Tuesday, December 30, 2008

On Disappointment: Dealing with Selections

Eric Rush and I at Hong Kong Sevens

How have you dealt with setbacks in your rugby career in terms of injuries/selection disappointments?

Previously I wrote about dealing with injuries. I've been thinking about the selections aspect for some time. I've considered disappointments in terms of: not getting selected for tours/territorial teams, not playing on tours, playing a position other than the one I want.

The whistle blew. The final ended early and I would not get a chance to take the field. After the game and half a world a way, I was in the stall of a the women’s bathroom sobbing. I can recall the compassionate looks of the female workers as I emerged from the bathroom. We spoke different languages, yet they could sense something was wrong.

The day after the final, I saw an interview on CNN with Eric Rush, the Kiwi 7’s specialist. He talked about his experiences growing up playing rugby in New Zealand and was just as candid about disappointments and non selections as he was about his successes. His friends made age grade select teams earlier than he did. When he finally made his first select side team his father reminded him, “ It’s only one man’s opinion.” As great as it was to make that team this time around, someone else or even the same coach could have a differing opinion down the road. Listening to the interview was comforting. The next day I met and got to speak Eric Rush.

After that tour, I took several months off of rugby. Seeking answers I eventually called the coach to put some closure on that experience. In extreme cases, I have dealt with my disappointment by taking time off and taking stock of what I want from rugby. From that experience, I decided that if I were to play it had to be for the love of the game, first and foremost.

I have only taken time off in extreme cases. Otherwise, I generally deal with my selection concerns by talking to coaches and selectors. I want to know what they're seeing and thinking especially if there's something technical that I can work on. Often I find it's difficult to change others opinions. So the best way for me to deal is to just play.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Today I thought about the "Q" word. At the gym, there was the grey haired man on the treadmill and the twentysomething practicing left handed layups. In the yoga room, I could hear the clock ticking. I was feeling the pressure. Little Rock camp is 3 weeks away and I don't feel ready. On top of this, I've been fighting with my insurance about physical therapy visits. Matt, my PT, told me to stop running, prescribing the pool as a substitute. Since I haven't seen him since early December I'm not sure if I should start running again. I don't feel pool workouts are enough. Any running test, bleep or ten 100's, sounds especially dreadful.

Fitness, aside, I got to thinking about money. For a decade, I've been fundraising for rugby. Raffle tickets, raffle tickets, program ads, more raffle tickets, now calendars. What are the Men's National Team (MNT) players selling? I am fortunate and have worked hard to be in the current pool. As a benefactor, I've witnessed the improved funding of the Women's National Team since 2001. Emil, Al, Jules, and others have worked tirelessly to this end. Although, this WNT program may be the most funded in USA Rugby history, I still feel a burden of sorts. If I don't sell calendars how will I be affected? What does this say about my commitment to the program? Will there ever be a day when a woman can just train?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Due to a stop work order, the regular pub quiz spot on Smith Street was closed. This left X, Thunder Laura and I to seek out dry shelter on a rainy night in Brooklyn . Comforted by warmth, food, and drink, we entertained ourselves. I was gifted a wig which Santa left on her rounds the previous Saturday. We made up our own questions learning that geography is not X's strong suit. We watched busboys having snow fights. And the topic turned to the nickname question which became a focal point.

In the back room of a restaurant bar on 4th Avenue the Ty breaker was decided. Of the 15 plus contenders, Tynamite and Thunder Tys remained. Personally, I was leaning towards Tynamite. X and Laura disagreed as did the the Brazilian patron who chose Thunder Tys. When the names were boomed from deep within my lungs there was no doubt. Thunderrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Tys claimed victory over Tynamite.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My favorite Kooga Blues

Today I met a guy at the gym.
He asked if I play rugby.

Me: "Yes."
Guy: "For NYM?"
Me: "No, that's our men's team. I play for New York. How did you know?"
Guy: "Kooga."

Kooga, of course. Shouldn't every random Joe at the gym draw the connection between Kooga and rugby? I was sporting a familiar uniform, a heather grey hoodie with blue warm up pants, that read "Kooga" down the side of my leg. That was the only visible article of clothing that gave it away.
Their tagline is "Made for Rugby." It says so right on my pants. He did pull out the "NYM"* reference, which most New Yorkers would have no clue about. Apparently he knows Molly Dengler, a New York hooker, who's played every position in the scrum. For such a big city this goes to show New York can be a small world. Going to the gym this morning I certainly did not expect to meet someone who knows Molly. Who would have thunk it? Now if only I could find Gusty Ehrlich. Anyone know Gusty?

*NYM =New York-Manhattan

Monday, December 22, 2008

Thank God it's Monday

I blogged about TGIM two weeks ago. I'm really happy it's Monday. December has been a busy month for me with three weekends in a row of holiday markets and weeks of prepping. And it's finally over. This morning I woke up tired from the constant going, yet relieved because I can take a breather. Last week, I had the best of intentions of blogging once a day. But that didn't happen. There are quite a few things I want to share with you. But before I get too carried away, I'm going to the gym so I can cross working out off of my list. Signing off for now, but I promise I'll be back soon. 

