This is not a hobby. This is an illness.

August 27, 2006

I am not enjoying this.

As I write this post, my legs hurt too much to travel up or down stairs. I cannot straighten my right index finger, and the thought of raising my left arm close to vertically makes me wince.  Wearing short sleeves, I can see the 12cm scar on my forearm.
If I care to go back 5 years, I have accrued a broken wrist, a cracked rib, a fractured shoulder, a strained Achilles tendon, chipped my knee, pulled muscles in my back and neck, cut my head open, and been knocked out.

For this privilege, I have invested a not insubstantial amount of time and money.  In what cause? Playing rugby.  Playing rugby hurts, smells, is frequently too wet, and too cold. When I take the field, there are people whose sole intention it is to inflict pain upon me, in the same way that I aim to reciprocate.  And I’m a pacifist. Without sounding too unloved, it’s my job on the pitch to run, lift, and push myself into the ground so that other people can score tries and look good.  In so doing, I wear a pair of shorts the brevity of which would make Mary Quant blush.

And yet I love it.  I had to watch a match from the subs bench last weekend, jetlagged after a 15 hour journey, and spent the whole 80 minutes wanting only to get on the pitch.  Today, with legs seemingly on fire after yesterday’s weight training session, all I could think about was whether or not we had a match next weekend.  Yesterday was my last free saturday afternoon until next april.

There must be a good reason for this obsession.  But I don’t know what it could possibly be. When I lived a completely sedentary lifestyle, I can safely say that things were great.  But come every sunday morning, for the next 8 months, I will wake up feeling like I’ve been run over.  Yet I wouldn’t swap it for the world.  And that’s why I think I must be ill. Sane, well people just don’t do this.


4 Responses to “This is not a hobby. This is an illness.”

  1. MushyMajor Says:

    For some reason Daffydd from Little Britain is sprang to mind when I read the bit about the shorts. Just as well the club colours aren’t sequined electric blue I suppose.

  2. Sean Park Says:

    If it ever gets too much. (the pain that is) I highly suggest coaching, especially minis. Not quite the same as running out there yourself but amazingly rewarding way to remain in rugby once the body says ‘no mas’… think of it as methadone.

  3. […] Those who don’t play rugby — and many of those who do — are not aware of what goes on in the admittedly murky area of the front row.  As a tight head prop, I find myself in the thick of it on a regular basis. And as I mentioned the other day, I love it.  And here’s why. […]

  4. Lars Says:

    Maybe you should take up something safer and less likely to damage you.
    Somethingwith swords, axes, spears and pole arms…

    Like viking re-enactment 🙂

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