This weekend was the Penn State Rugby alumni reunion. It was very special, as we honored the 1997 national champions, the first of four winners in one decade. Today, my college teammates and I piled into the Mazda in State College sore and tired after the full contact hellish game against the current team. We reminisced about the weekend and shared our favorite parts. Mine was the post-banquet celebration where 15 years of Penn State Women combined for a massive game of flip cup and were later serenaded by the Blue Band somehow. I loved spending time with these women, who set a precedent and developed a program that has literally changed the lives of hundreds of women throughout the world. Without those ladies, who now have babies and still play rugby, I would be floundering around somewhere. Lost and aimless.
Other people in the car liked making fun of people on the field, yelling "Kill HER!" when Turkl somehow stole the ball from the alumnae or when people wiped out and fell down, which is hilarious.
We talked about our collective weirdness, how freeing it is to get together and remember a time when we were surrounded by people who all knew exactly how crucial it is to absorb back sweat on a sunny day and who all loved us not despite but because of our anxieties and eccentricities.
So we were sharing and telling stories until we looked up and the highway was ending in a T. Somewhere in the middle of Maryland. Rather than turn to head west on 22, I just kept going south on 220, and that road disappeared but I kept on going straight on something else. A simple two-point-five hour drive home from State College stretched into a seven hour debacle through three states, with one person almost missing an airplane, another person wearing the wrong outfit to a Steelers game, and me having to drive on hot black leather seats for seven hours into the sun.
Not only am I aching from my first scrums in a long time and reeling from my excesses, but I am also cramped and my clutch foot hurts from the Steelers traffic that found me outside the Fort Pitt tunnel. I think, despite the extended drive of disaster, that this was a truly perfect weekend. I'm almost glad I took the long way home because it meant that much longer until it had to end.