I almost forgot how great winning feels, but what I actually forgot was how great it is to be a part of a team.
The only sport I had ever done in my life was gymnastics. For about 12 years, I was a part of a team of really talented gymnasts, both on my club and high school teams. Winning was the best feeling, and knowing that I was a part of it felt even better.
Still, I came to the College convinced that I would never be involved in another team sport again, and for two years, I ignored the urge to compete.
But then I met the Women’s Rugby Club, and that all changed. I found a group of girls that were probably the craziest girls I have met in college, and the most accepting. I had encountered different groups of girls, and the dynamic was pretty much the same: very exclusive. Not these chicks, if you could hold your own, you were O.K. in their book.
I decided to try to play because once I saw how these girls played together, I just really wanted to be a part of it. (Plus, what other sport includes a social life in the schedule?)
So here I am, at the end of my first full year of playing, and I can honestly say that I can’t even compare it to anything else. Club sports, especially rugby, really do make the college experience better. I have made some amazing friends and been witness to a team achieving some incredible things.
Now I am not going to brag (ahem, Division 3 East Coast Champions, ahem) but I have to admit that being a part of a team is great, but seriously, being a part of a winning team is just the icing on the cake.
Teammates have said that everyone plays with a lot of “heart,” and it couldn’t be any more true.
I think the biggest thing to remember about rugby, or any other club sport, is that since it is not varsity, everyone that is involved plays because they just want to.
Not one player is getting a scholarship for being the star hooker or wing, no one is getting credits for their ability to scrum and everybody is there with a smile on their face.
I still miss gymnastics every once and a while, and it is hard to watch it on T.V. without welling up. But never once after a gymnastics meet did the judge join the teams in a big party and tap the keg for the girls. (Damn, those rugby refs can be cool when they want to be.) I never got to tackle anyone in gymnastics either.
It doesn’t really matter what sport I am talking about. If you have ever been a part of a team, you know what I am talking about. The urge to be a part of a team never goes away, and if you can do it, go back and do it again.
Basically, there are a lot of things I have been proud of this year, (and maybe not so proud of too), and being a part of rugby is a big one. I love you crazy rugby women and I can’t wait until next year to do it all over again.