Friday night.

30 10 2009

It’s Friday night. It’s the first Friday since August that there is no rugby for me to deal with tomorrow. No spectating, participating or running touch.

The men are in Toledo for their Conference Championships. If they win, they will be the #1 seed for the Midwests in the Spring. I really, really, really hope they win. I’m so proud of them.

With tonight off, I should be doing something, right? Out somewhere? Instead? I’m sitting here writing this. At home.

I’m finishing up that sewing project. It’s awesome, if I do say so myself. I’ll post pics in a few days.

I started working on the Brewfest judging tonight… And now I’m looking to add 2 judges. I want the judges to have fun, not end up in a beer induced coma. There’s just too many beers. Seriously.

Since I’ll be away next weekend, I should be making a list of all the stuff I need to take to Houston. I should also be kind of panicing about Brewfest. But I’m not.

I’m so “on the job” when in a stressful planning/event situation. But we’re not there yet. I have 6 days till I leave for Houston (on a flight that leaves at 6:11am. OMG. That’s going to be ROUGH.) I have until Tuesday night before I enter that stress time.

And Brewfest? Well, that freak out will start on Tuesday after we return from Nationals. It’s just too early to start.

So until those times are upon me, I’m in find-a-freaking-job mode and in la-la land.

Spectacular.

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Nationals: A second chance

30 10 2009

As I said in my last post, the Angels have a blog for their trip to Nationals. After you read this, I ask that you visit that blog over the next week or so. The posts are starting to come in, and I’ll put two or more up each day. I think you’ll get to read some very wonderful things about a great group of women working towards our goal.

While some of us might post more than once, the Coach gave each member of the team an “assignment” – a topic to write about. They vary from a Top Ten list, to Balance, whether you’d prefer a Big Hit or an Awesome Try… Ten in all. And each post will be categorized based on the topic.

This was my assignment, we’re tagging it Insight: “As a veteran player on the team, this is your second trip to nationals.  How is this championship going to be different than the one in 2006?  What are the biggest differences between the 2006 team and the 2009 team? What does this year’s opportunity mean to you?”

I may write more here about this soon, but here is my post. It’s here and on the Angels Chalk Talk today.

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If someone had told me in 1993 when I entered college, that I would take a chance as a non-athlete and play rugby at Ohio U, eventually become a captain and a player-coach and fall in love with the game? I wouldn’t have believed them.

If they’d have then told me that I’d leave the sport & come back because there was something missing in my life and rugby was it, I’d have laughed out loud.

But that’s what happened, and in 2002 I joined the Pittsburgh Angels.

If they’d told me in 2002 that I’d eventually become not only a part of an organization that is a family in many ways, but also a leader for an organization such as this, or part a team that would eventually obtain THREE Midwest Championships in my time and go to Nationals twice while I was playing? I would have told them they were insane. But wow, am I glad I’m here now.

Since 2002, so many things have changed on this team:

– We are no longer an individual team standing alone. We are now a part of the Pittsburgh Rugby Club. Where we are supported by our men’s side and support them as well.
– We are no longer a few women playing with college girls at Pitt. We are now women who play with women, recent college grads or collegians that choose to play with us!
– We are older, some of us more than we’d like to admit or acknowledge. But we’ve recently gotten a huge influx of younger girls that makes my old heart happy.
– We have gone through 3-4 or more coaches, and now have a coach who is so dedicated to us I can’t even wrap my mind around it. I honestly remember a time where I had to find us a coach and I had no idea what to do. Not a clue.

The fight has been hard. And it’s been long. But the Angels have been fighting since before I joined in 2002. While we may not have been as freaking fantastic as we are now, we’ve always been a team of women fighting to better our game. Achieve more. I am so proud of this team.

In 2006 when we won Midwests and were going to Nationals, I almost didn’t go. I managed it, and I can tell you now that I really didn’t know what I was going into. Besides some of our teammates who played for Penn State, I’m not sure the rest of us knew what we’d gotten ourselves into.

pghrugbyangel_2006_nationals

We didn’t do poorly, but we didn’t do as well as we hoped. We ended up 3rd in the Nation. We weren’t overly happy with the result, but overall we were okay when we got home.

But now? It’s different. It’s so very different.

We were not the team then that we are now. We are a lot of the same people, but NOT the same team.

This team? This team knows what the hell is going on. And we know what we are getting ourselves into, are intent on overcoming whatever comes our way.

