Monday, September 27, 2010


Well it's a good thing I watched Gladiator the night before the game, and wrote down what I did in that last entry because it's 100% applicable to how our game went. We lost 37-0, which is heinous not only in any sport but especially in rugby. But what I'm most upset about is the absolute horrible attitude our team had. We really carried our own weight in the first half and kept our cool, but after some bad referee calls and injuries, our team pretty much had a nervous breakdown. Like the last entry says NOT to do, we completely felt "conquered" before the 80 minutes in the game were up. I'm proud of myself for still hustling back to the 50 meter line after every single tri the other team scored on us, no matter how earned or unearned the tri was.
There were some people on the team who were literally screaming, saying mean things to other people on the team (including saying things to me), and even pushing and shoving their own players around the field. That is ridiculous. I mean, I know what it's like to really get into the game, to get frustrated and to get vocal on the field. But I know that whenever I get vocal on the team or need to yell on the field, I always try and follow it up with something positive, whether it's a compliment to the person I just yelled at ("nice hustle") or just a neutral comment that could be positive ("alright, let's hustle back up the field and try again."). I'm not usually affected by other people's attitudes and I'm usually able to keep my cool, but there were people on my own team who were yelling at me and making me nervous. I'm really upset about it, they actually started to make me doubt myself which is super taboo in rugby! One of the things that I absolutely love and treasure about the sport of rugby is how much of a team sport it truly is, and that gives no one on a team the right to yell at someone in a harmful way. Everyone is responsible for one another's actions, and everyone wins and loses as a team.
I'm also really nervous about the number of injuries we have had on the team. In the past two games (and the only two games of our season so far), we have had four concussions - and I'm pretty sure that sounds bad for any sport. Someone also broke their nose and we've had two blown out knees. I know that part of it is fitness, but I thought that ever since our team reinstated the 2 mile run before every practice the injuries would at least let up a tiny bit. Concussions obviously have something to do with how people are hitting the ground, since that's how they are caused. So it's either we're tackling wrong or being tackled wrong. One of our coaches did make the point that sometimes people on the team get tackled like they're stiff as a board, so I think that our team really needs to work on running lower. We'll whip out some rucking pads and hopefully work on that next practice. Our players just seem to be dropping like flies, which is so alarming!
I hope that things can get better. I don't care if we lose every game as long as we improve and work on our mistakes.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Enough of the politics.

So I am watching Gladiator as part of my nightly pre-rugby game ritual, and I just heard yet again another fantastic quote in the movie that reminds me of rugby:
It's in the beginning, when Russell Crowe and his wing man are about to fight a battle. The two of them are standing among the rest of the army, and they're just staring down at the Barbarians who are clearly outnumbered. It seems pretty obvious that Russell Crowe's army is going to win the battle (not just because he's the main character and on the front of the movie box), and his wing man says, "People should know when they're conquered..."
And then...the best line ever.

Russell Crowe says, "Would you, Commodus? Would I?"

It just makes me think of the most epic rugby mentality ever spilled out in a line of a movie right there. Even if you're outnumbered, or the opposing team looks bigger, faster, and stronger, you never ever ever back down and you never ever ever "know when you're conquered." There's never a time that you think before the referee blows that final whistle signaling the game is over that you should give up, or think that you will be defeated.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Insane in the membrane.

