Well, what an eventful week it’s been for Mrs Jonny! Not one, but two sessions of rugby training in the freezing cold, my first cache of sporting injuries and – rather off topic but totally exciting – a genuine, real-life wedding proposal! It’s all been most lively, I can tell you.
I will try to focus on the rugby, rather than my forthcoming nuptials, but frankly, I can’t promise anything. Perhaps I could start a parallel blog about rugby fitness tips for weddings. You know, bride’s versus groom’s family scrum competition to see who foots the bill, kicking exercises for all guests to get in shape for the inevitable “New York, New York” dance floor can-can and, for the bridesmaids, special practise to perfect the end-of-the-evening try-line dive for the bouquet. Whaddaya reckon?
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, oh my god, we did tackling practice on Friday. My worst fears realised. The girls reassured me that in a match it doesn’t hurt as much because the focus on winning detracts from the pain, but that didn’t exactly help my battered little body or the rational voice in my head which after five minutes was on over-drive, screaming, “what the hell are you doing girl? It’s Friday night – why are you freezing your bits off, being crushed by Sapphic beasts when you should be down the pub?” I’ll tell you why. Because when I stormed in with a lovely low tackle, slid down my opposition’s legs, totally floored her AND got a round of applause from the coaches (a first in my sporting career)… It. Felt. Gooood!
Monday night’s training was also rather too tackle-focused for my liking (still no kicking practice – surely we must do it soon?) but I quite enjoyed diving into those massive yellow tackle-bags like some kind of deranged lemming. Very therapeutic. And I had my first ‘proper’ game as well – three on three, no holds barred – which was brilliant fun. At one point I accidentally head-butted my opposite number (whilst doing another rather tasty tackle), but I reckon she came off worse than me, which was very satisfying for yours truly! How evil is that?! We only played for twenty minutes, but it was surprisingly tiring – loads of stop start running, resistance training and concentration required. I think my fitness needs a bit of work, as I don’t fancy being on the receiving end of a fitter team. Too scary to contemplate…
At the end, I thought I’d sustained my first visible injury – a perfectly round stud mark, just below my ankle – but on closer inspection, it was just a blister from the top of my boot. I was strangely disappointed at my mis-diagnosis, but if this week’s anything to go by, I won’t have to wait long for a genuine war wound. I suspect my wedding date won’t be during the rugby season. No-one likes a bride with a broken nose.