Friday, March 14, 2014

Uh oh.

Soo just discovered that in order to be invited (I didn't even realize it was invitational!) to go to the upcoming tournaments on my Vegas team, you need to APPLY for it.....BY NEXT WEEK!!!!
You need to time your sprints at specific lengths and also send in footage of you playing. The sprint timing shouldn't be a hassle but I have NO footage of me playing rugby!!!!
...and if they had to go off what they saw me do in Vegas then I'm TOAST.
I'm still going to try to put together an application anyway, even if they see it and yell out a big fat "HELLLLLL NAW" because it would be stupid to not even TRY.
But of course I can't help but be a little disappointed....okay, a lot disappointed. I'm frustrated that I don't even really have a "home club" to list right now from all the restrictions put on me by my job. The South Buffalo Sinners are definitely a home club to me, but I don't feel worthy to list them since all I can really do is meet up with them for games when they need an extra player or whatever. I wish I COULD come to practices but
I want to play at that high level SO BADLY! Even if I get whooped 30 out of 30 times stepping onto that field, every single time I know that I will learn something new and improve on something better. There's no way you can play at that high level and get WORSE! I will make it there.....someday.......if I can't make it there now.
....BUT IF YOU CAN MAKE IT THERE, apply for it at this link!
I still appreciate the experiences I already had and the people/connections I've already met with this team; I hope I can continue with them but understand if it's out of reach and I'm not what they're looking for. I'm like Rockyx20......I'm absolutely nowhere near as good as any of the other players but I will never stop working hard or giving up.
So if there are any other rugby players out there looking to move into higher rugby competition, PLEASE at least send in an application for the team because you'll go far!


It's getting harder and harder to overcome the physical and emotional exhaustion I experience at work everyday and motivate myself to continue training for rugby.

I get home from work at about midnight every single night and feel like this when I know I still have a full training session I need to make myself do before collapsing:

BUT, thanks to the awesomeness of rugby, I have managed to cling on for dear life and continue with training.
And I have to keep reminding myself that I ALWAYS feel great afterwards. I feel so accomplished and my body and mind feel good....which has been a difficult thing to have during my extremely high-stress job lately.
But I just don't know how much longer I can keep it up. So many times I ask myself, "If you REALLY want to play competitive rugby for life, are you willing to go into overdrive every day and commit 1000%?"
And the answer every time is an indefinite YES.
No matter how shitty I'm feeling, that thought always triumphs. I'm pretty sure I will never get to the USA Eagles level of rugby playing, but I shoot for that standard 24/7. If it wouldn't cut it for the USA Eagles, then it won't cut it for me. Even though that may seem unrealistic, why wouldn't I hold myself to the highest of expectations? I'll get the farthest I can that way.

 SIDE NOTE about this picture: I'm a major Game of Thrones nerd so I already love it and this character in the books/show, but I especially love this catchphrase of hers -
"And I will take what is mine, with fire and blood, I will take it."
Sounds greedy at first, but I really see it as putting in all the hard work you can to achieve your goals. I also see a lot of connection in this quote to how I feel about my motivation in rugby. I definitely have a lot of fire and passion for improving my performance and I will put in all the blood, sweat, and tears that are humanly possible.
**and if anyone doesn't know this character in Game of Thrones, she's a major underdog. Many people think she's silly, naïve, or stupid for saying that catchphrase and having the big (seemingly impossible) dreams that she does. But with her determination she proves EVERYONE wrong, OVER and OVER and OVER again. I truly feel that if I continue my own hopes and drive towards moving up in rugby, it WILL matter how many nay sayers there are. 

The last 3 days before this I completely derailed after having two good training sessions. It was mainly because all of those days I worked an average of at least 10 hours and did not get home until midnight or 1am even.....which caused me to do a lot of this:
...and a lot of self wallowing.....and self doubt.........
...BUT WAH WAH WAH. CALL THE WAHBULANCE! I can't keep making excuses. This routine has got to change.
I've been having problems waking up even remotely early before work, hence why I have had to squeeze my workouts into the late night hours. It just seems like a horrible black hole of exhaustion...

sooooooo I signed up to start CROSSFIT next week!!!
 I think this will be the answer, because having a specific appointment where people are expecting me will motivate me more to haul myself out of bed and start my day earlier. This will also end my day earlier, which sounds like a good cycle. I'm excited for the high intensity of working out that I'll be able to do, and I'm especially happy to be doing it with other people! I even just miss the community setting of working out that rugby has. All of my workout attempts have been completely solo and boring.

