I went to rugby practice last night! I was nearly as nervous walking to the field as I was the first time I walked to a rugby field...perhaps in some ways this was scarier because I knew what was coming and I went anyway.
I was kind of indifferent about the fitness portion of practice--I've never been what you might call a speed demon. Finishing last on sprint drills was ok with me (though the bent-over wheezing afterward was a teeny bit embarrassing, only because we practiced on Pitt's campus and PEOPLE COULD SEE!).
It was the contact I feared. Oh, the contact. When our captains announced we would work on 2 vs 1 drills, I got sick, nauseous. I had this giant swelling of fear inside me. I really and truly almost cried, I was so scared.
I kept playing out these scenarios in which someone tackled me wrong and I ruptured my uterus. Or else maybe my bladder would migrate and switch places with the uterus again, like it did after my surgery? Or, dear lord, what if I peed my pants or leaked breastmilk during the moment of impact??
I went through a couple rounds of the drill, sort of avoiding contact at all costs. And then KP let me tackle her. I would like to say that suddenly everything was better and that I was instantly the rugby player I was before. That would, of course, be a lie. But I did discover that I wasn't going to crumple like a piece of peanut brittle.
When I was feeling a bit blue about the whole exercise, another wise teammate (back in the game herself after a hiatus...she says her being long of the tooth equals my being saggy of the pelvic floor) told me that everything I did last night was more than I had done before. Isn't that wise?
So I did it. I finished practice and got more exercise in that 90 minutes that I have for months, unless you count squat thrusts holding an 18# baby and a few walks around the block, which really, really, really do not match the intensity of a rugby practice.
Corey asked me later if I had fun while I was there. I don't know if fun is the right word (because most of it was so painful and awful). But I was there, immersed in my friends and teammates and thinking only adult thoughts. Rugby practice had the marvelous affect of giving me tunnel vision, focus. While I was engaged in practice, I was only thinking about practice. My mind didn't have time to worry; I wasn't simultaneously doing laundry and mopping a floor and cooking rice cereal. I was just doing one, super hard thing at a time. So yeah, it was pretty outstanding, despite the agony.
At the end of it all, by some miracle, Miles hadn't gone to bed yet (perhaps his Dad overstimulated him?) so I found myself zooming home, shedding muddy layers in the car. I rushed in the front door, washed my hands, and got to nurse him to sleep. My favorite part of the day.
And then the little pea pod slept straight through the night for the first time! Which was good, because when I heard him meowing this morning, my post-baby body was barely able to drag its bones over to pick him up.
Welcome back to the game, Katy.