A few tokes before a round of tennis can yield rewarding results. (Seth McConnell, Denver Post file)

Weed Sport: Finding balance, inspiration and focus on the court

I hadn’t added edibles to my pre-workout regimen since 2010.

The last time it happened — call me young or stupid, maybe both — had been before a collegiate club soccer match. Brownies were passed out under a fading utility light, and I had barely chewed, but swallowed — anything to deafen the intense competitive vibes. I was shaky, and my stomach no longer followed the laws of gravity, pressing itself into the northern walls of my torso. It was the championship match. My sportsmanship was in question, and with a string of prior yellow cards, the on-field aggression had left me in hot water with the league’s administration.

We lost that night, which is beside the point, because something much more powerful took hold of me. I played the game with a tranquility that had, for my entire athletic career, been foreign. Marijuana opened the field up into readable patterns, and instead of bull-rushing midfielders and running over strikers, I was passing the ball off without contact. I was playing clean soccer.

Yet, four years later, it’s as though I’d forgotten that metaphysical experience on the soccer field, that point when that optimistic brownie high made me understand the beauty in sports. Since moving to Denver from Los Angeles, years after my soccer career’s end, my girlfriend and I have picked up tennis. It is a Saturday tradition. At first my aggression, like the days of old, was palpable. My girlfriend has witnessed, time and time again, me curling over, ropes of vein bulging in my neck, as I twist dramatically to my knees.

And for what?

A lobbed shot during our weekend excursions to the local tennis courts? My girlfriend says it’s a problem. And she’s right. My competitive nature can go too far.

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We share a unifying link in our passion for sports and marijuana. We’ve grown in age and romantically. When we first met I remember watching the Disney classics in the basement of her college house while intermittently taking hits from a steamroller. Now we play tennis, chatting cross court about the beauty of our backhand, the way we chased that ball down the court.

My competitive edge is slowly melting more and more each week into passion for the recreation of the sport — and the high. In the living room, wearing a headband and armed with a silver grinder and an eighth of Durban Poison, we will roll a joint and start stretching before heading to the courts.

I don’t believe in the stereotypes of pot. The couch-potato clichés. Marijuana, when paired with sports can emotionally transform the athletic experience in positive ways. In this column, I’ll wager my experiences and opinions, and if you want, you can give me feedback (send e-mail to ldfiser@gmail.com). Tell me about your workout regimen and how it has been affected by marijuana. I’ll do my best to answer your questions, while acknowledging anything that relates to the topic at hand: marijuana and sports.