Saturday, March 07, 2009

The Answer is NO!

Earlier this week I found myself seriously contemplating retiring from being an active Young Boy rugger. You don't want to be a guy who hangs on too long and loses the respect and admiration of his mates and opponents that has been earned over the course of many years by thinking too much of yourself and your abilities.

As I sit here on the couch; with a golf ball sized lump on my head, a bag of ice on my ankle, and just about every muscle in my body begging for relief that will not come any time soon; I know that I do still have something left in the tank. Perhaps even more than I suspected. I know that the time for me to retire has not come yet and probably will not come any time soon.

I don't think I played particularly well today in large part because I'm so out of shape. I wasn't bad, I didn't embarrass myself but I could feel the years and the lack of training over the last nine months. My quads were still aching from Thursday nights practice when I left the house this morning and I cramped up about five minutes into the second half of the game against the Hooligans.

My body wasn't there, but my mind, my rugby mind is sharper than ever. It seems with every passing year as I lose another step or half a step, I see the field better. The game slows down around me as I see holes open up that I wouldn't have seen five years ago or I see where my opponent is going with the ball before he even has it in his hands. This knowledge, this vision will help me continue to be a player who can dominate a game and be a force on the field, but only if it's in conjunction with a more intense training program.

My body is screaming at me and I know that I have no choice now but to start working out outside of the one night a week I make it to practice. There's no other way that a guy who is closing in on 40 can be an effective utility forward (the only thing I can't do in the scrum is hook) unless he keeps his fitness up. Even though I've never been much for weight lifting and conditioning outside of practice, I will start now because this game is like an infection, a virus, a sickness with me and I hope that I never recover.


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