First match of the season…

The wind is whirling, the flags flap frantically

The rain is falling and the ground’s getting soft;

The players are tackling, rucking and mauling

Their minds are focused on the battle ahead;

The supporters, ‘coaches’ each and every one

Willing the players on, hearts and minds cry out…

“Ball’s out! 

Pick and go, Go, GO!!!

Yes…Yes…

Pin your ears back!

C’mon, C’mon…you CAN DO IT!!

TRRRRRYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!”

 

The Rugby season is back, the passion flows…

love rugby

 

 

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Inner Warrior found…

Rugby season is upon us…

To be honest even when it’s not it still is…as there’s summer training and Touch Rugby to keep your hands sweet if you fancy…rugby season is never far away.

If that isn’t enough, this summer we had the joy of the Women’s World Cup – an absolutely brilliant competition. I was blown away by how well the women of the world showed they could bring it and play this amazing game with such heart & skill. I’m still feeling the loss for the Red Roses but I know they’ll bounce back and in the meantime wow! what an inspiration to SO many women and girls out there…

This weekend saw the start of the Premiership with a Double Header at England HQ – good ol’ Twickenham – and what a great spectacle it was! My team – the mighty MIGHTY Quins – lost but that didn’t stop the fun!!

The noise in the stadium is amazing – the chants and choruses of everso slightly (and in some cases not so slightly) rude songs reverberate around the stands and have everyone joining in, stamping their feet, waving their hands about like slightly crazed cheerleaders but without the pom-poms!!

…and when your team does a great play, when there’s a ‘BOOM’ tackle or there’s a TRRRRRYYYYY!!! Well, the whole stadium just erupts and it’s magnificent!

Cheers!

For us mere mortals, the amateurs in this best of sports, the real work started in earnest this weekend – the blood, sweat and tears – yep they’re all here already!!

With a family crammed to the rafters of rugby players, my nostrils are already filled with the aroma of sweaty socks, the car is full of mud, my washing machine is working overtime on the wet stinky kit brought back and our calendar has been filled with fixtures every Sunday from now until what seems like the end of time!!

I hung up my boots at the end of last season and convinced myself I was going to just be ‘parent & supporter’ – yeah ok!!

So, two Inner Warrior events later and I’m out there with a new team smashing the rucks, mauls and scrums!! I’m battered, bruised, aching all over and am totally exhausted – YESSS! It’s rugby season and I love it!!

I CAN said THIS Inner Warrior!

An Ode to England’s Red Roses

I’m so excited

Truly I am

From first note of the anthem

To final whistle

I’m with them all the way

I’m so nervous

Truly I am

From first kick off centre field

To final kick out

I’m with them all the way

I’m so energised

Truly I am

From first tackle ‘bishbashbosh!’

To final grapple

I’m with them all the way

I’m so wishing I was there

Truly I am…

I’m so inspired

Truly I am…

I’m so proud

Truly I am…

How they play with hearts & roses on display for the world to see…

Full of spirit, pride and positivity

I’m with them all the way

🌹🏉🌹

We didn’t win the Women’s Rugby World Cup tonight but England’s Red Roses will forever win a piece of my heart xx

Where’s my mojo? I had it around here somewhere I swear…

I’m amazed and a little bit terrified at how easily I have lost my form in the short time I’ve been unable run – yeah I know it’s coincided with the holidays and that means too much food and drink (and yes I admit to failing miserably on the healthy eating today but oh man that Big Tasty was delish today!!) not to mention my tendency on holidays for being lazy but even so, it’s quite shocking how quickly things can go down hill – it’s like my fitness hopped on a bike, whizzed off down the track and the brakes failed!!

It’s quite disheartening when you realise all that hard work you’ve put in has just ‘poof!’ disappeared…and I think my mojo has had enough and gone into hiding.

The euphoria of the first run wore off quick but I will not be deterred – there’s worse things that happen to people all the time and so I’m trying to stay upbeat and find where that mojo hiding place is…

Today I found myself in the New Forest at silly o’clock so I thought – hmmm? The sun is shining, I’ve nothing else to do this morning and it’s all rather pretty out there, so let’s lace up those trainers and see how far I can go in half hour…well, it actually took me 40 mins but I managed 5km – which is not setting any records but you know what? It’ll do for me for today!

