The first week of my junior fall semester of college, it was still only my second semester at SUNY Oswego after having transferred colleges (multiple times). I didn’t really do any extracurriculars at this point, besides being a transfer mentor for new transferring students. It was there I met a couple girls that told me they played for our club rugby team. I didn’t even know Oz had a rugby team, and the most I’d really ever heard about rugby was from that one episode of Friends where Ross tries to play. Those girls told me I should check it out, that the team was a lot of fun. I should add the last sport I had played was on the track team, in middle school, throwing shotput. I am not athletic.
That Thursday, I went to the first practice, to check things out, and see what it was all about. I fell in love. The girls were fantastic, super nice and welcoming. Everyone seemed so close on the team.
At the same time that first week of fall semester, I was going through some drastic changes in my life. My serious boyfriend of over two years, broke up with me that weekend after the first week. I was devastated.
For me, rugby gave me something to look forward to that semester, and this semester as well. It pulled me out of that rut in my life, and changed me. My team became my family so quickly, and it made it easier for me to move on. I met my best friends on rugby. They are my team, my family, my best friends, and I am completely myself around them, no hiding anything. Rugby became the thing that helped me de-stress.
Starting out, fall semester, I was by no means in shape, and I couldn’t catch a ball to save my life, and I was also taking some really hard classes. I sucked. My teammates were there the whole time though, pushing me. I lost over 20 pounds fall semester from going to practice 2 hours a day, 5 days a week, and doing the hardest workout I’ve ever done. It wrecked my body that first month, but I had never felt bettter in my life.
Over winter break, while we were off season, I kicked my own ass at the gym and doing some things on my own to try and stay in shape and so that I would be ready to kick ass come spring semester. I worked so hard, because I didn’t have a natural knack for rugby, let alone sports.
This semester, (spring) I feel I have improved so much. I give it my all and all of my heart and energy. It’s great to see rookies of this semester in the same place I was last fall, and it feels wonderful to have my vets and other team members noitce that work that I have put in to become a better player. I have never been so proud of myself.
This is a picture of my team from our Saturday home tournament, the Greased Weasel. It was our last tournament of the season and it makes me so sad to have to say goodbye to some of these girls and to be done with rugby til fall.
Rugby saved me. It saved my mind, my body, and my soul. It pulled me out of one of the darkest times of my life, when I felt I had lost everything, and it keeps me from getting back to that place. I have shed many tears for this sport, from injuries, from frustration, from happiness. My teammates are my family. They saved me. Rugby saved my body in that I have not been this healthy in a long time, and it pulled me out of my heaviest point in my life. Rugby toughened me up, it helped me grow up a little bit. Rugby is love. It saved me, it changed me, and is making me someone I can love. I love myself, because of rugby, because of my team.
I am a rugby player, I am an athlete. I am a tough woman.
Kayne Lawton , YOU ARE SO FUCKING PERFECT , PERFECT MAN !!!!!
Oh jesus !!
Rugby has become my new favorite tag to search