Saturday, May 29, 2010

The beginning is always the hardest.

Yiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiikes, getting back into rugby training is much harder than I expected. I mean, I definitely knew that it would be tough to get back into the swing of things, but I was pretty shocked with myself today when I finally ignored the doctor's orders and went back on the treadmill. I ran a little under 2.5 miles in 24 minutes which is HORRID and not counting the number of times I needed to pause (a smidge in my defense, my hair is long and out of control so sometimes I needed to stop and fix it even if I didn't want to). It's been 4 weeks ever since I've gone running, but I have been working out almost every day either on a bike or elliptical. I've even trained myself to do one handed planks and I'm trying to do one handed push ups. What I've found out though is that just like rugby experience, there is absolutely no replacement for running. I thought that maybe I could at least put a dent in the debt I was accumulating in my fitness, but phewww wow, the damage has been done. I guess that I couldn't expect to run my 7 minute mile after not running for 4 weeks, and I guess a 9 minute mile is not too bad of a place to start. That's the only way I can view this situation; I can't really cry over spilled milk. All I can do is get back on that treadmill and keep running and pushing myself until I'm back to where I was before. Hopefully that won't take too much time so I can focus on progressing more. I can't just sit here and mope about how bad I am now because it's so unproductive. Thank God I decided to start running today and didn't wait until 2 and a half weeks later when I'm scheduled to get my cast off. At this point, every-day-counts. I need to remember that. I shouldn't take a single day off now, and I should watch what I eat. Every little thing that I do makes a difference.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cute story.

So the other day I was sitting in a coffee shop, and suddenly this little boy and girl both about the age of 6 or 7 years old ran up to me. The little boy asked me, "What did you do to your arm?" and pointed at my cast. I told him that I broke my wrist and he asked me how I did it. I told him that I was playing a sport called rugby, and the mom began to look a little nervous that I told her children that. Then, it was the little girl who asked me first what rugby was. The mom immediately interrupted and said, "Ohhh honey it's a verrrrry rough sport, I don't think you would like it!" But I cut the mom off there and told the girl, "Yeah it seems rough, but it is in a nice way! It's kind of like soccer and football combined into one sport and it's really fun. I think you'd actually really like it, and I think you'd be really good at it!" The little girl looked at me like she was incredibly interested, even at the very young age she was. She said to me, "Oh well I play soccer and I like that sport, so I think I would like rugby too!" Then she turned to her mom with a huge smile on her face and said, "Mom can I play RUGBY?!" and then the little boy yelled, "ME TOO, ME TOO! I play football but I also want to play rugby, am I allowed to play too?!" and I told him that he was definitely allowed to play and that he would be good at it too, and both the boy and the girl got extremely excited! Then the mom laughed, said goodbye to me, and took her kids away, but I could still hear them outside saying, "I can't wait to play rugby!!!"

Those kids probably forgot about the whole thing by the time they got home, but it was still really fantastic to see a youth take such interest in rugby. It drives me crazy that not only does a huge part of the United States population misunderstand and not know a lot about rugby, but to a lot of the youth and even up until high school age rugby is almost non existent. It's sad that those two kids had no idea what rugby was but knew what both soccer and football were. Well maybe in the future when they hear someone talk about rugby again those kids will think, "Oh yeah I know what rugby is, it's the sport that the girl with the highlighter yellow cast told me about when I was younger!" hahaha. I hope that my children (biological or adopted) play rugby because of how much I have truly benefited from it. I hope that someday I can help to change the public's view on rugby and introduce it to children at a very young age. It's a nice thought.

Monday, May 17, 2010

It never ends.

It's tough being in a cast when I'm used to go go going without it. I'm trying so hard to still work out with it on, but it's super tough considering I'm not allowed to sweat a lot. I tried going on the stationary bike at the gym, but it was SO boring compared to the running I normally like to do where I pump hard, go as fast as I can, and wear my body out until I feel like I'm going to throw up my insides all over myself and my entire body is going to collapse into a blob on the floor. I had to go on the bike for an hour to try and even get something close to a work out, and my legs felt somewhat worked out after that decent time of being on a bike, but that is just sooo long to be sitting and not going very fast. But I can't just sit back and wait for this thing to come off; I have to do something. No matter what it's going to be hard enough already to get back on track for rugby. I never fully think I'm in good enough shape, and even after 3 months in a row of hardcore working out I still always feel like I have so much more to work on.
On that note, the other day my friend who also lives and dies for rugby and is one of the most passionate players I've ever seen said to me, "I still have so much to learn," when we were casually talking one time about rugby. It was funny to hear this from a person that I have learned so much from, but what I realized is that everyone always has so much more to learn in rugby because there's no such thing as actually fully mastering the sport. There are so many things about rugby that are so dynamic and always changing that there is always room for improvement and change. No matter how good you are, how much experience you have, or how many tries you've scored, you're always a student to the sport of rugby. Everyone has their own individual playing style, and every time you play with or against someone new you learn something different. It never ends, and although it sounds grueling and like a tiring endless process, it's actually what makes rugby awesome. Rugby will always be just as exciting as the first time you stepped onto a pitch because of this fact. The phenomenon of rugby will never end or leave your life! It's such a wonderful feeling :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Worth it?