I’ve said I’m old, and I am. And as an administrator, and having much to do now & over the years, this season really got away from me for many reasons, and I didn’t apply myself as much as I should have…

I took over the running the Midwest Championships because of the love for my teammates. That and being able to run touch made me unable to play. And when we won? I was so happy. But I was also so incredibly sad.

Once I heard what it would take to get me to Houston, I was devastated. I’m unemployed. Not just one job, but two jobs unemployed. It’s not fun here, folks.

However, I’ve been given one of the best gifts & opportunities in my life. I’m going to Houston. I will be there with the rest of my Angels.

And I’ll be damned if I waste it. I promise those of you who know why & what I’m talking about… I WILL NOT waste this. Not for a hot second.

I’m in it to win it. You have no freaking idea.

We can do this.





Stress?

28 10 2009

The Angels and I… We leave for Houston on Nov. 6th. Some return on the 8th, the rest of us on the 8th.

Brewfest is Nov. 13th.

I might lose my *stuff,* if you will, between now and the 6th and the 8th and 13th. This is your fair warning. If you don’t read this blog, and you suffer the wrath, it’s your own fault. (Yeah, guess who I’m pointing at? There are a few…)

Two other things:

1) The Angels now have a blog for their Nationals trip

2) I may not post here as much as I want between now at the Brewfest…

But I’ll do what I can. As always. Woa. I’m overwhelmed.





Hard work.

27 10 2009

First of all, I have no idea who reads this blog unless they comment, obviously. But sometimes the spikes in my hits and the “top posts” of the day have me wondering what’s going on in the world. I put up two posts in the past 24 hours. But what did people look at most? My St. Patrick’s Day post & the Madonna post. The Madonna one doesn’t surprise me. It’s the biggest draw I have, ever. Hilarious, to be honest. But the others? No clue.

However, thankfully, the last biggest draw was the one about Houston.

Our first practice before Nationals was tonight. And coach decided to throw in some fitness running. God I hate running. Especially with post-nasal drip and a stuffy nose (no, I have not kicked the head cold that I got nearly 3 weeks ago.) And the back pain that comes with the rain. So awesome.

However, considering I’m so anti-fitness and anti-running, I am shocked at the fact that I finished the drill (no, not the pushups/burpees, although I tried, but the post-nasal drip won on that one… ) but I completed the running. I hate running unless I can have the chance to hold a rugby ball. But this didn’t involve a rugby ball. So I’m happy.

I’m trying to work really hard before Nationals. I know it’s late, probably to late, to do so, but I’ve been given the gift of going to Houston, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to waste it. I WILL make the most of the entire experience. From tonight through the trip home.

In other news, I’ve created a page on the pghrugby.com website for the Angels trip to Nationals. You can find it here: http://pghrugby.com/2009_Angels_Nationals.html

Me and my cute blue Netbook will be updating everything as it happens, well, as much as possible…

And also, the Angels have a blog. Well, we will. As soon as I receive the first post. We’re going to blog about what we expect, how we feel about this and what it means. I’ll post that link as soon as it’s live. It has a built in post and comment RSS feed. Sweet!

I’ll also be blogging here throughout about my experiences.

I hope that you’ll all tune in to see what’s going on. I’ll also Tweet little bits of info as I can. 🙂





Houston, Texas

26 10 2009

On Friday, November 6th, my teammates and I are headed to Houston, Texas. For the Division II National Championships.

This is a big deal, folks.

I”m sure we’ll face some crazy competition. But after seeing my team play this past weekend, I am convinced there is nothing we can’t overcome. We have some things to work on this week and next, but I really believe in my team.

I know we can do this. We have so many talented players.

Because I am blessed with some of the most amazing friends on the planet, I will be posting updates here and on a soon-to-be-created page on our website so that everyone can see how we’re doing.

As if I’d leave home without a guaranteed way to access the interwebz. Hah!

Based on a Twitter convo this evening, I think I’ll have to check my rugby bag for my flight. Well, at least my cleats. According to @shireman, they are terrifying. I disagree, but add them plus the enormity of my rugby bag, I guess it’s going to be easier to check it and pray that it gets there.

To me, hoping that my bag gets there is more terrifying than my cleats. Really.

But at least at baggage claim, I won’t have a problem finding my day-glo yellow bag with my name emblazoned on it. Lol.

All in all, it’s really all worth it, considering that I can make it to Houston!

And everyone? Thank you.





#2 Seed.

26 10 2009

WOW. We won on Sunday… Not that I didn’t think we could do it… The Angels are honestly amazing… But this means we are the #2 seed at Nationals. WOW.