Monday, December 15, 2008

Swimming in a sauna is NOT recommended

Steam rising from the over heated pool

The "D"amn fast train was darn slow this morning. So I arrived at the gym a little later than I wanted to. Lifting and plyos were on the menu. But I really wanted to go swimming. The pool has set morning hours for adults and they would end before I completed my lifting workout. Instead of rushing through lifting I opted for a swimming workout.

"This feels like a hot spring," said one swimmer as he tested the water with his hand. The pool which is normally 82 degrees read a whopping 92 on the thermometer. Who knew that 10 degrees could make such a difference? Apparently someone left the heat on over night. The life guard warned me prior to getting in, "It's warm." I thought that won't be a problem. I'm a wuss about cold water. Don't like it. Although, I'm usually right, LOL, the life guard was right in this instance. The water was WARM, a bit much when you factor in body heat. But that didn't stop me. I got my swim on in the slow lane, of which I am a serial occupant. It's where I can use the kick board, do the breast stroke, and it's the only lane where I can run. At that time of the morning I'm usally the only one in it. On occassion there's an older gentleman who splashes everywhere, always gets water in my face as his arm comes up and over to complete the crawl stroke. But really I can't complain as it's one of the least populated places in New York City during the morning rush hour.

According to the life guard, it will take a day for the pool to cool down to normal temps. I'm not looking for a repeat of sauna like temperatures. I hope it's back to the normal 82 degrees on my next visit.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Many people are waking up today thinking "thank God it's Friday." I woke up thinking "Shit, it's Friday," while feeling slightly run down. A long list of things to do ran through my mind. With two fairs this weekend, I spent the week adding to my inventory, screen printing t-shirts and labels among other things. I wanted to have more zipper bags on hand, but I haven't even touched my sewing machine this week. Oh well. Last night I managed to cook a real meal, pasta with sauteed vegetables. That was exciting! By default, I spent precious time making calls to my PT office and insurance company. After the phone calls which didn't resolve my issue, I received some good news from the insurance company in the form of a letter. They denied my claim, but the good news is that I can go through an expedited appeal which will take 2 days instead of 30. In 30 days or so, it will be time for National camp. Ideally, I'll have PT before then. Today's SAQ/Lift session will be abbreviated, but I'm pleased that I got all of my workouts in this week. Foam rolling before workouts. Brilliant. Why haven't I done this before?
As expected my next three days will be long. Hopefully, the weekend will be full of sales and at least one interesting Amy Sedaris story. My booth at Sunday's Craftacular is across from hers. Looking forward to TGIM.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Apartment Therapy Holiday Giveaway

One of my Red Bridge Studio pillows was selected as part of the annual Apartment Therapy Holiday Giveaway. AT selected 101 products from some big names in the design community including Martha Stewart, Williams-Sonoma, Thomas O'Brien, and Pottery Barn. I'm proud that one of my products was chosen. Submissions for today's items open between 12:00pm and 2:00pm.

And the winner is................

I need a Ty-breaker. There was no clear winner. "Tynamite" and "Thunder Tys" remain in a dead heat. So how do I decide? I could imagine what they sound like over a P.A. system or come up with some other deciding factors. Will mull this over in between printings. Feel free to chime in.

Thanks to everyone who voted.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Last day to VOTE!

Some did not have a chance.
(Chicken) Pad Ty
Ty Thunder
Ty-ouch my Body
Macho Ty Randy Savage
Outlaw Dog
Ton of Smackdowns
I'll Make Yo
u Crazy
Tysh Your A*

Though not serious contenders some garnered marginal votes.
Angry Ty Taco
Ty-rannasaurus Rex
Yes Ty Can
Your Mom
Ty Pung Pow
Starship Destroy

But here are the contenders. As it stands two options are in a statistical dead heat, with a third close behind. So what should it be????
Thunder Tys

While The Bushwick Three have weighed in on the matter on how to resolve in the event of a tie, I’m holding out that a clear winner will emerge. Get your
vote in!

Monday, December 8, 2008

It's Monday morning and I'm tired. I'm sporting my uniform of choice, Kooga blue warm ups with my new favorite long sleeve t-shirt, NY 7's 50th Annual. I just caught the "D"amnfast to the city (aka Manhattan) and I didn't even have to wait. I'm heading to the gym for a workout out. With the start of week four, in the latest fitness program, I'm at the point in this cycle where "routine" sets in. When I wake up in the mornings I have the mental and physical expectation that I'm going to the gym or going to do a workout. I find it easier to work out consistently and maintain a routine than starting, stopping, and starting up again. When I miss workouts I struggle to find my stride. My motivations wanes and then I play head games with myself to get going again. For this reason, I try not to miss work outs.

At times I can not help it and have to reschedule trainings due to work. In the case of December, Saturday is a selling day. This month I'm vending at holiday markets every weekend leading up to Christmas. I kicked off my first one last Saturday at the
Knitting Factory, a music performance space turned into a one day shopping wonderland. There were a few familiar rugby faces in the crowd, Kat and friends and JD and her mom stopped by. Thanks for visiting. I spotted NYRC alumn Jen Epstein who was doing some holiday shopping. This coming weekend, I have two events, one Saturday, one Sunday. What was I thinking? Before booking the second event I thought, Santacon sounds like fun, but I'd rather make money. So I have a local school fair on Saturday followed by the big one the next day. I'll be at the Bust Holiday Craftacular. The name may sound funny, but with over 200 vendors, people apparently line up around the block to get in. This will be the largest market I've participated in to date. I had several sleepless nights last week preparing for the Knitting Factory event. I expect more this week too.