Yesterday was our very first game of the season, and we lost 20-5. It was frustrating to lose, especially because I think we could've actually won, but I think the team really showed some potential. In the beginning and end of each half, our rucking was absolutely unstoppable. We absolutely plowed over the team and had such control over the ball! But in the middle of each half, our team completely and utterly burned out. And when we did not get to the rucks in time, the other team completely poached the ball time after time after time. But out of the tries they did have, I'd say only one was earned. The other two were just a quick mistake of a missed tackle that should not and would not normally happen. Also, our scrums were absolutely disgraceful. I'm not sure what the issue is there, but we better figure it out soon.
In the end, I blame our failures on a lack of fitness. That's annoying because it's up to every individual on the team to put in their part in that area. We can practice skills all day, but that's not even close to enough. Luckily, at practices we are going to be instilling the park run again so that people can get some fitness in on a regular basis. We'll see how much of a difference in makes in a week before our next game, but I just hope it's not too late's tough to get in shape and takes a long time!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Yesterday, we had our first scrimmage and THE ROOKIES LOOKED SO FANTASTIC! I'm really happy that the new girls are fitting right in; it's really a great sight and a wonderful reflection of how awesome the vets on our team are at the same time.
I've been a little afraid/nervous about not being in "rugby shape" yet, but yesterday I actually had a pretty decent run with the ball where I kept a good pace for a long time. That pace I'm sure is what made me able to evade so many different people, and one of my coaches commented on me "running in a crazy way - your body goes one way and your legs go another!" I'm not sure if it was supposed to be a compliment HAHA, but that sounds like a good quality to have to give a nice evasive step, so sounds good to me. I hope I continue to improve.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Putting in work.

WOO HOO! I've had a minor breakthrough in my rugby training; THANK GOD. Jeez, I needed a little sign of progress. The other day when I threw up after my run, it was from running around a park that's up the street from my school twice. Usually, for rugby practice we try and run it once before we start which is about 1.7 miles I guess. I think this park is a pretty good run because there are some flat stretches that allow you to work on speed and then some awesome inclines thrown in with it. So I threw up after running it twice, or 3.4 miles (lame), at a decently quick pace. Today I ran the park three times, so 5.1 miles. It's still not a distance to brag about, but what I'm more concerned with is that I was able to run it three times in a row and still be able to run the last lap at almost the same fast pace I would run one lap with. It was tough at some points, especially right before the biggest incline on the last lap. I remember in my head yelling at myself, "AHH! I NEED TO STOP! IT'S TOO HARD! IT HURTS! BLAAAAH I CAN'T RUN ANYMORE! I NEEEED TO SLOW DOWN!" but I kept on running and ran really hard up until the very end! So the day that I threw up actually did come in handy; now running the park twice has been added to my list of runs that can be considered a piece of cake (or at least not a tough challenge). And then taking that next step of adding another lap will only give me potential to improve even more. I feel like the world of rugby fitness is in my hands now; I've never had to worry about working hard, but I have had to worry about whether or not I'm acually making progress. So now that progression is showing, there's nothing I need to worry about. All I need to do is work hard and push myself even harder, which is always a given :)
This is extremely important I think for rugby because rugby requires this uniquely insane amount of fitness: you need to be able to absolutely sprint for long periods of time. I don't care what position someone plays, I think that the bottom line to being a good rugby player is having an infinite sprinting endurance. So cross country runners and track sprinters both have things they need to work on for rugby, neither of them are in the clear. I wish that other people on the rugby team could see this and how important it is. Sometimes people on the team wonder why they aren't improving, or why they're still struggling/not starting/not getting the playing time they want, and I know exactly where I can credit at least half of it to. People question these things especially when they work hard/do workouts on their own, but these people need to reconsider what exactly they do when they work out. So many people think that "going for a run/jog" on off days of rugby practices is enough, but I beg to differ depending on what exactly a run consists of for them. Most of the time, people are using the same-exact-run which consists of the saaaaame distance and the saaaaaame pace. Great, you can run around the park once in less than a half hour. Now what? The answer should be to move onto another pace or distance, but sometimes it never happens. I know people who just run two miles and call it quits...all-the-time. That limits so much potential! It's like sitting yourself behind a wall. For rugby, you need to PUSH yourself to your absolute last limit. It's always an immense challenge, and in order to keep up with it you've gotta step up to the plate with the right amount of fitness to back you up.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A little epiphany.

