If Life were like Rugby….

So my ‘down time’ has reaffirmed my long standing belief that I am not a very good patient.  I have trouble sitting still when left to myself (unless a good book is involved) and since TV is pretty lame and I have already watched two movies today, here I am blogging again.  Too much time for reflection, at least in my case, may not always be a good thing. 🙂

I started thinking about things I would rather be doing…rugby comes to mind since the Six Nations are being played right now, but since America is only starting to decide if the sport is important enough to be broadcast on normal television, and since I don’t get the channel it is on in my cable package, I have to rely on the web for updates on the key matchups and results from my favorite game.

I have been asked many times before how I got involved in rugby…truth is, I didn’t start playing until after college.  I had been asked to play in college but was busy competing in Track and Field and frankly thought the sport was a bit crazy at that time.  When I met my ex wife, she had been dating a rugby guy prior to me and, still getting pressure from my friends to come out and give it a go and with her supporting me, I took the plunge.  What started was my affection for what I consider to be one of the world’s greatest games.  I played for many years in San Diego for the Old Aztecs and North County Gurkhas.  I played in an International Golden Oldies Tournament in 2005 in San Diego which boasted 200 teams from all over the globe.  I played here in San Antonio  with the Alamo City Defenders for a few seasons before I had to hang up the spikes for my first shoulder surgery in 2008.  Now, after my shoulder surgery on the other side, I am shelved again… but as rugby is a game you play your whole life…who knows?  I must say that San Antonio is a rough place to play rugby.  There is a lot of dust, the pitches (fields) are typically as hard as a rock with not too much grass to be found, and you never know when you will be scrumming down on top of a pile of fire ants.  Luckily the referees are usually pretty amenable to moving the scrum 5 meters if someone complains.  Thinking about all of this got me to thinking about the game and what it would be like if Life (in general) were more like rugby….

– Rugby players come in all shapes and sizes.  If numbers 1 through 15 all looked alike, it wouldn’t be much of a team.  Every position has its purpose and its strength and different players are celebrated for their differences and what they can bring to the team.  Everyone is relied on to do their part for the team and do what they are good at.  For the most part, life is like this, or at least it should be… People should be celebrated for their differences and what they can uniquely bring to the table as part of a higher purpose.

– Rugby players are passionate… They are passionate about their fitness, their training, their work hard and play hard attitude.  Life should be passionate.  People should be interested in their health and their work ethic to get there.  Public Service Announcement:  I am not trying to imply in the above idea that Life should be full of drunken songs at the bar.  That is a rugby thing that might not translate 😉

– Rugby players are fierce competitors but fast friends after the match.  There is a camaraderie in this sport that is sometimes hard to describe.  There is a respect that is pervasive across both clubs when you are in a match.  You may not like your opponent too much when the match is going on, but you do respect him…and afterwards at the bar you share an understanding of what it took to be in the trenches together.   Sure there are issues during the game and tempers flare, but shenanigans are typically sorted out during the match.  If someone gets out of order, then you sort them out and can probably have a laugh about it afterwards.  Stuff like that doesn’t always happen in Life… We seem to hold our grudges for a lot longer…

– In rugby, when a player is injured, the trainers will typically run out onto the field and pour cold water on him.  If he is really injured (unable to continue) he is carted off, otherwise he is expected to carry on, to get up and dust himself off and play.  It isn’t a game like soccer where a flashy guy in a silky shirt will fake an injury to try to gain an advantage…one minute he acts as if his leg is broken and the next he is running full speed.  There is no playing the victim in rugby.  Life should be more like that… Much less of people playing the victim or trying to gain advantage over their fellow man by acting injured or disadvantaged.  When I see people like this I think they are due for some cold water.

– Rugby is an international game which brings many cultures together.  Doesn’t matter what political opinions, customs, ideologies exist off the field, on the field the game is kept pure….Enough said.

Anyway…I am sure there are other things…but these are the ones that stick out for now…

Wil

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