With the expectation of long work days, I find I'm eager to do my workouts, for the reasons mentioned earlier. More rest coupled with better food would help my cause. But I'm hoping the training will somehow boost my immune system to keep me going through the holiday work season.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cast your Vote

It's not American Idol or Dancing with the Stars. No hanging chads here. Your vote is important and will be counted!

As a citizen of the world, I implore you to exercise your right to have some levity in your life or at least add some to mine. So please
vote for your favorite professional wrestling name fitting of my style and personality. One Vote.
Your choices are:

(Chicken) Pad Ty
Angry Ty Taco

Ty Thunder

Ty-rannasaurus Rex



Yes Ty Can

Ty-ouch my Body


Macho Ty Randy Savage
Your Mom
Thunder Tys

Ty Pung Pow
Outlaw Dog
Starship Destroyer
Ton of Smackdowns
I'll Make You Crazy
Tysh Your A**

Thank you to everyone who submitted a name.
Voting closes 12/9/2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Question of the Week: On Disappointment

Sometime ago I asked a few teammates, readers of the blog, to submit questions. If they could ask three questions what would they want to know. In reading over them recently, one seemed particularly fitting.

How have you dealt with setbacks in your rugby career in terms of injuries/selection disappointments?

For the past 12 plus years, I've played rugby with a hiatus or two mixed in. During this time, I've played at the club, territorial, and national team level. I have experienced hi's and lows playing at all these levels.

With regards to injuries, I've been pretty lucky- knock on wood. Most of my injuries have been relatively minor. The last time I missed a game due to injury was in 2001. It was the national semi-final Berkeley vs. New York. I was playing for Berkeley at the time. As Truehart harassed me from the sidelines, I collided with a New York player going into touch. Took a hit on my knee suffering an exploded bursa sac. I was out for the final.

Honestly, I have not experienced a major injury that has sidelined me for an extended period of time. At the club or TU level, I've played with injuries. The only times "injury" has been a setback, at the national level, decisions not to play me were based on medical opinion.

The most recent injury was a hamstring pull. It kept me from the recent 7's tour to Dubai. I felt I could have played, but that decision was not mine. So instead I played at the 50th Annual New York Sevens. And we, NYRC, were victorious! More on that including photos-hint hint- later. 

I could write at length on dealing with disappointments on selections. But you'll have to wait for part two.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

New York Sevens is Here

They are-a-coming. One hundred and six of them. This is the number of teams entered in the 50th Annual New York Sevens tournament. Woohoo! There are local area teams, including NY-u19 boys and girls and the NY-19 alumni. There are teams from the Northeast and Mid Atlantic Regions, such as the Pocono Mountain Pumas, NOVA, and the University of New Hampshire. Other than the rugby kind, are the really pumas in the Poconos? And thank you Canada! Many teams hail from north of the border, with strong representation from Ontario and Quebec. A special shout out goes to my friends on "Les Bleus". Although, I can't cheer for you if you play New York. Adding to the international representation are the Pillars of Hercules from Gibraltar- find that on a map- the Tregaron Titans from Wales, Cymru, and the Philippines Barbarians from the US/UK/ & Philippines.

There should be an award for most interestingly named team. Contenders for the prize are:
    1. Finbar's Wedding (US-NY)
    2. Montreal Not Too Terriblers (CAN-QC)
    3. Rugby Ranch Mud Boggers (US-OH)
    4. Hopwallops (US-PA)
    5. Team TBA (US-NH)

    I envision a roaming bachelor party for Finbar's wedding. I don't think they have Ranch Mud Boggers in Brooklyn. Actually, I don't know what a Ranch Mud Bogger is. Nor do I know what a Hopwallop is, but it caught my attention. I'll see if I can find some of these teams tomorrow to get to the bottom of some of these burning questions.

    Thursday, November 27, 2008

    A few things I am thankful for

    Grandma & I at the New York Botanical Garden
    • Conversations with Grandma- should have them more often
    • Circus Fruits and Great Wall Supermarket
    • The view from Sunset Park
    • Family
    • Friends near and especially far who keep in touch! I know it can be challenging.
    • Overall a pretty good year on the rugby field
    I'm looking forward to a quiet meal with the family later this afternoon. As always, I've left a few things to the last minute, so it's time for me to run to the store for my annual Thanksgiving morning visit.

    To friends and family at home and abroad I'd like to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.

    Tuesday, November 25, 2008

    Submissions for Nickname

    In an effort to make the transition from rugby to professional wrestling, I am accepting submissions for a new nickname, fitting of my wresting style and personality.

    Leave your submissions in the comments sections by Monday December 1.
    Poll to follow.

    Thank you in advance for your assistance.

    Monday, November 24, 2008

    From rugby to wrestling

    Professional Wrestling in Brooklyn

    Lately I've been feeling lethargic and down right unmotivated with regards to training. A new workout came out last week. The good thing is it's a fresh workout regimen. But it took a while for me to decipher it the first time through.