Boy did I learn a lesson today: it's up to no one else but you how much you run in a day or how hard you train yourself for rugby. After practice today I was upset that we didn't do as much running as I wanted to, not even close to enough, and I felt super angry about it and thought I wasted a day without running. But then I realized, " what if we didn't do running at practice? Why don't I just go running right now?!" which is precisely what I did! After pouting in my house for about 30 seconds, I threw on my sneakers and ran about 3 and a half miles. Unfortunately, once my work load begins to grow, I don't know if I'll still have the time to be able to do that, but every little thing counts. Those 3 and a half miles are under my belt, and it's a little but important step towards being a better rugby player!
I'm proud of myself for never giving up, but I just don't know how long it will be honest, I keep surprising myself with how dedicated I am to rugby. There have been many many times, even including now, where I've thought to myself, "What's the POINT?! I'm NEVER going to be exceptional at rugby, and I'm never going to get any better than I am right now. It's just not in the cards for me," and I've really been at my lowest and inches away from collapsing and giving up on the sport all together. But for some reason, I don't know where I find the strength to consistently pull myself out of some the darkest thoughts and drag myself back onto the treadmill or onto the field to practice everything and anything that has to do with rugby all by myself. I guess I just truly love the sport that much, and maybe my doubts and things that I get upset about are a bit selfish. I may just be a little too competitive! I just always need to remember - I'll be able to play rugby for the rest of my life if I want to! There are tons of friendly rugby clubs out there that take anyone! least I hope so.

Motion Sickness.

WOO! What a day filled with rugby!! My life truly does revolve around this sport and this team, but I wouldn't want to live life any other way.
Yesterday, I guess it was a little hotter outside than I expected.....I went on about a 5 mile run (not too bad) trying to weave in some speed workouts and overall run it at a pretty decent pace (still not bad). But at the end, maybe it was just from having too much sun or something, because I threw up and had a little trouble breathing. It was even tough to walk back home in the sun because my skin felt like it was burning. HAHA this is all super embarrassing to admit because the workout isn't that strenuous and all the things that happened to me sound so dramatic. But eh, I'm glad it happened. Now when I run it again today and/or tomorrow, it'll be easier!
So after the run, I had to venture out to a meeting that was about an hour and a half away that had to do with rule changes and such this year. Listening to the logistics were kind of boring, like what paperwork we need to have in before each game and stuff, but it was exciting just to hear a ref talking about the game in general, even it was in the form of rules. And it was exciting to hear people shouting out random questions about things that could happen in the game, God it got my heart pumping!! It's unreal to know that the best of this season hasn't even come yet: game play! Then straight from the meeting I traveled all the way back to campus to make it mid way through our showing of INVICTUS on campus!! There weren't many people there who aren't on the rugby team already, but I missed the beginning where more people may have been present. But anyways, I guess all of these events combined just make me in heaven right now: it's nice to think and know that I am in the midst of the greatest time of the year with so much more to come. I have high hopes!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A (figurative) pregnancy glow.

I've already known this in the past, but now I am completely and utterly sure that this is my time of year. This is the time of year where I absolutely shine in the way that I am just absolutely ecstatic and in a good mood all the time....because it is rugby season.

How every-single-day of rugby season is positive:

Monday: Hooray! There's rugby practice today! I CAN'T WAIT!
Tuesday: YES, rugby practice is tomorrow! So soon!
Wednesday: Hooray! There's rugby practice today! I CAN'T WAIT!
Thursday: YES, rugby practice is tomorrow! So soon!
Friday: Hooray! There's rugby practice today! AND GAME DAY IS TOMORROW!!!!!!
Sunday: Look at these AWESOME bruises I got from yesterday! And rugby practice is tomorrow! So soon!

And then rinse and repeat...for the next 3 months. It's such a good feeling, and we haven't even had a game yet! The best is still yet to come! But I'm already glowing all around. And it makes it even better to see the team making some awesome progress, along with getting some pretty enthusiastic rookies. It just doesn't get any better than this, and it will NEVER get old :)

P.S. I need to remember to lean forward and into my kicking when kicking for touch. I mean, when I think about it the same rule applies for kicking a field goal, but maybe since I've had so much more practice with kicking field goals I've grown out of the habit in that realm. So I just need more and more and more and more and more practice.