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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Alive and Well and Playing Rugby in Southern California-Albeit, a Bit Sore.

Since moving out here to LA 7 months ago, I have not been doing as good of a job keeping up with my blog. It's not that there are not things going on in the world of the oval ball, I just have been very remiss is sitting down and blogging.

Back in August, I played with the Pasadena Old Boys at an over-40 tournament in Newport Beach. It was a good time, and I was looking forward to playing with them this weekend. The plan was there to be an A squad, B Squad and an old boys game when Huntington Beach drove out to Pasadena. Well, the Old Boys game got cancelled, and the B squad needed some help at prop, so guess who volunteered to play?

I was a bit concerned, as for the past two months, I have been lifting weights, but very little cardio, and the holiday season, and quite a few California micro-brews plumped me up from 213 pounds to 225 pounds. Oh well, compared to B squad props for Huntington Beach, I looked like a swimsuit model, so it was OK.

I really was not sure how many minutes I could play. I'm 52 now, and most of my new mates out on the pitch looked a whole lot younger, but I gave it my best shot. I told the coach I would try to give him a half.

I ended up playing 70 minutes. I have to admit that I have played better, but at least I felt that I was able to hold my own in the scrums -although the toughest thing was getting used to the new "Crouch, touch, set" cadence after the last 6 years of "Crouch, touch, pause, engage."(The ref also needed to speak up, a lot of us in the front row had a hard time understanding him)and had no troubles with the line-outs.
(it helps when you are lifting a guy who is really young and trim)

I think the other thing that helped me last 70 minutes was that my young, fit teammates on Pasadena's B squad ran like unchained Salukis against Huntington Beach, scoring several tries. (for the record, the A squad won their match 31-12) While sucking in some much-needed air after I came off the pitch, I grabbed my camera to take a shot of the scoreboard-a minute too early, as we ended up adding a late try to make it 70-0.

Today, Sunday, I have some muscle soreness, some cuts on my face, but otherwise feel pretty good. Oddly enough, the part of my body complaining the most today are my feet and heels from running on the hard, fast track in Pasadena.

It's shaping up to be a busy next month. I have friends from out of town coming to California for a large USA Rugby developmental conference next weekend. I have tickets for my friend Tom Daniels and me to go to Las Vegas next month for the Las Vegas Sevens competition. (We'll be staying in Caesars while in Vegas, so if you happen to be there, look me up) I promise to try to do a more regular job of blogging.

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