Confessions of a drinker student abroad

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Drive

So, this post just kind of came about. Not much happened yesterday, calm day, but we went out for pizza at the Uni Kitchen as a group, and that was a lot of fun, I never knew you could order chicken curry pizza, woot!

After that we walked up to the Social Centre to play some pool, but everyone was really tired, so after two games we decided to leave. On the way out the door however I fell into conversation...okay, so I chatted them up, with two girls. Lisa and Mari, both first year Medicine students, both not slags, nor dressed as slags. Probably because Lisa was 25, so she's gotten over the immaturity of the 18 year olds. We talked for a bit, about the ridiculousness of that skirt over there...or the total lack of pants on that girl over there (sidenote, stockings and hotpants are not a valid combination to go clubbing in) then about music. We probably talked about music since the TV's were playing MTV Dance, and it was terrible. She and I share a similar music taste, both love guitar music...and she is totally not over her ex-boyfriend. Sweet girl, but I think she mentioned him 5 times in 1 20 minute chat. Sadly, I was not in a position to probe, or ask if she needed someone to talk to about it. Then last call came, we left, they left, and Patty and I walked back.

Today we had to sit through the most boring management lecture. In case the guy didn't know, the point of an organizational flow chart is to rapidly communicate concepts, without the need to go into great detail for 10 minutes...which is totally what we did.

Later in the day, after buying my rugby boots (16 quid, team colors, flipping sweet), we were all sitting around in the Eng Lounge waiting for Hydro. 'We all' being myself, Tanvir (Bangladesh), Alex (Latvia, even though he said Russia at first, when I found out he was from Latvia I was like, "That's not Russia" and he was shocked an American knew the difference). It was a fun class though, met a new Kazakh girl, new Russian girl, Welsh guys, of course all the Chinese kids still aren't talking to us, but it's okay, we make an entertaining group by ourselves.

After class Carl, Tanvir and I went up to the Union to shoot some pool while I waited for the football team to get there. When we did meet, there weren't enough cars, so we had to ferry people out to Llanrumney, which is like a 20 minute drive one way. Once we all got over there it was a rush to get dressed and kit up. I ran into the RB coach and asked if he wanted me to work with them today. He said definitely, so I got to kit up. After stretching, we worked on blocking and taking handoffs, then the fun part started. We set up a V of cones, with the base towards the running backs. Basically, we ran through the start, then chose a direction. They put a barrier in the middle so we couldn't veer off and switch. Then, at the top of the V stood a linebacker. The goal of the drill was to teach them to tackle us, and teach us to make them regret trying. Allegedly this is one that the LB's love, and the RB's hate. Not sure where that stereotype came from, but we changed it.

Brew went first, he trucked his guy. I was up against a veteran, but I got lower than him so we stood each other up and I still got a yard or two. Second round came, and I did even better. It was a rookie LB, and I got a bit outside of him, knocked him to his back, then went on. Third round I was up against Ollie, Ollie doesn't believe in mercy for rookies. He got a pretty good hit on the side of my helmet which rattled me, so I skipped the fourth round, but everyone was really cool about it. The Running Backs are a really tight group, we're all around the same height, some heavier than others, and we love to run through people.

After that, we did Winners drill. It's where the offense lines up against the defense in a variety of drills, one point is awarded to whichever side wins the drill. First side to 7 wins. Winner gets to cheer on the losing side while they run sprints at the end of practice. First winner drill is one fullback, one halfback, and a D Lineman. It's essentially an Oklahoma. Defense tries to knock down the ball carrier or force him out of the square. Offense tries to score. Charlie's running at halfback behind me, and we power through. By the time we switch to the secondary drills the Offense is up 4-1. The DB's cream the Receivers in a foot race, so we go back to the RB drills with the Defense ahead 6-5. First Brew, then Chris sneak through, so we're up 7-6. If Charlie and I fail we go back to the foot race with the Defense tied, and they'll win that one. Coach says go quietly, so I get a two step start on the D-lineman, and he doesn't stand a chance. Charlie blows by us on the left and the offense lets out a cheer.

After that we did a light drill to learn the holes and play calls before we tried it life with O-line and defense. Then we line up against the big boys. D-line and LB's against O-line and two little running backs. Brew and Chris pound it through for a 6 yard gain, then it's up to me and Charlie again. The O-line has the two linemen, so I end up taking a pounding from a linebacker who snuck around the side. After that Coach Tranter pulls me aside to work on my stance. Next chance I get it's Chris and I teamed up. We go left, I buried my helmet in the chest plate of one lineman, arm around another, and force the whole group forward. Granted, they had lined up the smaller guys on that side, but I still felt beastly.

We had to stand around for a while after practice to catch rides back, but when we got back Sagarika made us Rice with custard, and it was awesome. Then after chatting with everyone for a bit, it was time for a long hot shower and to relax. So here I am, sitting around, my wrist is bruised, my hand is bruised, there's a welt on my left tricep, and every muscle in my body aches, but I am completely happy.

It's been so long since I've had to push myself, so long since i had to keep going through a difficulty to achieve something I want. I don't just want to play this game for the next year, I need to. I need to test myself and see how much I can really do, not just physically, but mentally and spiritually. I need to see that I can get back up after getting knocked around, again and again. It won't always be pleasant, and a lot of mornings I'm going to feel like I've been beaten with a bat, but inside I am on fire and so intensely happy to have pushed through. Don't worry about me. I will get hurt, hopefully not injured, but I will get beaten up, but isn't that what we all need sometimes? We need to be knocked down, we need to feed that fire inside us that pushes us onward and upward, if we let it go too long we may lose it. I'm not saying you should all go play football, I'm just saying remember, when life kicks you, physically or otherwise, get up, and make it regret it. Cheers!


1 comment:

  1. We went camping and canoeing last weekend, and it was the first time I'd felt that fire in a while, myself. The canoe trip was about four miles longer than anyone thought it'd be, with the last mile being upstream on the Ohio, after you're already wore out. Stroke, stroke, stroke... stroke switch, stroke... rest five seconds, stroke again 'cause you're at a standstill now. It was brilliant, I felt like a BEAST OF A MAN! Also a little Huck Finn like...

    Enjoy handegg. I'm playing fall league indoor frisbee (got stomped on by Emily Eddy's team last night, but they're all club players, most of 'em know each other already), and going caving and hunting next month. 'Twill be a glorious end to the year.