Wednesday, November 7, 2007

It's Go Time.

In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility;
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger:
Stiffen the sinews, conjure up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favored rage.
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Now set the teeth, and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath, and bend up every spirit
To his full height!”
--Shakespeare, Henry V

Tomorrow we fly to nationals! It's my 3rd trip to a final four and my first with NYRC and the familiar butterflies are back...I love this feeling, such a great mix of nerves, excitement, pent-up energy, aggression, and love for the team. Seriously, that on-the-spot decision to go to Saranac with a bunch of people I'd known for 2 hours is second only to my decision to go to PU in terms of best life choices! I am so excited to be a part of this trip with my New York family!

It's been a long time since my last trip to a warm, sunny locale for a semi-final game, and the faces around me in the pre-game huddle are all new, but I think the following still applies to my rugby experience and I am so grateful to Maggie for expressing what I was not able to. I've read this before every game I've played in or watched since I first heard it almost 4 years ago, and it never fails to ready me. So it's here, if for no other reason than for me to read it online when I lose my printout :)

It’s getting difficult to recall what life was like
before you could say hooker without a smirk,
what you did with your afternoons before
they became rugby time.

You’re used to this sort of confusion, of course –
the green, the self-conscious, the disoriented
haze after a hit to the head that takes you
back to your first time.

You weren’t quite sure where to put your head
or your hands, or your body for that matter.
You had to learn new meanings for old words:
prop and post became what you were and did,
and a dog and small child weren’t the first
things you thought of when you heard maul.
“Nice try” didn’t carry the same subtle, veiled
note of disappointment, and that host of –tion
words (motivation, inspiration, dedication)
was no longer something you made fun of for
its tendency to overrun corporate brochures,
inspirational videos, latenight infomercials.
That host of words was now a part of you:
you understood what it meant to be dedicated,
and you liked that you were, even if it meant
late, late nights and early, early mornings,
even if it meant runs and hits in rain and snow,
even if it meant you had to travel in uniform.

It’s getting difficult to recall what life was like
before you could play without getting sore,
bruised, and broken, before you had to
justify the pain and tear to everyone.

They ask: Why do you play? How can it be worth it?
You think of how good it feels to be sore and tired,
to win, to drink out of a trophy. But you know

that the real answers they just wouldn’t understand.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sometimes it's not whether you get hit, its whether or not you get up,
it's not whether you tackle, its whether or not you can tackle again and again,

Sometimes it's not whether you drive, it's whether or not you keep driving,
it's not whether you can pass, it's whether you know when to.

Sometimes it's not whether you can run, its whether or not you can keep running,
and it's not how fast but how far.'s not going to be always but it's not going to be never know that you are prepared to do whatever it takes and you have it in you.

You can say you are in this together or together in this, but either way...take eachother with you...and know that wherever you are fighting others hearts are fighting with you too.....

And if you ever need anything to help you keep driving, keep running, keep hitting remember that your "sometimes" will be magnificent...