    In an effort to kick start my day yesterday, I decided I needed some cold NYC air. So I went for a walk and brought my camera along. I was on a mission to photograph a sign that reminded me of an old teammate. Along the way I saw the sign posted above. Maybe if this rugby thing doesn't work out I can try a new sport.

    The sign reads:
    Professional Wrestling Comes to Brooklyn
    Forgotten Championship Wrestling
    Bare Bones 2008
    .......8 great matches including a 3-way tag team and a female match

    Me, a professional wrestler? I'd need a name. I have several rugby nicknames. Glorious, GDO for short, and Hurricane. What should my new wrestling name be?

    So about that sign I was in search of. Here it is below.

    Thursday, November 20, 2008

    New York Sevens- it's next week

    Whether to play or watch, should be a great day for the tournament...new fields, and even an easy way to get there from Manhattan (the 103rd Street footbridge will be open, so you can literally walk over from the UES, and most of the fields we will be using are right in front of you after you cross).

    We have 101 team registered!! Don't miss out - come watch the NY 7s...and pass it on!

    Visit the website.

    Saturday November 29, Randall's Island, NY
    I'll be there.

    Friday, November 14, 2008

    TGIF: My week in Review

    When you work for your self there's really never a day off. There's always something to do.
    • Monday was mostly a loss. Spent the morning flying, the afternoon crying, and my evening at craft night. Actually, craft night was a good distraction. Bought the best baklava on Fifth Avenue.
    • Tuesday I spent the entire day indoors, working and eating baklava.
    • Wednesday  I spent much of my day at the Supreme Court of Kings County reporting for jury duty. There was a lot a waiting which afforded me time to be still, read, and knit. With 2 hours for lunch it's no wonder government is unproductive. However, it was enough time for me to run into the city to purchase screenprinting ink, stop at Starbucks, Pearl Paint, only to hurry back to wait around with other potential jurors.
    • Thursday I returned for day 2 of jury duty. Like the previous day, there was waiting, knitting and reading. Finally my name was called. I was number two seated in the jury box.  I managed to convince the prosecution and/or the defense attorneys that they did not want me on the panel. Two hour lunch break again. Ran an errand in the rain, went home, came back. Myself and two others were dismissed from the jury pool in the afternoon. 
    • Friday, It's back to work. I've got a bit to do in preparation for Sunday. I'll be at BIM. This morning was about getting things done, doing the necessary administrative stuff. This afternoon,  I actually get to do part of my job I enjoy most.  I'm printing on fabric and mixing colors. It feels great to be productive. I'm happy to be working. TGIF.

    Wednesday, November 12, 2008

    The Phone Call

    It started deep in my belly working it's way up my body, to my throat and out of my mouth. It was raw, piercing, followed by shallow breathing and sobs. I remember lowering the phone. As I put it back up to my ear I heard" Tyshawn, are you there?"

    Rewind to Sunday, with less than 10 minutes left to go in the National final my team was mounting a come back. The ball was moving from left to right and came into the hands of Vanesha at fullback. By now I moved out one spot to wing and was running in support of V down the right side. Suddenly, in mid stride I felt a quick stab of my left leg. V dummied to pass but kept the ball. The next thing I remember was summoning Dr. Bartoli on the field in attempt at a quick stretch of my leg. The game ended. Unbeknownst to me the news of my questionable health traveled to Little Rock. By the time I was shaking it on one leg at Liam Fitzpatrick's that night plans had already been made to replace me for the upcoming tour to Dubai.

    Fast forward to Monday morning. I took a 7:30am flight to LaGuardia. Shortly after 11:00am I was home. I dropped my bags and checked my email. The most recent message was sent at 10:52 am by Jules. She said we had to speak today. I called her and got voice mail. She called me back three minutes later. We talked for just over four minutes. I was hopeful talking about my plans for aggressive PT and pool sessions. Jules touched on a few things my training, improved fitness numbers, the Bahamas, and then I heard her say, " So I'm afraid I'm going to have to replace you."

    Tuesday, November 11, 2008

    Fall 2008

    The best news that I received in the last few days was that "Team White Van" was going back to Dairy Queen. And that happened on Sunday. The pumpkin Blizzard was totally worth it. My Orange and Blue lost in a valiant come back in the Championship final. The margin was 8 points, 25-17. It was a tale of 2 halves. We allowed two tries in the early minutes of the game, with a half time score of 25-5. In the second half, we scored 12 unanswered points. It was a little too late for 2008. There are many lessons we can take from this weekend. Hopefully those who return to the Orange and Blue will take heed and continue our fine tradition of New York Rugby.

    On a lighter note, this was an amazing season for NYRC with some tests, trials, and triumphs along the way. We kicked off the season at Saranac with our first ever tournament victory. That was the first weekend without Drew and Pudge. The first league game, against Keystone, fell on the same weekend as Pumpkinfest and the Westchester WNT 7's camp. We fielded two teams that played in different locations, played four games in one day making it to the final. Our home match versus Beantown is one to remember, having friends, family, and the Men's team voicing support. There were people running water, I'd never seen before. And the after party... We are a team with depth which NRU playoffs hightlighted. Then it was off to St. Louis, where we called upon our depth of leadership having injured players assist player-coaches with tactical decision making. And finally, there was last weekend. For the sixth and final time this season, we met Beantown. We found our momentum early and played our game to advance to the Championship on Sunday. The final ended differently than we hoped. There will be time to reflect on what we could have done differently in the end. But for now let's remember the good, the positive that was Fall 2008.