I've just GOT to keep trying to find ways to continue working towards my rugby goals, even if I can't even play on a team right now. I'm trying hard to make RUGBY my job, because that truly makes me happy in life. Once I'm able to have a regular daytime job I will be [hopefully] SOARING, and LOVING all the rugby that comes into my life.
I will get there.
I WILL!!!!
....I'm just really impatient.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


My body needs a rest.

.....THERE. I SAID IT. yeesh.
I'm getting sicker and sicker from trying to work through this illness.
I can barely function, let alone get to work, with this stinkin' cold!
I went three days without any working out (...and practically LOST MY MIND), and then yesterday eased back into it with just a half hour. I already feel a little better from sweating it out but definitely not 100%. Hopefully the three days of nothingness were enough for me to just start working out again, and the cold will run its way out (?).
BUT, I've told myself that in the past and then just ended up drawing out the sickness for longer because my immune system is never able to fully recover.
.......BUTTTTT, at the same time I can't help but question if I'm just a big fat baby and none of this is true and I should just suck it up and keep going.

Oh well. Maybe it's both.

I also had physical therapy today, one of my last sessions, and my physical therapist gave me a really helpful guide to easing back into running after an injury. If you have ever suffered a severe ankle/leg/knee/foot injury or even just think you strained/pulled a muscle, here's a good way to continue with training but also heal yourself at the same time:

All of these steps vary based on your severity of injury (you can start at wherever you feel you can), and the time required to complete each step depends on when you are able to do it without pain or complication:
  1. Walk without a limp for 1 mile
  2. Jog 100 yards then walk 100 yards. Begin with no more than 1/4 mile.
  3. Add up to 1/4 mile every 2 or 3 days.
  4. Work to jogging 1/4 mile, then 1/2 mile, 3/4 mile, etc.
    • jog 1/4 (mile), walk 1/4, jog 1/4, walk 1/4
    • jog 1/4, walk 1/4, jog 1/2, walk 1/4
    • jog 1/2, walk 1/4, jog 1/2, walk 1/4
    • jog 1/2, walk 1/4, jog 3/4, walk 1/4
    • jog 3/4, walk 1/4, jog 3/4, walk 1/4
    • jog 3/4, walk 1/4 jog 1 mile, walk 1/4
    • jog 1 mile, walk 1/4, jog 1 mile, walk 1/4
  5. Once you can jog a mile switch over to "running" running - first at 1/2 speed, then 3/4 speed, then full speed
    • run 3 times per week
    • run at the "talk test" pace
    • ice after activity
  6. Add 5 minutes a week for the next 5 weeks
  7. Begin agility drills and functional training:
    • figure 8's
    • crossover running
    • skipping rope
My physical therapist warned me, "This is probably going to be pretty boring for you........" but I feel like this is why so many times this same injury has reoccurred: because the healing process is BORING! Like step 6: add 5 minutes a week for the next 5 WEEKS?! TOO LONG! I'll try and adapt as much of this as I can for as long as I can.
........but not making any promises.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Women's Rugby in a(nother) Nutshell

Rugby Flick Review: "TRY"

I've been on quite a rugby cinematic kick lately, and just recently watched a very interesting movie called "TRY". It was pretty eye opening about USA rugby in general and the grueling process it takes to be on the national team.


I was pretty struck by some statistics the movie gave:
  • The Rugby World cup is the THIRD most watched sport and the SECOND most popular sport in the WORLD
    • yet USA rugby players make $0......NADA....NONE (**movie was made in 2008 so this fact may have changed, but USA rugby players STILL don't make much)
What's even more shocking is that THE USA IS THE ONLY NATION TO WIN A GOLD MEDAL FOR RUGBY WHEN IT WAS IN THE OLYMPICS IN THE 1920s (...and they won TWICE IN A ROW!!).

