Getting ridiculously excited for the Olympics this year. Not only will this be the year that rugby returns to the Olympics, but my former teammate Carmen Farmer made the team! Carmen and I played for Severn River Rugby, and in 2012 we went to the national tournament for D2 level teams. Came in 2nd in the nation, and Carmen caught the notice of one of the folks recruiting for USA Rugby. She’s fast, she’s tall, she handles the ball well, and she tackles like a beast! Watch for her starting August 6th!
This Saturday, my rugby team, Severn River Rugby, heads to the Nationals quarter and semifinals. This is the 2nd time I’m headed to the premiere contest for my division, and the third time in four years for my team overall. Last year, we lost in the final game, bringing home the silver medal. We don’t like second.
The games this weekend are in Pittsburgh, so we’ve been coordinating car pools and hotels. If we win both games, we’ll be headed to Wisconsin for the final game, needing air tickets, hotels, and car rentals. Although software wonks make a reasonable living, most of my team fits more in the student / waitress / otherwise breaking into their career category. Can’t win without us all there – can you help by contributing to our IndieGogo campaign? Every bit helps! We’ve also worked a stand at the Ravens stadium, are holding guest bar tending nights in Annapolis (Dock Street, May 14th, and likely Stan & Joe’s the following week), and are selling T-shirts to our fans. Orioles raffle coming, too!
We are a 501(3)(c). We’re also recruiting team members to join us for the summer sevens and fall seasons – come play with a winning team who knows to have fun! Watch the contribution box over to the right, or head directly to our IndieGogo campaign. Great perks, befitting a rugby team and its fans!
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!
My womens’ rugby team, Severn River Rugby, is planning a tour of South Africa next summer! Very exciting! We’re planning to be there for two weeks, and our coach is looking at finding us three games. Doing some poking around, apparently womens’ rugby has only really been in action there since 2001. Coach took another local team, the Washington Furies, in 2004, so this then becomes a chance to introduce a new set of ladies to each other, communicating through the hard-hitting language of tackles on the field with socials off the field. We’re seeking sponsors for this trip: if you’re interested in helping encourage the growth of womens’ rugby, not only here, but internationally, please let me know.
I have other interests beyond rugby – surprise to so many who know how driven I am about getting to play my sport. If we/I am going to Africa, I’m seeking to make good use of that time and expense to do something which honors the Lord. I’ll sneak as many of our players in along with me, whether or not their personal motivations are for the Lord, for serving others, or just for checking out an interesting experience. It turns out our church is connected with a missionary family in South Africa, so reaching out there. Our coach connected me with a group called ‘Hope in South Africa’ – check out their Sundowners event this Oct 20. I’m not personally involved with the group yet, but the things I’m seeing on their site and on their Facebook page are very interesting and inspiring to read. If you’re personally aware of other areas, very interested in hearing. Again, the driver here is just that if I’m investing the time and money to go to Africa, away from other areas in life, it oughta be for more than “just” playing rugby and touring around.
Today was the last day of Severn River Rugby’s spring season. Any typos in this post are the fault of two fingers being taped together after at least bruising, possibly breaking one of mine. But the season wound up undefeated! Highlights: stopping a try (today) on the goal line; not being last finishing sprint drills in practice (I am the oldest player by several years on the team); getting picked to play A-side consistently; getting asked to play for the Olde Girls at RuggerFest (35+ team, selective, many players have played at the top tiers of womens’ rugby); PLAYING for the Olde Girls (not only undefeated, but not scored upon during the weekend); scoring a try; torqueing (breaking?) my nose; going to work with a black eye (non-nose related)…
Great season! Sorry to see 15’s end. We have a few weeks off before 7’s season practice begins. Many, many thanks to my hubby for letting me play! Most appreciated! And Cora now wants to play kids’ rugby (touch) this summer – looking forward to it!
From 7-9 this evening much mud was acquired. Many sprints were sprinted (OK, as quickly run as I could pull off – I was definitely bringing up the rear, but that’s not old age – I’m just slow). Many tackles made, many times tackled. Passing drills successfully accomplished. Sore, but not in an amazingly awful way. Will see what tomorrow looks like.
Amusing anecdote: was asked if I had played before. Yep, played at UMBC. Oh, did you know so-and-so? Probably not, graduated a long time ago. Well, maybe you’d know her anyway, she’s 26? Uh huh, not so much. I’ll count that as them not being able to judge how old I am (ten+ years older than their “old” player from UMBC). And/or, more rationally realize we were playing mostly in the dark.
Much fun had by the old rugger! Can’t wait for the next practice, and then my first game!