Friday, 25 July 2008

Put through my paces

I really didn't want to do it, but last night I finally bit the bullet and dragged myself along to pre-season training at the rugby club.

My timing, of course, was perfect - it having been one of the hottest days of the year so far. The best word to describe conditions was "balmy" - and I even managed to get more than a bit of a sweat on getting changed into my rugby kit. Not a great sign.

Given that I'd missed the first three sessions of the summer so far and had not attended the gym as assiduously as I might have done recently, I was feeling a touch apprehensive beforehand, a feeling not helped by chronic doubts as to whether my sciatica would flare up under pressure. So, all in all, rugby training was the last thing I wanted to do.

We started with a full lap of the playing fields and I watched as the youngsters disappeared over the horizon whilst I struggled along at the back next to the other old sweats. As we finished the lap the coach got us started on a stretching routine - but my prayers that this be a warm down session before retiring to the bar fell on deaf ears.

The next half hour or so was spent completing three exercise circuits - including squats, sit ups, hill runs, weights, V-sits (don't ask - they still remain a mystery to me) and lifting two bloody great tractor tyres, amongst other tortures. Hard work, but varied enough so that it didn't ever get boring.

As the circuits came to a close the coach announced that it was time for tackling practice. July.

So followed a series of one-on-one tackling exercises, followed by some 2 vs 2 contact exercises that reminded me that:

(a) contact hurts; and
(b) I do need plenty of tackling practice.

The session was finished off by 10 minutes of rugby league which I managed to be in the thick of for the majority of the game, despite my increasingly weary limbs.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised that I (and more importantly my back) coped reasonably well - and certainly my doom-mongering beforehand turned out to be unjustified. Mind you, it was an interesting experience getting up this morning - those circuits had certainly worked some muscle groups that have been laying dormant for some time.

It's a start at least - but with the first Vets game scheduled for 27th September there's still plenty of work to do.


Anonymous said...

Even if you do regularly visit the gym and keep yourself fit, rugby coaches have a knack of dreaming up exercises that are absolutely bloody knackering. Burpees are the worst. It doesn’t matter how good you are at press-ups, bench presses or squat thrusts, burpees are just bloody torture. Worse still, I just can’t see the point in them. 12 stone 20 year olds seem to delight in jumping up and down like, well, 12 stone 20 year olds, but for me it just brings back lunch for a second viewing. In fact I’ve mastered the art of rushing off for a pee when they start on the burpees, and I suggest you do the same.

Your fellow veteran,


Total Flanker said...

Michael - I hated burpees as a 13 stone 20 year old and I hate them even more as a 16 stone plus nearly 44 year old. Fortunately no one has told our coach about them...yet.