Through the heather, up & down the tracks, past the horses (they snorted at me but I forgive them as they clearly just don’t recognise a sophisticated running style when they see one) and all in the warm morning sunshine.

I think I can see my mojo peeping round the corner at me…

Taking a running selfie is a dangerous thing…

Today I went for a run, well I say a run whereas if you saw me you'd think I was mildly jogging or possibly even fast walking (with less of the wiggle and more of the wobble)…but I can assure you that it was a 'run' for me!

I haven't run for nearly 6 weeks – it definitely showed!! To be fair I've not been running for a while because I hurt my back and have only just had the 'go ahead' from the Osteopath to try running again…it's been soooo frustrating not being able to run, not being able to get out there and participate in something that makes me feel good – that raises my spirits and makes me feel like me – so although my time and the distance are absolutely nothing to write home about, they are a personal achievement none the less.

I am most definitely not a natural runner; I've participated in quite a few races, events etc. and my sole aim in most of them is just to finish. The only distance I really try to improve my time in is the 5km. I don't know why but I kinda feel that is the distance where I have a chance for me to show ME that I'm getting better. The rest of the time I'm trying to enjoy the experience and get to the finish line without collapsing!

My lovely friend Dana first got me started with all this running malarkey (I tried to work out how many years ago but it made me feel old so I stopped) by encouraging me to join her in a 5km Race for Life and after that I was, as they say, hooked!!

Which is strange because I hated running at school – we used to have to do roughly 1.5miles round the block; my legs would cramp, my lungs would be fit to burst, it was just torture! I much preferred Lacrosse (something about having a big stick to run around with was much more appealing but I try not to analyse that as I might scare myself!!) Anyhow, Dana tempted me and I succumbed to the running bug and I've been trying my best ever since!

I've completed two Great South Runs (10miles), run a couple of local 5milers and the Race for Life 10km several times. Last year I managed the London Marathon which was such great fun! I had to walk some of it which was annoying and let's not linger on the time (I was asked by a colleague who regularly runs marathons what time I completed it in and he laughed when I said 6:32 – charmed I'm sure!!) but I'm happy as at least I did it, I crossed that finish line and I have my medal to prove it too!

Despite all of this though I'm not sure I'd call myself a 'runner' – I don't feel I do races/events often enough to qualify for that title – I'm probably more what would be called a 'woman who runs'. Well, today this 'woman who runs' got back out there to start again.

The sky was beautiful and I was running through a pretty local park – it was a lovely…

I was feeling SO good I thought 'let's take a running selfie'
yeah…great idea…hmmmm…in the history of me taking running selfies this has never gone well…

Example A

Example B

Example C

None are great pics are they??!!

Whilst taking Pic A I tripped over a dog who appeared from nowhere, when taking Pic B I nearly fell in a ditch and today taking Pic C I nearly ran into a tree…taking running selfies is most certainly hazardous to my health!!

So, I think perhaps it's wise that, as my body is just starting to let me start running again, I should just stick to taking scenery pics and concentrate on not falling over!!

Just found this… hmmm, maybe I am a runner after all??

There’s nothing like the roar of the pack to get the heart racing…

I'm 10 minutes late but I'm glad to be getting there at all (long story for another time)…

I arrive at the club grounds and even before I reach the pitch the roars, cheers & plain ol' shouts can be heard loud and proud!!

I get to the stand and grab the nearest seat, I don't know my new neighbour but we're soon laughing and cheering the teams together like old friends.

The rain (typically) is trying to make its presence known but no one cares…it just makes the game more fun as the ground softens and the mud starts to splatter.

The ball is spinning, the players are pumping and adrenaline is at an all time high (in the stands too!).

"Drive drive drive!" The cry goes up and the maul begins to push up the pitch…the big guy's calling the play, slapping his teammates on the back to direct them where they need to go…"break now!", the Winger comes flying in and takes the ball at pace, side step one, side step two – Yeeeessss!! he's through for the try!

The stand erupts – we cheer and clap and stamp our feet then hush for the kick…the flags go up – Conversion made!

The whistle blows for half time. Just got time to grab a coffee then…quick!!…the players are back out on the pitch and ready to do it all again…and we're going to cheer them all the way too!

3-2-1…the whistle blows…let's go go go!!

Oh how I've missed this…