Last night I remembered why I like to play rugby. Very few things feel better than grabbing some guy around the thighs and smashing him into the mud. Since this was only my third practice this season and I haven't played any games in quite a while, I haven't done any tackling in a long time. It's physically demanding. It hurts. But, God in heaven, it rocks.
After last night's practice, I was bleeding, bruised and dirty. I was also exhausted from all the running. But I felt good. Elated. After I showered and put ointment on my cuts (the soil on Randall's Island is basically half toxic mud and half goose shit), I felt the best I have in a long time.
I also slept better last night than I have in months.
Granted, when I woke up this morning, I felt like I'd been run over by a truck. My right knee doesn't seem to want to bend. I have a welt on my thigh that is turning all sorts of interesting colors. My legs are scraped up. My shoulder is red and tender. My biceps just plain hurt. And my back has more knots than an Afgan rug. But despite all that (and maybe because of it), I still feel great.
I have a lot of training to do before fall season, but for the first time in a while, I'm really looking forward to it.