    Thursday, November 6, 2008

    Greetings from Orlando

    Final Four time is here. I traded in Henry(see STL post) for a larger kit bag and made my way to Orlando earlier today. It's nice to arrive in the light of day to be able to appreciate the various strip malls in Central Florida. My van made it to the Kosher grocery store. During our ride, I learned Hobs is also a fan of ice cream. The van was in agreement upon a Dairy Queen stop. In our search, I spoke to three different workers at local area DQs. Finally we settled for the one in the mall close to our hotel. A few of us had Blizzards. After tasting MB's, I've become a fan of the pumpkin pie option. In keeping kosher Braf had Haagen Daz. There was some chinese food too. And finally to our hotel to settle in.

    Wednesday, November 5, 2008

    Dubai Selections 2008

    Lindsey Stephenson, At Large
    Amy Daniels, Beantown
    Tyshawn Henry, New York
    Alison Price, New York
    Melissa McKibben, Kansas City Jazz
    Kirsten Ahrendt, Keystone
    Teena Mastrangelo, Chicago North Shore
    Pam Kosanke, Chicago North Shore
    Christy Ringgenberg, Minnesota Vakyries
    Jen Starkey, NOVA
    Jen Sinkler, Keystone
    Jess Watkins, Stanford

    Staff traveling to Dubai:

    Julie McCoy, Head Coach
    Chris Ryan, Assistant Coach
    Sadeana Green, Manager
    Lisa Bartoli, Physio
    Tristan Lewis, Manager

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008

    Election Day 2008

    Election Day 2008 is finally here. It's tiring and exciting at the same time. In a way one can draw parallel's to training for the Olympics or a World Cup, where the event happens every four years, but in reality you've been preparing for much longer, years in fact.

    This year, I participated in three US Sevens tours, San Diego, Hong Kong, and Amsterdam as well as footwork camps. When rugby players get together, we talk about rugby. But this year with the primary and election season in the spotlight we talked some politics too. Super Tuesday took place the week of San Diego. There were ardent supporters of Hillary Clinton who talked about having a woman as president. There was some talk about Obama's "race" speech in Hong Kong. And our host at the US Consulate in Amsterdam touched on the elections in general. The next time a US team assembles there will be a new POTUS.

    In anticipation of voting, I woke up after 5:00 AM. The polls opened at 6:00AM. I walked the 2 blocks to my local precint, an elementary school. As promised by the media, there was a line out the door. There's never a line. Actually, the wait wasn't too bad. For as many people as there were on line, I was the third person to vote in my precinct. By 6:20AM I voted.

    Happy Election Day and remember to VOTE!

    Sunday, November 2, 2008

    Marathon Sunday

    (Runner on Fourth Avenue)

    If it's the first Sunday in November in New York City, that means Marathon Sunday has arrived. Close to 40,000 runners make their way through the five boroughs of my hometown. For the record, I was not one of them. Today, I'd be a spectator, a supporter, a hi fiver. Layered and ready to go, I left my apartment and was greeted by the swirling sounds of a helicopter over head. On Marathon Sunday, that could only mean one thing- the runners are coming! For me it was a day of rest. No rugby workout. The only running I did was a mad dash from Fifth Avenue to Fourth Ave, in hopes of catching the women's premiere runners. But it was all for naught. I missed them, normally a pack of 10 to 20 of the top international marathoners preceded by a cavalcade of police and cameras. I managed to see the tail end of the group.

    (Ann cheers on runners)

    As is tradition, the locals lined Fourth Avenue, with food, picnic chairs and signs. There
    was a steel drum band in front of the church. The line at the bagel store was nearly out the door. For the past twenty something years, if I was in New York, chances are I was watching the marathon on Fourth in Bay Ridge. But Ann, a former Brooklynite and an old college friend was in town. So I hopped on the R line to Park Slope to meet up with her and a few others at Blue Sky on Fifth. Serendipitously, I ran into to two separate groups of NYRC players/fans while there. More on them later.

    (Locals on Fourth Avenue)

    Fueled with baked goods and warm beverages, we headed to Fourth, the main marathon artery in Brooklyn. By now the streets were lined with runners and supporters. We joined in the chorus of cheering, calling out runner's name, printed on their shirts, or calling out countries."Go Italia." "Allez les Bleus!" "Viva Mexico!" Seeing a runner perk up at the call of their name, offering a nod, is little gift. The camaraderie between the runners and supporters can be intoxicating. It's truly NYC at it's best.

    (Runners on Fourth Avenue)

    After seeing my friends off, I made my way over to an NYRC contingency, G Squared, Buss, and MB. They had their fingers out and appeared to be really into supporting the runners. Buss in particular seemed to be getting a work out in. This could explain why she was tired and possibly just a little horse when it was time to go home. She was a sight to see. Buss' energy and finger was a magnet, that runners literally ran towards just to hi five. Sometimes she met them halfway creeping into the street.

