Preseason, part II

June 29, 2008

We’re a few weeks in, and life is no more fun. Not by any stretch. I’ve been in constant pain now for three weeks. I’ve not slept a full night in that time, simply because I can’t move around in bed without a previously-unknown muscle group reminding me of its presence.

But as much as this awful pursuit is ruining my enjoyment of life, I’m yet to be convinced that I’d like things any other way. It’s taking time, effort, and no small amount of pain, but I’m getting better. I’ve never been the world’s best sprinter, but at training yesterday, I nearly overtook someone. This week promises a bunch of position-specific work. For my role—a scrummaging specialist—this means that I’ll be doing a whole bunch of anaerobics and deadlifting. I like neither. Yet, as ever, I don’t want it any other way. I love my club, I love my sport, and I know that everyone else on the playing staff is feeling the same as I do, and making the same sacrifices. In the coming season, I know they won’t let me down. I have to make sure that I won’t let them down. The only way to ensure this is more hard work, more time, and a whole lot more pain. But it’ll be worth it. This time next year, I’ll be hating life as much as I do now, but at least I’ll be doing it one league higher up.

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The Evening Standard’s advertising poster for this evening—detailing the recent arrest of John from Blue Peter (ex Catherine Zeta)—read “John Leslie rape quiz”. I’m not going to that; I’m better at science and nature.

Preseason

June 16, 2008

Last month, I watched the finest dvd ever created. Ever since, I’ve been counting the minutes until I can get back on the rugby pitch. Needless to say, now that I have, I really wish I hadn’t.

On saturday, we had a fitness test to set a baseline for the upcoming summer’s endeavours. Of the people who were there, I knew that I’d perhaps fare a little worse than the 9 stone 16 year-old. Seeing as the session was 2 days ago, and that even now, I’m in such splendidly searing agony that even writing this post is making my fingers hurt, I’m pretty sure that was indeed the case.

Knowing the fitness coach, I’m pretty confident that I’ll be spending the next 3 months mainlining ibuprofen. On a slightly more worrying note, the friday just gone was the last day in the next 9-10 months that I’ll spend not hurting. The rest of the preseason and season will be spent cramped, with aching muscles, bruised, and generally feeling sorry for myself.

But, as ever, would I have it any other way? Of course not. This season, my own personal Everest may come. I need to make sure that I’m ready.