Celebrations of an old rugger

This weekend one of my teammates threw a birthday party, as she had turned 25.  25!  I think I was done playing rugby at 25.  I was done my college playing years, had done the club rugby thing for a year or two, and then got married and began planning a family.  I returned to rugby again last spring, having had our three kids and now being well past 25.  I wonder whether these young ladies will continue on and through, or whether they’ll take a temporary or worse, more permanent break from the sport.  One woman I talked with on Saturday, just perhaps hitting 30, feels as if her body doesn’t recover quickly enough from the abuse our sport deals out, and so she’s considering stepping away.  I told her I had dreams of rugby fields at night, that that’s what drew me back in, abuse or no.  (To be fair, she had a pretty tough injury season this go-round.)

Our coach is 58 (?!), I think, and still plays occasionally.  I’m not yet 40, though approaching it quickly, wondering how long I can keep going, and hoping it’s a good long time.  I’m daydreaming of throwing a birthday party this year with my rugger team, just to show them a number higher than 25, still out on the field, still making the tackles, still taking the hits.  Age, so far, has been a matter of needing to counteract slowness to recover with more vigourous preparation beforehand.  I’ve gotten faster and stronger through many sessions at the gym.  I’ve gone to all the pre-season practices to get to rugby readiness.  In March we’ll begin our spring season, and the not-yet 40 year old will be on the field with teammates literally young enough to be my children.  (I did graduate from Glen Burnie, after all…  some folks get a good jumpstart there on child rearing..)  And I’ll be kicking some tail, and showing ’em it can still be done, well past 25, well past 30, and keeping on rucking!

 

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