    G Squared and Company (Buss, MB, Jayne, CJ, and Dar)


    Cheering is hard work (CJ, Dar, & Buss)

    So Ann, Rachel or anyone else who finds themselves in NYC on the first Sunday in November, remember that's Marathon Sunday. If you're not running. You should definitely come out to cheer.

    Thursday, October 30, 2008

    Fitness Testing 2008

    (New York Four, Jenna Flateman, Alison Price, Tyshawn Henry, & Daniela Mogro)

    Fitness training is ongoing and a significant part of this journey. However, fitness testing 2008 is complete. While the masses in the New York Metro area made their way through rush hour to work, four of us, Jenna Flateman, Daniela Mogro, Alison Price and myself, made our way to Bronxville High School for 8:00am fitness testing. Woohoo!!! Assistant WNT 7's coaches Drew Fautley and Chris Ryan facilitated. New York teammate and recent birthday celebrant, Annie Collier came out to time and lend support. Thanks AC. Thanks to all teammates who sent texts and good luck vibes. Special thanks to Bronxville High School for hosting us!

    Today's Special Testing Menu



    pull ups

    push ups in 1 minute

    bleep test

    Personally, my goal was to improve upon my times and numbers from Little Rock. I'm happy to report that end was achieved. (Chris I should listen to you more often. I'm glad I ran the 40 again.) Contrary to last month, I felt better physically, and more confident. During the 100's I was especially relaxed. Maybe next time I'll get a 10. But for now the official chapter on testing 2008 is closed. Next time up- January 2009!

    (Jenna and Daniela)

    Alison, Annie, Daniela, & Jenna in between tests

    Monday, October 27, 2008

    November Madness: Final Four

    New York Rugby Club @ Sweet 16's (courtesy of Frank the Tank)

    On the home front, I'm going to Disney World! Well not really. However, my club, NYRC won both matches in St. Louis defeating, Glendale and NOVA respectively. In less than 2 weeks time, we'll head to the Orlando area for the Final Four.

    From USA Rugby

    Senior Women’s Club Championships Match-ups
    November 7-9, Sanford, Fla.

    Championship Semis
    Berkeley All Blues vs. Minnesota Valkyries
    New York vs. Beantown

    Plate Semis
    Twin Cities Amazons vs. Keystone
    NOVA vs. Washington Furies

    Bahamas Recap- World Cup Qualifier

    The USA qualifies for the World Cup in Dubai, earning the 2nd seed for the North American- West Indies Region. See http://blog.uswomensrugby7s.com for more information.

    Final, USA 14 - Canada 19, sudden death over time
    Semi-final, USA 59 - Guyana 0
    Quater-final, USA 67 - Cayman Islands 0
    USA 52 - Trinidad 0
    USA 45 - Guyana 0
    USA 45 - Bermuda 0

    Friday, October 24, 2008

    Henry goes to St. Louis

    (Henry waits by the door)

    Do you know what time it is? Well, it's time to head to STL. That's St. Louis for those of you not up on your airport codes, the city with the Arch.
    The little black bag, I've been flying with experienced a malfunction of sorts on my way to Bronxville Camp last month, so I've switched to "Henry," an older, smaller yet reliable kit bag. Minus earplugs, I have everything. I'm impressed that I was able to fit everything, kit and non rugby gear into Henry. A famous and way more popular President once said, "the older you get the bigger your kit bag gets." Henry's smaller than my last bag, but will get the job done.

    BTW, Can you name that President?

    Wednesday, October 22, 2008

    Drew Fautley, Assistant WNT 7's coach has been providing text updates to the blog from Miami. He will continue to do so as the team heads to the Bahamas. Thanks Drew! Follow the team on twitter or check back here for scores.

    I trust and hope everyone in Miami is healthy. Tomorrow I expect to officially be "released" from the USA squad as a non traveling reserve. This will make me available to play for
    my club in Sweet 16's this weekend in St. Louis. Between the NAWIRA World Cup Qualifier and Sweet 16's, it's going to be a busy rugby weekend for American women.

    Tuesday, October 21, 2008

    Just back from a running work out. I've felt pretty good the last two days. The fact that my feet were pain free was especially helpful. Since the summer, I've been experiencing different types of pain, in not one but both feet. Unlike the time, I got frostbitten toes from playing rugby in the snow in Iowa, this pain has not subsided. At times, it's been painful to walk. So I finally went to a podiatrist. One diagnosis, Achilles tendonitis is the one the plagues me the most, at times wreaking havoc with my ability to have quality running workouts. For now orthodics and stretching are key to taking care of my feet.

    Foot issues aside, being 100% present during my workouts over the last two days has improved the overall quality. With two major work events last weekend now over, I was not thinking about projects or what I had to do. Instead I was focused solely on running: is my form right? how's my turn over frequency? how's my foot striking the ground?

    Part of my feedback after the Arkansas camp was to improve the intensity of my workouts. I believe taking care of my feet and being present will definitely help me achieve that.

    Monday, October 20, 2008

    Update: Adventures of the Pink Cape

    The Pink Cape has left the borough of Kings for the Island of Manhattan, currently residing with one Super Carrie.

