2 weeks ago, the Lund Gents and Women Rugby teams commemorated the end to the season with an annual dinner at one Lund’s ritzy dinner halls. It was a memorable and intimate night where we celebrated rugby as a sport and it’s players. If you haven’t guessed it yet, I recently joined the Women’s Rugby team at Lund. The stereotypes that surround rugby women players seem to imply that we are butch, have extra thick muscles and don’t exude femininity. This couldn’t be further from the truth and today I share with you the experience of joining the Women Rugby team in a Sweden University. I also share the intriguing lessons in badassery that have come along with it.
[Badassery: Engaging in seemingly impossible activities and achieving success in a manner that renders all onlookers completely awestruck.]
It is always interesting to watch peoples’ reactions when I tell them that I play rugby. They range from disbelief, shock, confusion, surprise to excitement. For those who have not met me, here’s my player profile. Let’s get acquainted:
I attended one of the fairs organised by my university in early September to get a feel of the different extracurricular activities – clubs and societies available at the university. There, I met 2 gorgeous Lugi ladies who invited me for trials. I attended the trials a week later and its safe to say that and it has been an interesting couple of months with a new spin to my Mondays and Wednesday evenings when we get to practice. Here are some of the lessons I am picking along the way.
1. Bonding and Girl power:
I love strong women: strong in character, will, ambition and physical strength because their strength and inspiration rub off on me. I get to play with these women every day. They are hilarious, they don’t make the overly touchy game feel weird, they want to hold the longest planks and lift the heaviest weights and they throw a good party. The rugby team has been undeniably welcoming to the newbies and they are always helping us better understand the rules of the game through encouragement and support. Strong women building each other up never looked so beautiful. Apart from rugby, we take part in other activities such as work out sessions, moot courts and club parties that allow you to have a good time outside of rugby.
2. Passion, dedication & commitment
It’s hard to continually pursue an interest without passion. To get longevity in any hobby, building an honest interest helps fuel your dedication and commitment. The first practice session was confusing for me as I had never played this game before. I knew nothing about rugby rules, tackles and formations and ran around with little to no coordination. I instinctively passed the ball to a team member almost immediately after receiving it because I was too nervous. However, the more I practise, the more I learn and challenge myself to be better. I am continuously seeking to learn more about the game: the basics of tackling and scrumming, rugby rules and defending tactics. Being dedicated to making myself stronger, running faster, tackling harder and enduring more is pleasantly rewarding and somewhat motivates me in all other areas of my life including my education.
3. Going as a Team Vs. going alone
Rugby is a team sport and better coordination contributes to a win. As is with any other team, coordination, communication and respect are essential. You defend and score together. When your teammate has the ball, they count on you to help them score. When you have the ball, you can call out your teammates for help when you need it. Believing in your team members abilities just as much as they believe in you. It is important to strike a balance between believing in yourself to go forward and attempt scores vs. passing the ball to another team member better placed to score can be applied in real life as well. Believing and putting your mind to getting stuff done and knowing when to reach out for help when you need it.
I will be honest, It’s not all rosy at the pitch or during practice. You can encounter a brutal tackle or a heavy hit. Given that the only protective gear you have is a mouth guard, you run the risk of injuring your leg, head spinning and body throbbing (as is with every other game). However, what you learn quite fast is the art of brushing aside that discomfort almost instantly and pulling yourself together. You are able to move on very quickly and it surprises me every time how much my body can handle. And as it is with life, being able to quickly pick yourself up after setbacks ultimately make you a better person. You realise that you are building a resilience and that you can push through literally anything in life.
5. The ‘Just do it’ mentality:
Nike’s slogan couldn’t be more useful on a rugby pitch, or in life itself. When you have the ball on the pitch, you might need to run with it or pass it. A couple of intimidating defenders might be coming at you. Thinking quickly on the spot and acting fast based on your instinct and judgement forces you to make decisions fast and be agile. In life, the ability to get rid of doubts and act fast allows us to grab opportunities and forge in life faster. As always, the harder the effort, the more glorious the win.
The Lugi Lions Rugby club was founded in 1972 and has men’s, women’s, youth and old boy’s teams with wide ranges of skill and experience levels. Joining a sport in university is a great way of meeting similar like-minded people, staying healthy and working on a new dimension challenge. Your interests make you interesting. What are your interests of late? Share them with me in the comments section below