the best.
I only slept two 7-hour shifts the next day, and then I felt pretty much back to normal, about as sore as I’d be after a standard one-day tournament. This was unbelievable since at 4am Sunday morning I seriously felt like the walking dead. I was so exhausted and sore I could barely stand up. By 9am Sunday morning, though, on the home stretch, I was vibrating with energy and leaping all over the court like a total maniac. Go figure.
Changing socks feels really really good when you play sports for hours and hours on end. We pretty much coated our feet in baby powder every couple of hours. There were little foot-silhouettes in sprinkled patches of baby powder all along the sidelines of the court.
Food becomes really really unappealing when you play sports for hours and hours on end. I was hungry but totally turned off by the idea of eating, so I barely ate anything: mostly just cereal with almond milk, a couple of granola bars, and some fruit smoothies.
I fully planned to do an hour-by-hour liveblog of the event, but my laptop was used to livestream the game on the internet so I had nothing to type on, and plus I discovered that I totally did not care at all. Even if I’d had the technological means, I discovered that once we started, documenting the experience became the least interesting part of the experience for me.
I am very grateful that there were skilled photographers in attendance who took awesome shots. All the action shots in this post are by the extremely talented Michelle Yee, who was present on all three days and probably stayed around for a total of at least 12 hours, something of a marathon in and of itself.
I played for so long the tips of the fingers on my throwing hand BLISTERED; I didn’t even know that was possible. Somehow, though, I managed not to injure myself at all. The next time I played dodgeball a week later, I sprained a finger fairly badly playing a very gentle game of warmup catch.
My personal goal for the game was to learn how to jump. I practiced this skill for about half an hour during the first overnight by picking a spot on the court, uncomfortably close to the centre line, and setting a rule that I could not move laterally to avoid attacks- my only options were to duck, jump, or catch. It took a couple games of getting pegged in the feet, and then I figured it out.
We got quite a bit of media coverage, including CNN, omg.
The CNN dodgeball feature is online here.
My teammates are total BADASSES. They played through 36 hours of exhaustion and injuries, and they did it laughing.
Huge respect to Helder Brum, who came up with this crazy idea in the first place, and the players (seen here from L-R): Lesley Seig, Will Serediak, Beth White, Matt Neundorf, team captain Bryan Cesar, Michael Lasiuk, Ryan Tacay, Helder Brum, Jordan MacLeod, Andrew Trumbach, Christ Gammage, Matthew Silveira, Tracey Oliveira, Steve Villeseche, Malena Andrade, Jen Ritchie, Scott Hepburn, Sabina Monaco, Christine Mack (and the last person in the pic is me, obvs).