My (admittedly lame) excuse last week was that I felt very much in need of some fitness work (which doesn't always materialise at club training) and so decided to take myself off to the gym on Tuesday for an extra session. I've been doing a fair bit at the gym recently which should, in theory, stand me in good stead but so far this week I've been laid low with a heavy cold (or, to give it it's proper medical term, "man-flu" which, as any male member of the species will tell you, is far more debilitating that the common cold that typically affects females).
Standing around on a cold, damp field clearly wasn't going to be conducive to a speedy recovery so I therefore also decided to give last night's club training a miss, although I do fully intend to make next Tuesday's session, not least because by then the countdown will be well and truly underway for my 2nd game of the season.
It's funny that, after finally playing rugby again after all this time, my goals and targets for the next game have shifted somewhat. Before my 1st game I was full of nerves, being hugely apprehensive about whether I would last the match, whether I would be injured, whether I was still capable of playing at any sort of level. Having come through relatively unscathed (and relatively unhumiliated, more to the point) my motivations for the next match are very much centred around whether I can make more of an impact or have more of influence on the game - in other words whether I can get back to somewhere near the form that I think I should be capable of. Perhaps it's case of me wanting to run before I can walk, but in my head I play magnificently, driving off the back of scrums, breaking tackles, offloading, tackling like a demon etc etc. What's needed is for (a) those messages from my brain to work their way down to my limbs and (b) for my limbs to respond accordingly - neither of which are particularly likely given the reality of my age and lack of rugby over the past decade or so, but I can dream...
So, all I need now is for the effects of man-flu to wear off sufficiently for me to get down to the gym again this afternoon. If anyone knows how to get rid of the feeling of a stampeding herd of elephants from between my eyes, please let me know.