    Thursday, October 16, 2008

    Long live the blog

    I started this blog with the hopes of having input from players in the pool. While that hasn't happened now there is an "official" site with a blog component. Check out http://blog.uswomensrugby7s.com/

    Another reason I started this was to challenge myself to finish what I start. My goal is to see this blog through this process, to see it through March 2009 regardless of selections. So with that I will continue blogging here as well as posting to the official team site from time to time.

    Long live the blog!

    Good night


    Tuesday, October 14, 2008

    Balancing Act

    I'm just back from a running work out. Much of today has been spent working from home: cutting, sewing, ironing, trading emails, photographing new products, and there's still more to do. I have an hour or so at home, then I'm off again to run an errand before I head to practice. Lately, I've been feeling overwhelmed with too much to do and not enough time. So yesterday when I was told I'd have to reschedule an appointment I opted not to reschedule and canceled my remaining appointments instead. This was a huge relief because now I'd have almost three extra hours per day. Between travel, workouts, and practice, I spend roughly a minimum of 21 hours a week on rugby. This doesn't include the weekends. Basically this is a part time job. I want to do this! But sometimes I wonder if I can balance it all?

    Friday, October 10, 2008

    The $25 challenge: Day Seven

    Wednesday, Day 7: To my shock and horror, I lost some time on a newly "discovered" website that I forgot to eat breakfast. I finally had my first meal of the day early afternoon, ate again, snack here, meal there. Fast forward and my $25 challenge is over.

    Over the last week, I learned or was reminded that:
    • Eating on $25 a week is possible, but I like food too much to make this a regular habit.
    • Like training, eating to win takes commitment. With a challenging schedule, I need to do a better job fueling my body by eating at regular intervals.
    The challenge is over. That's a good thing especially since I'm hosting some ruggers this weekend. With $4.61 left over from the challenge and an unlimited food budget, I made a stop at the new Trader Joe's in town. At least when on the budget, I paid closer attention to the prices. Today, I spent $7 plus on organic orange juice. That would have been nearly 30% of my challenge budget. Regular pulp free OJ suits me fine. In contrast to last week, I felt as though I was splurging to buy nuts, multiple dairy products, and chocolate almond milk.

    Wednesday, October 8, 2008

    $25 Challenge Days 1-6

    To my two loyal readers: I apologize for the delay in publishing the much anticipated news about my $25 for a week food challenge.

    Thursday, Day 1: Part of my first day was spent buying food. As I passed by my favorite spot for a black and white, it donned on me that I couldn't spend
    frivolously. A buck seventy for a cookie was not in the cards. So four stores and $20.39 later I purchased
    apples, grapes, chicken, rice, box of ziti, zucchini, cherry and plum tomatoes, carrots, romaine, flat bread, Prince Polo chocolate hazelnut confection (a little frivolity which I may regret), and yogurt. Now, I'm left with $4.61 to get through next Wednesday. For my first day, I ate pretty well, grilled salmon salad.

    Friday, Day 2: Travel day to Boston. Packed my lunch. In an effort to have protein, I created an
    awful tofu concoction hopefully never to be replicated again.

    Saturday, Day 3: Breakfast at Diner on Y. Following a trip to Shaw's Y bought me a sandwich even though I told her I had food. Lunch with Violet and her boys. I had yummy Korean food at Violet's who shared some Korean recipes as well helpful suggestions for using tofu. Think Miso soup:Easy and tasty.

    Sunday Day 4: Breakfast at Violet's. Packed sandwich and snacks for car ride back from Providence. Don't remember what I ate for dinner. Maybe yogurt or was it my leftover tofu concoction?

    Monday, Day 5: Did I eat this day? I actually had food, I just didn't make time to prepare anything remotely well balanced. I finished the 2nd prince polo bar at some point. I remember eating peanut butter with honey on flatbread. Fast and easy.

    Tuesday, Day 6: Finally cooked a meal, using some of the ingredients I bought last week. I had chicken and rice before sprints. Eating right before practice even if you're short on time is not recommended. Had a crisp gala apple and a zone bar after practice.

    Friday, October 3, 2008

    Continued: Adventures of the Pink Cape

    This little Pink Cape has traveled through half of America recently, possibly covering more territory than the candidates. It's been to places they surely have not visited. For example, it's been in Bay Ridge and Ft. Greene, Brooklyn, Randall's Island, Pier 40. Can't say I've seen Obama or McCain there. It's had a stint at LaGuardia Airport, resided in Room 420 somewhere in Little Rock, made it to the Little Rock Rugby Complex, and now it's back in NYC. Go Pink Cape!

    9/21 On fence @ the Brooklyn Flea
    The day after I originally forgot the cape, I was selling my wares and brought it along for fun.

    9/26, @ LaGuardia Airport on the way to Little Rock

    9/27, @ Little Rock Rugby Complex

    10/2 Cape was @ Pier 40, in possession of the intended recipient.
    Biden and Palin preempted GA. Since the debate was on she came to practice and was gracious enough to pose for the camera twice. Thanks Hobs.

