Monday, August 30, 2010

And so it begins...


I can't wait!!! We even had over 20 people sign up for the team at our activities fair, and they all seemed really enthusiastic about it. I hope that I am doing enough fitness to be prepared for the upcoming season; I've been working hard for this moment. I've even been trying to eat super duper healthy. But I have to admit, I've had a lot of doubts in my ability over the summer and even some right now. I feel like I have no natural talent for rugby whatsoever, and that I am lucky that I love the sport so much and work so hard at it or I would just be left in the dust. I feel like if I don't work out and do every-single-little-thing I possibly can to be in shape for a game, then I'm going to be awful. I envy the players who skip practices, hate running and working out, and can still step on a rugby field and absolutely dominate. Maybe they have some sort of unbreakable mentality about themselves that makes them so good, and maybe they rely on that more than sheer hard work. And I'm not saying that I don't like working hard and putting a lot of effort into rugby, but it does cause me a ton of stress and pressure that I personally put on myself. I hope that I can get to the point where I am confident enough in myself to think that no matter what, I will dominate on the rugby field.

I'll get there, someday.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Losing is not the same thing as failing.

So the summer is basically over and I may not have met my expectations for what I wanted to accomplish with rugby training. But I cannot think of it as if I failed, and I cannot think that I am doomed to have a bad fall season because of it. First of all, I need to think back to my freshman year of college when I began my rugby career: I did no preparation whatsoever for rugby because I had absolutely no idea I was going to be playing it in the first place, yet I still excelled from how hard I worked during the season! Yes, for my sophomore year season the crazy amounts of training that I did the summer before definitely proved to be helpful, but hopefully the amounts of experience I continue to gain will only help me move forward and progress.
I guess there were some setbacks and things left unaccomplished this summer. I spent from May to mid July in a cast, and even still after that a few weeks in a splint/brace. During that time I did not get to do as much running as I would have liked, and I obviously couldn't do any sort of weight training. Also, the addition of working 40 hours a week was really draining for me. I was not used to waking up so early and keeping the same amount of energy for all the hours I worked. It definitely made it more of a challenge for me to go to the gym after working a long shift and just wanting to pass out for the night. I couldn't go running outside as much because my job already had a ton of time spent in the hot hot hot sun. And of course working until 5pm or 6pm every weekday made playing on any sort of rugby team impossible. On top of all of this, my sneakers right now are absolutely demolished, and there are no new sneakers in sight. On one of the shoes, you can literally see THREE of my toes sticking out (one of them being the big toe). There is absolutely no support in my sneakers anymore, so it's painful to run. This is not an excuse, and I hate it that everything I just listed sounds like an excuse, but more so they're reasons why I need to work harder. Which I will!
Although my mind wants to tell me that I completely failed this summer, there are some positive aspects that I would like to remember in my defense. I completely ignored the doctor's orders when I had my cast on and I still ran outside and inside. Maybe not as far and not as fast, but I still went running with basically an extra plaster weight on my left arm! Imagine if I did follow the rules, and didn't do anything from May to mid July; God knows what would've happened!!! And when I think about it, although it seems to me like I didn't run a lot, I never went longer than a week without running. That's not really the end of the world. And I did some nice speed workouts along the way. Something that I think actually became better out of this summer than previous trainings is weight training. WOW, boy do my arms feel stronger! And I really focused on building SO many more muscles than I have in the past which will make a good impact. AND, my KICKING has improved tenfold!
I think I'm on the right track, but I just need to step up my running. I know that with me and running it never seems like enough, but I think that's where I like to excel the best in rugby: being the absolute best support for every-single-person-on-the-field. I like being able to get out of a ruck and still be able to sprint up the field to be the first person either to get a pass, hit someone, or dive into a ruck. I don't ever want someone to have to run up the field alone, and I don't EVER want someone who makes a sweet breakaway to have to end up paying for it. But luckily, it's nice to know that although I didn't do the amounts of running I had planned, I can still run a 7:10 mile. It's a good place to start.

Overall, I am super excited to get back into the swing of fall rugby season, where it's time to buckle down and focus....and the entire team agrees on that. I can really feel the energy already, I see people on the team who are feeling the same energy too which makes me really hopeful. I've got a good vibe about this upcoming season.