BE Ultimate sponsored athlete
by BE Ultimate
taly has experienced a wide variety of restrictions and changes over the last year. For Giovanni Santucci, this has been frustrating. Trying to figure out how the team will be able to practice from one week to the next is a constant chore, but the good news is that the team has been able to get out and train regularly since May 2020. This has allowed for great time spent with the team but brought Giovanni up against the realization of how important tournaments and interactions with the international ultimate community are to him.
“As the cheesy phrases say on Instagram, you don’t know the value of something until you’ve lost it, and now I can really feel how important it is to me to play and be around my teammates. The thing I miss most is tournaments, to connect with friends and new people.”
It has been a year of realizations. After moving out for the first time in his life so that his elderly grandmother could get the care she needed, Giovanni found himself alone and operating under a different training regime than normal. It sounds daunting, but in the end it was a positive experience. Giovanni used to train because he had to, and got through workouts because he wanted to be more competitive. In the last year though, he has come to appreciate training for training’s sake and found it motivating just knowing that there would be something to do at the beginning or end of the day.
“I really can’t think about life without training now that I’ve experienced it. I’m even more pumped to go back.”
But the training wasn’t all external. Living alone for the first time was a brand new experience for Giovanni, a natural extrovert with a love for socializing. It allowed him to look inward, realize what he liked and didn’t, and gain depth. He noticed the strange dichotomy of quarantine, being forced into isolation and yet constantly having people reach out.
“It’s put me in a spot where I can think about what I was going to do, what I want to do, and what I should do. Quarantine has given me some depth.”
He’s been fortunate though; although he has missed tournaments and international experiences, Giovanni’s had the opportunity to interview a few of his ultimate friends through work. He’s taken up work and study in the osteopathic field of medicine, a calling close to his heart after an osteopath helped him recover from repeated ultimate injuries in the past. It was a lucky opportunity, located near where he lives and in need of someone with a sports background, just like him. It was a natural fit, and even better, it gave him the opportunity to once again reconnect with the ultimate community outside of Italy.
“Now when I write to my friends on social media, I really mean what I’m saying. Like ‘oh man I can’t wait till we meet again,’ and now I really mean it.”
It is undeniable that quarantine has been challenging, but Giovanni shows us all what one can accomplish with some time away from the field. From self-reflection to connecting with old friends, while ultimate tournaments are on hold, life is not. Giovanni has looked at himself, furthered his career, taken up skateboarding (with moderate success), and is still more excited than ever to get back out on the field. Isolation has been hard, but through it we can all come together.
“The right dose of loneliness is a medicine.”