    Updated: 10/5 in Providence, RI. Modeled by former and current recipients of the Pink Cape. (Buss & Hobs)

    Thursday, October 2, 2008

    The $25 Challenge

    Two nights ago I dreamed about eating escargot, which I had for the first time on Monday. My dream was inspired by a divine meal of luscious scallops and risotto with mushroom that cost $24. That's pretty good for eating out in the city. As I was web surfing last night, I came across the $25 Challenge. This initiative grew out of the Illinois Food Bank Association's participation in Hunger Action Month as a means to "highlight the struggle that families in Illinois face in accessing nutritious food." Eight of the organization's director's attempted to live off of $25 for a week, from September 22-28. Although this has passed, I'd like to see if I can do this. I think I can. The tricky part is that I'll be traveling for NRUs this weekend. And I usually eat out. Hmm. I still think I can do this. Food is important for training and all the more when doing two a day workouts. The cherry juice and greek yogurt will likely have to go this week. There's definitely no room for escargot. Jules likes to say "Eat to Win." So here's go.

    Wednesday, October 1, 2008

    Miami/ Bahamas team announced

    Little Rock Camp has come and gone and selections for Miami & The Bahamas have been announced. This is the qualifying tournament for the World Cup, with the US, Canada, and West Indian Teams vying for 2 spots.

    Kirsten Ahrendt Keystone
    Ida Bernstein Keystone
    Ellie Karvoski
    Little Rock
    Phaidra Knight
    New York
    Pam Kosanke
    Chicago North Shore
    Teena Mastrangelo
    Chicago North Shore
    Christy Ringgenberg
    Captain, Minnesota Valkyries
    Ines Rodriguez Keystone
    Jen Sinkler
    Lindsey Stephenson At-Large
    Jess Watkins Stanford University
    Kelly White
    Belmont Shore

    Non Traveling Reserves:
    Tyshawn Henry
    New York

    Melissa McKibben Kansas City

    Monday, September 29, 2008

    Appropriate travel shoes???

    Well, I'm back from Little Rock. Got home
    after 2:00am.
    In reference to the previous post, I didn't have grits,
    nor did I make it to Waffle House. Although,
    I did see one.
    As promised, here is a photo of the shoes,
    I wore for air travel to LIT. It was raining
    when I left on Friday. Actually, it was raining
    early this morning, when I landed.
    My bright yellow boots always seem to
    draw attention. Would you deem
    these "appropriate" shoes for air travel?

    Saturday, September 27, 2008

    Little Rock Time

    Made it to Little Rock. My flights were rather unventful. I did however come away with some words of wisdom courtesy of two fellow passengers.

    1. One should wear appropriate shoes for air travel (will post a photo of my "appropriate" shoes of choice later.
    2. One should eat grits while in Little Rock. The Waffle House comes highly recommended. Apparently, the bacon is really crisp at WH.
    3. One should learn to talk slowly while in Little Rock.

    Time for fitness testing.

    Friday, September 26, 2008

    The Adventures of the Pink Cape

    Technically the cape has nothing to do with Sevens. I was supposed to bring the cape to last Saturday's match. Forgot and kept on forgetting. So it made it's way to Pier 40 last night and the intended recipient was MIA (maybe she was watching the season premiere of GA) but that's pure speculation? So now it's back in my possession. I should leave it at home, but why not take it on a trip? Visit a an airport or two on the way to LIT. And so begins the adventures of the little pink cape. And we're off like a prom dress!

    Thursday, September 25, 2008

    Ladies in Red

    Here we are at the first camp in Westchester. We have coaches, one manager, and players.

    Will blog to no one soon

    Well I've been swamped with life, work, some works out too. Just a bit too overloaded to post. But since no one reads this no one is really missing out.
    It's already Little Rock time. The Westchester camp does feel like quite some time ago. I've been pulling out my rugby essentials today. Most of it is laid out on my bed. Should pull out my earplugs. I've forgotten them the last few trips. They're always a good thing to have for the crying baby on the plane, the loud i-pod blasting man next to you on the train, or the occasional snoring roommate:)

    Thursday, September 4, 2008

    My first few days of training are underway. Tuesday was my first day lifting after a few weeks away. It felt great to be back in the weight room. I was finding my rhythm and feeling strong. After two consecutive days of lifting coupled with running, my body woke up feeling sore and in need of recovery. I'm rearranging my schedule and heading to the pool this morning.

    The list of 20, plus not traveling reserves has been published. Today marks our first assembly. We'll train together in Westchester. Having been around for a bit, I know many of the players. But I'll meet some new ones (new to the senior pool) like my roommate, Kirsten A. Rounding out the room is SBJ( Ho Pung Yao), my bud from this year's 3 previous tours, and Melissa M. Also, I look forward to meeting Sadie from Penn State. Former New York U-19 player, Arnold Chavis, met her during his first week of school. He connected us by phone once he found out we were both going to be at the camp.

    Signing off- to the pool and the library.

    Monday, September 1, 2008

    Labor Day

    Another cycle on the Sevens World Cup Road starts today. Following the recent National All Star Championships in Pittsburgh, a potential list of 20 US players was named. Mid morning, last monday, I received a call from my coach letting me know that I made the list.

    Between now and March 2009, this list will be whittled down to 12. Several more lists will be made, the first of which is the World Cup qualifier list, those atheletes who will represent the USA in the Bahamas in Ocotber.

    Today is Labor Day, a holiday that celebrates the working people of the country. While the work I refer to is different, I find it only fitting that the new fitness program, the qualifier workout, starts today.