This weekend, the Lost Lady Lions of Penn State attempted to win the Saranac rugby tournament in the beautiful Adirondacks (with no humidity and temperatures in the low seventies). It was so amazing to play for Penn State again! With Lions on our shirts, we fought our way to the championship round Sunday morning. After a rousing "We ARE!!!" cheer, we piled into the stadium where the rest of the 112 teams were watching. (Ok, they were mostly waiting for the men's final...but at least they were there while we played...)
The TV crews (!!!!) asked for our roster, we got good and nervous, and then contemplated our opposition: The Olde Girls. These ladies, many of whom are 50+, freaking rock. I hate playing them because it is dreadfully humiliating when someone your grandmother's age throws a huge dummy pass, sidesteps your tackle, and sprints forty meters to score with her gray ponytail flapping in the breeze behind her scarily muscled legs. I love playing them because I see things I've never seen before on the rugby field. They are the Harlem Globetrotters of women's rugby.
These broads know all the tricks. They have all the skills. They are amazing. They beat us like 70 to 0. Now the Lost Lady Lions feature a number of current and former select side players, U19 and U23 national team players, and All Americans, all of whom are still playing competitively. We are a force to be reckoned with. We have NOTHING against these old ladies. These grandmas. These fabulous women with Soloflex bodies and rugby skills honed over 30+ years of playing.
As terrifying as it is to be humiliated in a loss like that (on tv...in front of spectators) it is equally thrilling to be on the field with them. You would think the crowd would laugh at you as your grandma dump tackles you and then rips the ball from your aching hands, but they do not. They just want to watch them pass the ball behind their backs and twirl around and play the most beautiful rugby in the entire world.
When I am 53 years old, I want to have muscles like K.O. I want 2 long, white Willie Nelson braids, and I want to fool people into further thinking I am a weak grandma by wearing a knee brace. When I win the game, I want to stand in my sports bra flexing my washboard stomach muscles and dance in a circle with my teammates to the "Ring of Fire" song, hand in the air, head back, eyes closed, rugby ball in my left arm.
Then, I want to drop over dead because life does not get any better than that.