Friday, September 14, 2012
Soooo I've moved to a new city and become a full time volunteer....aka I work from 2pm - 10pm Monday through Friday.....aka I CAN'T FUCKING PLAY RUGBY. It's driving me NUTS, especially since I'm still in contact with the city's womens rugby team and I'm on their email list so I know whenever they have games and stuff.
But this isn't the end by any means. I personally think of this as a little hiatus from rugby, even though it's KILLING me that it's the fall right now and I'm not hitting anybody (lol). It's also probably for the best since I'm running a marathon in less than a month....I'd probably go bonkers if I injured myself right before it. Whenever I train for the marathon though, imagining in my head me running on a rugby field with a rugby ball in my hands is probably the number one thing that keeps me going. Sometimes I feel like crying even just from seeing football on tv because it makes me miss rugby that much.
But I WILL BE BACK. ASAP. I don't know when that is but it'll definitely be A-S-A-P. I've got my own rugby ball, kicking tee, rugby shorts, and cleats sitting in my room waiting for the moment I get even a one hour opportunity to play some rugby. Until then...KEEP ON RUCKIN' FELLOW RUGBY PLAYERS OUT THERE, YOU LUCKY SON OF A GUNS. HOPEFULLY I'LL BE JOINING YOU SOON.
Sunday, May 6, 2012
As a team, we played absolutely atrocious. But as one of my alumni reminded me today, these are the girls that brought us to states 2 years in a row....of COURSE they're fantastic. But I'm so grateful for them; not only have they instilled in me such a passion for rugby, but they set such a good example for all the younger players. It's truly amazing how they can go for a long period of time of not even seeing each other, yet still play rugby like they just had an entire season together. And I love it how every single player has their own style of play - they're all so uniquely good at rugby and able to utilize each other's skills in different ways. They're awesome.
Thanks old and new teammates for giving me the greatest 4 years of my life. I've enjoyed every single second of it. Every win, loss, sprint to and from the tree in the park we had to do every time we talked over coach, every run around the park, every game of chicken in the hen house, every loaf of bread we've tossed in a circle, every fupa we've ever worn, every piece of music we've sliced and diced, all the rubber ducky stretches we've done, all the bruises we've earned, all the mud and dirt we've engulfed ourselves in...I've enjoyed all of it.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Why haven't I written in this in a little while? Sheesh. We had a rugby scrimmage a few weeks ago and usually I bolt to the computer to write about it because I'm so excited! I think the reason why I didn't after the last scrimmage was because it was so freakin' rainy and FREEZING out that I couldn't move afterwards. Per usual though, one of rugby's miracles is that it can be a monsoon out and you won't even notice because you're so IN THE ZONE. But I definitely felt it after the fact, and I cuddled up under a blanket and didn't move for a whileeee (especially because on rugby day you can't change out of your uniform after the game when you hang with the team later!!). I always forget how much of a thrill it is to play against people who are better than you in rugby; it's such a wonderful opportunity and privilege! I'm so glad we're in contact with a Division I team because we can scrimmage with them on a regular basis. I don't think I ever learn more about playing rugby than when I get my ass handed to me on a platter by playing with people who are more experienced and skilled than I am. It sounds horrifying and like such a bad idea to play with people who are better than you, but in reality it makes you step up your game in ways you didn't even think were possible! And afterwards, even if you only play with them for 5 minutes, you've evolved into even better of a player without even noticing it. There's no amount of practicing or training you can do that can replace that kind of experience. I just wish everyone took advantage of that the second it's available! It's like what one of our most experienced vets said at the team meeting yesterday:
Especially hearing it from her, because she is the epitome of a fantastic rugby player, those words just sent a chill down my spine. She's so RIGHT. Especially for rugby, you really have NO IDEA what you're capable of until you challenge yourself - and I'm pretty sure every time you do...you surprise yourself. I bet at least half of the people on the team never even imagined themselves being able to play rugby in the first place; I know I never thought this is where I would end up, and now this is seriously my lifestyle! My life revolves around rugby, and I was certainly not expecting it to! I think in rugby people shouldn't "expect" anything - shouldn't expect to win or lose, because underdogs can come out of nowhere, shouldn't expect to play good or bad, etc. Don't set a limit or a bar on your potential. The sky is the limit!
This all makes me that much more excited for alumni weekend coming up this Saturday: we will be playing our alumni in a friendly game that will be super fun but super competitive!! Our alumni are BOMB - not only are they all fantastic rugby players, but they are fantastic people. I hope that they will reflect to the rest of the team why I am so dedicated to rugby now. I'm so grateful that they were the people I started off my rugby career with, because they are the ones that made me find the joy in playing and made me as hard of a worker as I am today. They made me never give up when I thought I would never start a game of rugby in my entire life or even be good at rugby at all. They made me KEEP GOING, and KEEP TRYING, even though I failed a million times before. And because of that....I cherish every single minute I get to be on a rugby field in a uniform (or not in a uniform at practice, on the sideline cheering on the team, etc).