Soooo I broke my wrist. More specifically, I broke my radius and it's completely separated from my hand. I have a cast on and if in a week my wrist isn't healing straight, I'll have to get screws put into it. What's funny though is that I'm really not as sad and depressed to be in a cast as I thought I would be. First of all the cast is highlighter yellow, my favorite color, so I can't be that upset when I look at it. But also, even when thinking back to how I broke my wrist, from a bad tackle, I still can't find myself feeling that bad about it. Why? At first I was super embarrassed and ashamed that I made a bad tackle and paid a huge price for it. Everyone told me multiple times that "I got owned" and they were 100% right. But now when I think about it, I don't really regret making that bad tackle. I don't even feel afraid for when I get out of this cast and play rugby again ASAP; the second I'm good to go I'll be ready to hit someone as hard as I can. I would rather have made that bad tackle than no tackle at all. And when I say "bad" tackle, I don't mean a cheap hit like grabbing someone by the collar or making a high tackle; I just mean when you make a clean attempt and it doesn't succeed. I know that I would make 50 million more bad tackles, get plowed over and beaten 50 million more times, before I EVER just let someone get by me without putting up a fight. People can try and "own" me all day, and I'll take it, but I will get owned as many times as it takes and get back up every time until I am able to lay someone out and make that good solid tackle. A million of failures at tackling is worth one successful hit. Especially in the area of tackling for rugby, trying and failing is better than not trying at all.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Yesterday was our alumni rugby game and it was so incredibly awesome. I really was blessed with the people that I got to begin playing rugby with. They're all so incredibly good at rugby not just because they're athletic and they know the game, but they're just such incredible people who work well with one another and look out for one another. They really are true team players, and they can get anything done together. I'm so happy that I know them and it's so much fun to play with them and play against them because they're so good! 
I really am kicking myself right now though because I hurt my wrist really bad yesterday. I feel like such a baby and that I shouldn't be complaining about it that much. One of the alumni is a super powerhouse that we played against yesterday, and people on our team were literally at one point just letting her go through without even trying to tackle her because she is that much of a bulldozer on the field! At one point there was basically a one on one match up with me and her, so I absolutely had to tackle her or she would have been pretty much home free for scoring a tri. I knew I was outmatched, I knew she was bigger and stronger than I was, but there was no way that I was going to just let her go through. So I tried going at her and tackling her....but as pretty much everyone else put it afterwards, "I got owned." Yeah, I made a super shitty tackle, she knocked me off my feet in a heartbeat (rhyme) because she had so much momentum built up already, and I landed right on my wrist. I remember specifically hearing it crack, my wrist bent back pretty far. And people made fun of me for it for a while after it happened which was even more embarrassing. I really am ashamed that I injured myself on a stupid play. But at the same time, even though I'm upset and disappointed in myself, I'm happy with the mentality I had when I at least tried to tackle her. I didn't back off like a lot of other people on our team did; when she was running at me I really did think I was going to tackle her. I ran right at her without really thinking I should back off or anything. But I guess deep down I was partially scared, and I know that I just need to work harder and I still have a long way to go. I want to get to the point where it won't matter if there's such a difference in size; I want to be able to take absolutely anyone down. 
And something else that I am also proud of is that I would break my wrist in 50 million other places before I hesitate to tackle someone. I am going to throw out every limb in my body to try and tackle someone, whether they're 100 pounds or 300 pounds. I'll get "owned" and thrown to the ground an infinite amount of times before I back down from a tackle. I hope I can keep that mentality and practice what I preach. 
But what really pisses me off is that my mind keeps trying to make me feel better about this injury by saying "Oh well, at least it happened at the end of rugby season." But rugby season should never be over. I wish that I could play in all seasons because you really can play rugby year round!! I hate thinking that I'm going to be waiting until the fall now before I get anymore rugby experience. And as I've learned, working out can only do so much. I feel like without actually playing rugby I sort of stay at a standstill with my progress. 
ALSO, I need to give myself a pat on the back with how much my kicking has improved!!! At the beginning of last fall, I could not come even close to making a field goal if you put me 10 meters in front of the uprights. But we tied the alumni game because I made three of them, one of them being the final kick to get the tie!! That was a really nice demonstration of my progress in that area, I'm so happy that I'm going somewhere with that! But I definitely still need to practice kicking more over the summer, I'm happy that I snuck off with the kicking tee after the game mwahaha. 

I think that's the mentality and the saying that I am going to keep in my head so I'll always be able to push myself and never slack off or give up:

Rugby season is never over.