I'm a rugby player. While it's true that I haven't actually played in many years (I do want to be able to walk into work on Monday mornings, after all) once a rugger, always a rugger. The importance of camaraderie, fitness and teamwork that were instilled those days on the pitch you don't shake very easily. Nor should you.
That's me in the official Mothers Rugby kit during the club's second or third season. We had solid navy jerseys first then we made the big move to 'reverse quarters' jerseys. Later that season, I designed the shield design that still is worn today by both men's and women's teams. -Looking back, it was probably my biggest contribution to the club.
I was never that good really. But, somehow, I managed to play and contribute in my fashion. The players and Dave the coach were good to me and I gradually improved enough to where I think that I was almost an average player on a very good team.
How did I get involved with rugby? How do guys get involved in the French Foreign Legion? Girl trouble. Being pissed. I was in such a mood one day walking through campus when I happened to see a bunch of rag tag guys playing what looked like 'smear the guy with the ball' (or something to that effect). Turns out that was one of the rugby club's first practices. Pob Rike was an equipment dealer who always had a bag of mismatched leftover jerseys in his trunk. Most guys didn't have any proper ones so we all bought those. They were thick cotton oldschool Maxmore jerseys made in South Africa. Greens, yellows, stripes, solids, hoop patterns on the sleeve. Some were torn to bits. Most were filthy. Yet, even though we had no uniform during those first practices, I knew that we were already a team.
About half way through that first practice, 'fun time' was over. We were then introduced to what rugby practice was all about; fitness. I was not very fit or very strong. I really never was because I was a tennis player and even though I was on the college varsity tennis team, fitness was never emphasized back then. Rugby was different and we were introduced to that during those first few practices. Line up for wind sprints. Line up for passing drills. We ended up the practice with having to carry a fellow player in our arms in relay races. I was left with a barrel of a guy who become our hooker. He was a big hooker and weighed like he was made of concrete. As a lay on the ground praying to vomit, I knew that I would quit the tennis team immediately.