But on the flip side...I'm about to totally contradict myself. I've been driving myself CRAZY with fitness for rugby. Sometimes...I might take it a little too far and drive myself to insanity. If one day I get too tired or don't do enough to satisfy me, then I'm bummed out for the rest of the day and feel like a failure. I know that something is better than nothing at all, but I can't help but have this absolutely psychotic perfectionism with rugby. I think I take it personally whenever we fail as a team or when someone stops liking rugby. Sometimes (more often than not) I blame it on my fitness, and think that I didn't lead by example and I didn't do enough to be a good rugby example. I always think "Maybe they would have come to the game if I made one more tackle....maybe the team wouldn't have failed this season if I ran one more mile...maybe we wouldn't be struggling so much if I set a better example and made a better pass........" and it goes on and on and on and ONNNNNN. I literally woke up in the middle of the night once last week in a legit panic attack: heavy chest, hyperventilating, etc. and thinking that I had completely RUINED the team somehow. That it was all my fault that people weren't as enthusiastic about rugby as I was and that everything would go down the shitter because I wasn't a good leader and didn't work hard enough, or score enough tries, or make enough tackles, or...or....SOMETHING. I'm breathing heavy writing this right now! It's stupid, and almost selfish, to think that I'm the sole reason for this TEAM having struggles....but, again, I think it's just a reflection of how much I deeply care about everyone. I consider these people my FAMILY. But it's almost like all the enjoyment I get out of rugby also has a dark side; I care about it and everyone on the team SO much that I practically kill myself with stress and worry and criticism over it. I pay a heavy price to do my best in every practice and game. I don't think I could ever communicate here or to anyone else everything I have given to this team and to rugby; most of it I wholeheartedly gave willingly...but partially it's been too much and even extremely damaging to myself. I'm EXHAUSTED sometimes from being rugby's cheerleader. But at the same time, I'll never stop because I love it that much.
Monday, April 9, 2012
WOOF! I've got quite the turf burn on my knee from playing on Saturday; I can barely bend my knee without it hurting and I can only wear shorts right now! But it's AWESOME. A-W-E-S-O-M-E. Every time I play rugby it's just pretty much another reminder to myself that I am NEVER going to stop playing. My mom tried to tell me the other day that she expects my rugby career to be over once I graduate from college, but that's absolutely not happening. She can choose to either pay health insurance for rugby or for jumping off a cliff!! I think rugby is cheaper.
So on Saturday there was an annual Easter tournament held by the women's rugby team of the city for any surrounding college rugby players in the area to come to. We just show up and get thrown onto a team. When I got there, I definitely realized that I was a little fish in a big pond; there were girls playing not only from the city women's team, but also from super good Division One schools while I'm from measly Division Three! I was pretty nervous when I first got there, not only because I thought I was out of shape and haven't played in a game in a few months, but simply because I knew that these girls were better skilled and have been actively playing all semester (aka getting even better!!). I even thought for a moment that I didn't belong there, and that mayyyybe I shouldn't have come after all.....
But it was AMAZING! I keep forgetting how much of an absolute blessing it is to be able to play with players who are better than you. I learned so much from all of them! I got stiff armed while also dealing out some stiff arms. As much as my ass got handed to me on a platter, I tried to hand other people their asses on platters (pfft...haha). Rugby truly is a miracle to me; I ran about 2 miles the day before the game and I was DYING. I thought I was going to throw up a lung in the game just becuase of how atrocious that wimpy little 2 mile run was for me. But once you get into the game and start darting left and right to make tackles and get passes and support your fellow players, it all just RUSHES AWAY. I was BOOKING it left and right on the field without thinking twice about it (and then was heaving hardcore every time someone went out of bounds or there was a scrum, ha ha). When you think about all the different muscles it takes to be hit by someone full force and then have to get yourself up, run with all your speed and endurance across the field, hit someone else, and rinse and repeat for God knows how long - it's UNREAL! It truly is a miracle!
As you can also see in one of the pictures above, MY FREAKIN' CLEAT BROKE! And I don't mean just a little rip in the side (that's actually what it was before, the entire left side of the cleat ripped into a hole and attempted to be taped by duct tape...), like THE ENTIRE BOTTOM OF THE CLEAT GONEZO. I was running barefoot in the middle of the game (didn't help that my sock had 2 massive holes in it too hahaha) and still trying to play, but when I went in to try and tackle someone I realized it wasn't worth it to risk getting all 5 of my toes broken at the same time. Sooooo now I need new cleats, BUMMER. I've had those cleats since the beginning of my rugby career (and even before that), they're so meaningful to me! I don't even know where the obliterated cleat is, so now I'll just have to make that one cleat into some sort of memorabilia.
