After missing last week's training with a stomach bug I was back at the club tonight for more pre-season pain.
Somehow, and I'm not entirely sure how this happened, when speaking to the bloke who is running the Vets team this year I found myself uttering three words that I'll probably live to regret:
"Count me in."
As I say, I don't know how that happened. Perhaps I was under the influence of the massive 71% of readers of this blog who have voted that I should play Vets rugby this season in the poll in the left-hand column. OK, so that's only 5 of you and it's not like I've made an irrevocable commitment, but nevertheless the people have spoken.
Actually I reckon it was more to do with the fact that I was coping reasonably well with this evening's session. Hell, it even bordered on the enjoyable. After the inaugural session two weeks ago, which I felt was way too much too soon, I was really dreading turning up this evening. Don't get me wrong, it was still bloody hard and there was still plenty of contact work with tackle bags and pads, but I worked hard at it and my new gumshield and I survived relatively intact. We even finished with 20 minutes or so of semi-contact rugby league and, although I was definitely in the weaker of the two teams, I felt I acquitted myself reasonably well, certainly better than I'd expected.
I'm still going to suffer in the morning though - I can already feel parts of me seizing up even as I write this - but I'm far more encouraged than I thought I could possibly be.