Disc Karma – Play It Forward

Disc Karma” – action, seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad, either in this life or in a reincarnation when it is related to the actions of a disc golfer and/or a disc they locate or have possession of.

“Disc Karma” is a phrase and term that if you spend enough time around courses or players, you will hear it. More commonly, in my experience and usage, it relates to the simple facts of when you find a disc that is not yours, it has contact information on it, and your decision to contact (or not contact) the listed information you may have positive (or negative) results in your disc golf life from that single decision. Naturally, this is not based on scientific data or research, but I choose to believe that it can be true. It adds a great layer of interest into our sport of disc golf and the ability to “Play It Forward” for positive effects which only help everyone involved.

 Most recently, I was the recipient of great positive disc karma. I feel that it was in direct relation to the numerous discs that I have found and all my attempts to contact the persons listed on them. It is a very rare occasion that I lose a disc and this instance was a true surprise for me.

 This week a gentleman contacted me via text message that he located a disc, it had my number on it, and he wished to let me know he had it. I was naturally curious since I had not lost any discs for a long time. In the sequence of messages, he even included a picture of the disc and that is where the surprise began.
The largest reason that this was a surprise for me was to the simple fact that this disc was stolen from me nearly 3 years ago (along with some others at the same time). At the time of the theft, someone literally had to reach in my bags end pocket, through my partially opened vehicle window, and remove the discs from my bag. Naturally, the theft enraged me and violated the security of my vehicle.
What made this theft even more spiteful in me, was the fact that it seems the thief only took discs with custom dyed designs. These custom discs were uniquely awarded discs that I received for winning some events, so their emotional value in me was of high regard.

 Over time, like anything that passes in our life, I moved on and I replaced them. From time to time I would scan the courses and the players discs to always look for my uniquely dyed discs; my friends did as well. To no avail, they were never located.

 Fast forward to nearly 3 years later. I now see my disc in a text message from a stranger, while not believing that it was still out there, and I am elated to see it like a long lost friend. The disc looks to be in fairly good condition, just not as new as when it was taken from me.

[2010/2011 Model – 174gr Innova Star Destroyer with custom Yin/Yang Dragon stamp (now faded) now returned after a long time away]

 In a matter of a few quick messages between us, I learn that the person who found it is literally in my neighborhood and found it on a course that is literally blocks away from my house. Additionally, he is new to the sport of disc golf, new to this area, and he strongly felt that contacting me was the best and most honest thing to do.

 Without any hesitation, we meet up in about 45 minutes and I get my disc back. It was very easy since we lived so close to each other and our schedules timed perfectly. At our meeting, I bring a personal collection of discs and pose them as a reward. I offer for him to choose from any of them as a repayment of my gratitude. Without looking or sorting through them, he politely declined and noted “I don’t even know what most of them do.”
With a few shared laughs, we agree that it would serve us better to spend some time on the course and throw some plastic instead. If it appears that I can help him with his game or see something in his style that could use the benefit of my disc inventory, I will provide it. Simply put, “Disc Karma” is great sometimes.

 From this surprising situation and the novelty belief in “Disc Karma” I feel that it was genuinely a positive pay back in many layers. These layers are proofed in the physical tangible object of my disc being returned and they are also proofed in the many intangible ones that I may never know of or see.

 Disc karma in this situation allowed me to understand deeper that, from all of the previous good deeds I did by returning someones disc, I am able to gain something more than just getting my own disc back. From those choices and decisive moments disc karma allowed me to play it forward. I was able to meet other players, share great conversations, make lasting friendships, and in essence meet more of a disc golf “family” while watching the spirit of our sport grow.

 Having this most memorable disc returned to me, instills the notion that disc karma can be a tangible and real thing. It is not a challenge to one’s beliefs. Disc karma is a good belief, in the love of a sport we play, and it simply shows how our choices can connect us all.

 With my personal experience now known, I would hope that you would provide some of your own disc karma to the great world of our sport and contact someone if you should find their disc. You simply will never know “Disc Karma’s” positive benefits until you do so.

Play disc golf and always “Play It Forward

About disctroy

Disc Golfer, Blogger, Writer, Photographer, Foodie, Blessed... We don't stop playing because we get old; We get old because we stop playing.... Troy is a member of the Professional Disc Golf Association who currently lives in Austin, TX. He is a Board Member of the Austin-based Waterloo Disc Golf Club, has been playing disc golf over 14 years competitively and non-competitively, in local and national events. He has been published in Disc Golfer magazine and Yahoo News.He volunteers regularly to promote disc golf, clean parks and help build new ones. It is his simple motto to "Play It Forward"... after all, you can never frown when you play Frisbee or throw a Disc.
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