And rugby people are still some of the most awesome people I've ever met. I know that's a stereotype, but by the end of the game I found myself laughing and joking the same way I do with my best friends except it was with people I had never even seen or met before. Even if I screwed up in the game, nobody cared! Someone else screwed up later and I didn't care either. There was this crazy awesome comrodery on the field with people I had NEVER played with before nor even talked to before! I know not ALL rugby players are awesome players, but I'd say that there's definitely a major amount of them that are that could cause a statistical significance (holy crap...did I just say statistical significance? I've been in school for WAY too long).
I'm just so so happy with how it all went, but like always, it made me hungry for MORE. I hope we can get a scrimmage going with one of those teams in the next few weeks. They seemed pretty interested in playing with us so I think it would be such a great experience for the girls on my team, especially the new players! Every single time you can be exposed to rugby (playing OR watching) you definitely improve. It's especially beneficial to play against teams or players that are on a whole different level than you so you are forced to step your game up and get on their level.
I wish I knew for sure where the heck I would be after graduation so I can get started on finding another rugby team to play for!! ALL RUGBY TEAMS IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD (none of which are going to see this, ha ha): I'M READY AND OPEN FOR RUGBY BUSINESS!!
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Check out this article a fellow rugger of mine posted on her Facebook:
The New York Jets signed a rugby player onto their team as a tight end, Hayden Smith! He hasn't even played an ounce of football, and I know he's gonna be dynamite. I think that because rugby requires SO MUCH athletic ability as far as strength, speed, and endurance, he should be able to transition into football pretty quickly. AND he's a SECOND ROW, so he's gonna be another powerhouse Gronk. Every time I see him play I'm gonna yell "HEY HE PLAYS RUGBYYYYYYYY!" I can just imagine him still playing after he tackles a guy, and standing around waiting for the hike thinking "COME ONNNNN LET'S GET A MOVE ON!"
I'm glad that there's finally even a small amount of rugby publicity in the U.S. world of sports, but there still needs to be MORE. Whenever there's rugby on T.V. it's always on at some ungodly strange hour of the night or morning and on channel number 537564435434 - which only a minor fraction of the public get. I want rugby to be on the news reel of PTI and on sportscenter on a daily basis, just like Kobe's bitching complaints and Tebow's obsession about himself.
On a different note, I'm so PUMPED to be able to play rugby on Holy Saturday! Hopefully it's not hot on Easter Sunday since I'll definitely have to wear pants to cover up the bruises.....
Sunday, February 19, 2012
BLAAAAAAH I CAN'T MOVE, AND IT'S AWESOME!! Oh.my.goodness...I haven't experienced this soreness and pain in so long!! Jeez, I've been through all this and felt this so many times, yet every time I never cease to be so incredibly happy by it. It's strange to say that I'm overjoyed to be screaming in pain and a 21 year old living in a 91 year old's body, but it's true! The connotations that I associate with being sore and in pain are important. A friend on the men's rugby team said to me today that their coach always says to them, "If you're not sore after a game, then you didn't work hard enough," and I couldn't agree more! I think that the magnitude of the pain I feel in the morning is equivalent to the amount of effort and hard work I put into yesterday's rugby. So if I am dying right now, then I WORKED MY BUTT OFF! That's all you can really ask for at the end of the day: not if you scored a hundred tries or if you made a hundred tackles, but if you truely tried your best. This all just adds to my desire to play rugby forever.
I've had so many scary and unnerving thoughts about life after college, and not being able to play rugby. But I'm going to do my very best to ensure that this doesn't happen. Even if there's a significant time period in my life where it really is impossible for me to play rugby, I hope that I eventually come back to it. I just don't want to leave it in the dust after college. Man, I would love to have this as a career. Working out all the time with the goal in the back of your mind of being a strong and supportive teammate, growing closer and closer every day with the people you work with who are just as motivated as you are, playing rugby games and running rugby practices your whole life, and always being sore and improving and improving and improving some more on your game. Ugh, sounds like a dream come true.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH TODAY WAS FINALLY WINTERFEST!!!! I have been running like a mad man on the treadmill and even slowly but surely working on lifting weights (haven't been able to for a WHILE because of the broken collarbone) to prepare for it even though it's a purely fun tournament that people don't exactly take seriously. BUT, rugby is rugby to me, and whatever rugby I play I want to do my best at!
This morning I woke up for it thinking that this could be one of the first years that I actually focus more on rugby and not on being a running frozen icicle....but then I looked out the window, saw snow, and yelled "DAMMIT BUFFALO!!!!" Luckily it was only a thin layer, and what we were saying later in the day is that it seriously must have snowed only for Winterfest, because as the day went on the snow completely melted away.