I ran touch for the 3rd place match. Scioto Valley won easily over the intoxicated County Will 92-0. Flash, ME and I were expecting a sh*$-show bad game, given what we saw when we arrived at the field… But instead, we dealt with a super-long, boring, no-drama match… Yes. Ninety-two to ZERO. Yeah…

The Angels match started before we were done with ours. So the hot second that first match was done? I handed over my touch flag to ME, and RAN like a crazy lady to my team. I didn’t know if I was playing. But I HAD to be there. And I’m glad I was.

We beat Minnesota 27.-5.

Around halftime, I realized I wasn’t going to play… So in the 2nd half, I went to the other side of the pitch to deal with the details of running the tourney, cleaning up etc.

Thanks to UncleCrappy, MrsCrappy, ClumberKim and FatherSpoon for coming to watch us. I finally got to meet ClumberKim’s daughter, E. And ohmygosh. She is amazingly adorable.

The tournament went really well, we received many compliments & I personally think that everything went very well.

I’m grateful for the volunteers that we had, for the refs & other touch judges, for the members of Pitt City who came out to support us on Sunday, and for themembers of the Pittsburgh Harlequins who helped to set up everything, ran the scoreboard and helped us make the tournament a success. A big thanks to everyone!





Going to Nationals…

24 10 2009

Well, my teammates are. The Angels beat Scioto Valley this evening, 50-17. Yeah. 50 points. It was awesome.

This win guarantees us a spot in Nationals. What we do tomorrow determines our seeding.

We will play Minnesota at 11:30am for the Midwest Championship. I might make an appearance in that game. No promises, you never know. And I never know, but our coach makes great decisions, so we’ll just trust him on this one.

I am running touch again (which I did pretty well with this evening!) for the consolation match at 10am. And if I’m not playing during the Angels match, I’ll probably be with UncleCrappy & MrsCrappy. So you know where to find me in that case.

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I said my teammates, and not that I or we were going to Nationals because the group flight is $400.

Given my current financial situation (ie. I gotz no job). I can’t even afford a flight on my own on Southwest for under $200. Oh hai stupid Living Room… if I still worked there I *might* be able to afford the $200.

So I won’t be in Houston – and I really can’t tell you how upset I am about this. So we won’t talk about that, ok? But if someone out there who owns a business would love to bankroll that $200-400 for me, I’d gladly advertise you, somehow… lol…

But I’ll hopefully be in total contact with the girls and will update the website ASAP after I hear what happens. I know they can do this. I KNOW IT.

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I am SO DAMN PROUD of my team and my coach. I love every single person that ever steps on the field for my Angels. Really.

They kicked some serious butt today. It was really hard for me to run touch and not scream and yell & cheer them on. But they were amazing. And I know they’ll be amazing tomorrow.

If you’d like backup on my belief they played well, you can ask FatherSpoon, Norm or Abby. Or the lovely Mrs. Derda or even better, Teaspoon. Yep, he was there! First tailgate for my little boyfriend was at a rugby game. That’s so awesome.

Although if you ask Teaspoon, he might just drool on you. And personally, I think you should take that as a compliment… He drooled when I finally said hi to him today, and I, well, I feel honored. 🙂

I know these friends didn’t understand the game at all, but I really appreciate the support for my team. Norm did try to clarify a few things at half time, but I’m not sure I helped much – it was too short a time period for me to explain much. Sorry, Norm. I love that you tried to understand my game, though.

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In other news, unfortunately, our men lost today to Lexington. They are now 5-1 in division play. And you know, I think NO LESS of them for that loss, and nor should they or anyone else. My guys did something I didn’t think possible for quite some time. They took on opponents and kicked their butts. There was no break down within the team when an opponent scored or they had a penalty against them… I am so proud of the guys.

And I think that maybe this loss could be a good thing for them. It will make them work harder from now until the Spring (when their Nationals etc. happen) and make better things happen then. I have faith in these men. Just like the Angels can do it, so can they.

So you aren’t undefeated… Gentlemen, you should be so damn proud of what you’ve done… You have NO IDEA.

And I really hope good things for both of these teams going forward. I love them both. Entirely.

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Oh! And I can’t forget this… THANK YOU SO FREAKING MUCH TO OUR VOLUNTEERS WHO SHOWED UP TODAY AT NOON AND HELPED US SET UP THE FIELDS. WOW!! Parents, former players, current players, some Quins. WOW. Did we get it done. You guys are AWESOME. Amazing. Thank you so much. You have NO IDEA!!