The Olympic gold medal USA rugby team from the 1920s is actually an AMAZING story, which is known (not well enough!) as one of the greatest underdog stories in sports history.....comparable to the Miracle USA Olympic hockey team in the 1980s.
The USA Olympic rugby team was considered SUCH an underdog and not good enough to be successful, THE FUNDING FOR THE TEAM WAS PULLED ALLTOGETHER BY THE U.S. OLYMPIC COMMITTEE. The USA Olympic rugby team literally had ZERO DOLLARS to work with. The team raised the money they needed completely on their own to be able to travel to the 1920 and 1924 Olympics, where they faced nations that many people bet would beat the U.S. on odds of 5:1 with a  20 point spread (DAYUM).
But not only did the U.S. end up pulling their weight through the Olympics, they CREAMED some of the highly ranked teams they played. They beat Romania 39-0!!! Even with all of these dominating wins, people still expected the U.S. to have their asses handed to them in the final matches against France (which at the time, and still today, was a TITAN of rugby). There was a lot of publicity bashing the U.S. team and reiterating how they had no chance to take home the gold medal. But I love this quote from the captain of the U.S. Olympic rugby team, Babe Slater:
"We are sure going to let them know they have been in a battle."
What a mindset: not necessarily thinking about winning, but focusing more on giving it everything you've got and making sure the other team knows that for sure.
And the rest is history from there: USA upset France BOTH times and completely stunned the WORLD. what the heck happened?!?!?!!

The movie explains it well:
As USA started to prove it was a force to reckon with in the Olympic rugby realm, people started tuning into it more. But just as USA rugby started to rise in popularity, rugby was removed from the Olympics and its popularity in the USA plummeted. At the same time, during the 1920s people in the U.S. started craving something a little"patriotic" (that even sounds dumb to say, but it's true). Rugby was heavily known as a British sport back then, so people wanted something more "American" to grow in popularity. of course you can guess what came next: American football (aka the pansy birth child of rugby).
It really took hold in popularity the idea that "American football" was completely patriotic/American born, so rugby completely faded into the background and out of view in the United States.... because its parents are British. Talk about a typical 'MURRICA move.

But rugby is RAPIDLY making a comeback in the USA. Between 2004 and 2011, rugby in the U.S. has grown 350%. DAYUM. Between 2006 and 2011, the number of high school rugby players grew 84% (where the heck was my high school during this time?!!?! I curse every day at the fact that I didn't get a chance to play rugby in high school because my school didn't offer it). In 2010, the number of registered players in the USA surpassed Wales and Scotland, both teams that always put up a major fight in rugby.
USA rugby's major roadblock though continues to be FUNDING. They need more EXPOSURE to gain popularity and have more of a foundation to work off of. It was pretty inspiring to watch the USA rugby players in the movie have almost fewer resources than a club rugby team, yet still put in an unreal amount of hours full of hard work and dedication. I really laughed/felt for the team when they were literally doing their ice baths in GARBAGE CANS!
This will be why someday USA rugby will be UNSTOPPABLE around the world, because there is literally nothing driving these players except for the love of the game. Even soccer players around the world still gain a lot of fortune and publicity from playing (not to say that this is why they play, soccer players are also known for being very dedicated). Not only do USA rugby players not gain any monetary benefits from playing, but they also have to SACRIFICE a lot at the same time. Many people could argue that the sacrifices outweigh the gains, but I'm sure every single one of those players would disagree (or else why would they be on the team?).

Out of everything I gained from watching the documentary, this kind of struck me the most: 2 out of the 3 players they follow in the movie DO NOT MAKE THE TEAM. I think that is a harsh but honest reality they convey. I'm sure that statistic of 2 out of every 3 players getting cut is actually probably way bigger, but it is very very very very very hard to make the team. All 3 of the players were equally dedicated and put in the same amount of time, hard work, and sacrifice but only one came out with a spot on the team. What's great about this is that the 2 players who don't make the team are obviously disappointed, but they are not mad or bitter in any way. In fact, they specifically state that although they are sad they didn't make the team they are so proud of the people who did make the team and are happy for them. They also convey that they are not giving up. Even if USA rugby is out of the realm of possibility for them, their rugby careers still aren't over.