I was really upset this morning when we almost didn't have enough players to play in a friggin' SEVENS tournament. SEVEN-RUGBY-PLAYERS, that's all we needed and we couldn't even get that! That's so disappointing!!! I just wish that people were more excited to play rugby and took it more seriously, becaues it makes the game so much more fun and enjoyable that way. I'm just disappointed that so many of our players who could've made the tournament missed out on some AWESOME rugby and almost screwed their teammates over.
Luckily, we went to the field with 6 players anyway even though that's not even enough for a starting line up. I would have played a man down anyway because I don't care one way or another, but we were really lucky to find a girl from another team who volunteered to play with us! Her name was Wheels, and we found out QUICKLY (pun intended) where she got her nickname from. She was super fast, and I was really grateful to have a player that was so into the game and dedicated play with us! We tied our first game, which really was an awesome feat especially because the majority of the girls on our team have never played in a 7's tournament before.
The weather throughout the day was so weird, which made playing even tougher: at first there was snow, but then it rapidly started to melt, which left a thawed and frozen ground that was completely SOLID. It was practically like hitting concrete in our first game, and one of the girls on our team really hit her head hard that was a double whammy since she went down hard and went down on a hard surface. BUT, luckily as the day went on and the same fields were being constantly played on, the ground started to get torn up and became wet and muddy. So it became slippery in a different way: before it was icy and hard like a skating rink, then it was sloppy and wet like a mud pit. But in both instances it was AWESOME.
I am just living in bliss and bruises right now. I missed these aches. I missed this tiredness all over my body, like I just pulled a tractor with my bare hands across the United States. I missed that incredible adrenaline rush of hitting someone, getting back up, looking left and right, assessing what the hell is going on in the blink of an eye, hitting someone else, and doing it all over again. I missed getting the ball and making myself feel like the hulk, and not letting ANYONE take me down without a fight. I missed having awesome teammates to support me when I'm about to go down and carry the play on, and I missed being there for someone else to help them out and not let their hard work go to waste. I missed being absolutely and completely DIRTY, SWEATY, AND DISGUSTING - covered in everything and anything and NOT EVEN NOTICING. I missed getting the shit beaten out of me and only asking for more :)
My coach told me today that he jokingly thought of me as a "female daredevil: someone who plays without any resistance to pain or any restriction" which I totally took as a wonderful compliment! I sure as hell try to play that way: with no regrets and nothing making me back down. I hope I can continue to build on that.
Everyone was talking about how we have a tournament "right around the corner...on March 31st" but THAT'S TOO FAR AWAY FOR ME. I'M GONNA GO CRAZY! I'VE ALREADY BEEN EXPOSED TO RUGBY THIS SEASON AND I'M HUNGRY FOR MORE!! I'm gonna push people to get in some scrimmages or something before then, because I just can't wait that long!
Thanks so much everyone on the team that came to the tournament today. I would have been so heartbroken if we didn't get to play, and I cannot even begin to express how proud I was of the team. Winterfest is friggin' HARD, probably one of THE hardest tournaments we do every year and it's quite a feat to even make it there. But not only did we still go with not enough players, but we played our hearts out and we played GOOD. We were there for each other and we had some amazing team work, even when playing with people we had never played with before. I'm also SO incredibly fortunate for our alumni; without them we wouldn't have played in Winterfest either. They definitely showed through for us, and they were such amazing leaders as always. I hope that the other girls on the team can be exposed to them more and find inspiration through their hard work, if they're not going to appreciate mine. I've done my best to lead by example, but it's just not enough. I'm happy that at least someone can give off a positive influence. The alumni will never cease to amaze me and inspire me; I'm so lucky to have started off my rugby career with such dedicated players!
Love you all. Love you so much rugby. Holy shit I'm never going to stop playing.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Mehhh just randomly made this while procrastinating homework because I miss rugby :(
I should be grateful that we have a tournament next weekend, even if it's just a fun tournament in the snow that no one really plays competitively in...but I just miss the blood, sweat, and tears in our hardcore rugby games. I NEED TO PLAY AFTER I GRADUATE COLLEGE. I just can't imagine my life without it.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
I got published in my town's local newspaper for rugby!!! At first I was a little embarrassed, because it was weird having an article about myself in the paper and have everyone see it...and my grandpa couldn't stop raving about it and showing the guys he does crossword puzzles with haha. But one of my friends from high school that plays rugby for another school (we're the only 2 lol) heard from her aunt that works at our old high school that now everyone thinks I'm gonna bring rugby to m high school.....which is SUCH AN AWESOME RUMOR HAHAHA. I mean, if I could I would in a heartbeat, but absolutely nothing is guaranteed ha ha.
Here's the link to the article:
Gotta tournament coming up in a few weeks too...PUMPED. Been running like a maniac for it.