So, Charlotte plays rugby now.  This is my favorite picture of her, and I'll explain why at the end.

Charlotte plays almost every weekend, and sometimes in the middle of the week too.  She has a two hour practice five days a week.  On days that she's supposed to be off, she gets together with some of the girls for an informal workout.  She's loving it...says she's in the best shape she's ever been in.  I've never seen her so motivated about anything before.


These pictures are from a couple weeks ago, not this weekend but last.  It was a bit chilly, but a beautiful day for rugby.  I didn't really get much game-action in the pictures...most of it happened on the other side of the field for some reason.  Got some great warm-up pics though.

 Chatting with her team mates.  Even though she's a rookie, she's so natural at this game that the coach has started her every time, so she gets along great with all the juniors & seniors.

 Stretching.  They warm up for at least a full hour before every game.

This is her strong point; Char is the fastest one on the team.   In drills, the coach is having everyone practice passing the ball to her because once she gets it, she can't be caught.

She used to be in track (and she was naturally awesome at it...ran the anchor leg of the 400 meter relay every time because she could make up distance as if everyone else was walking) but she hated it.  There's too much pressure on her in track, she says.  If she has a bad day, everyone can see it.  She loves the idea of a team sport though, 'cause you can rely on your team mates if you're feeling a bit off, and in rugby no one player can win or lose the game for the whole team.  It's very much a concerted effort on everyone's part; the positions are very specialized, and she likes that.

Thing is, she is SO fast, the coach can't decide where to play her.  The last two games he started her as a wing.

Mom and I were there with Greg, to cheer her on.   So was her boyfriend boyfriend #5 this year.
It was sweet of Tyler to show up...he never misses her games unless he's playing, 'cause he's on the boy's rugby team!   They're both small and fast, so they both play the wing position...cute!  Tyler ended up being a line marshal at this game.

Char on the field in her uniform...

Kenmore West wears blue and white...

And they won!  The score was 27 to 10 (I think).  The first win of the season.  Girl's rugby is just getting started in her school (this is the third year); it's a club sport and not a varsity sport, which means there are no tryouts and everyone can play (the boys team is varsity though).  So, our girls are playing against varsity teams all over the region and they're really starting to get good at it.  They were so proud of themselves.  ^_^

Afterwards, I took all of us to Ted's Hotdog Stand for a celebratory lunch...
 Ted's is kinda famous in this of those iconic "Buffalo" restaurants.  My sister will shed a tear when she sees this (she lives in Tampa now)...I had the kids pose with the Ted's cup just for Nancy.  ^_^
Char of course does not eat hot dogs.  So really, it's sort of torture for her.  They make really good sweet potato fries too, though.

Anyway...I love the top picture because for me, it shows how brave Charlotte has become in the last few years.  Seriously...when we tell family members "Charlotte plays rugby now" they all say "Oh no...not little Charlotte!" .  I mean, just look at the picture.  There's my little girl, not quite five feet tall, about to get thrown to the ground by a girl who is scary looking.

And Char says "But I ended up getting tackled!" and still, I love this picture because I know that right afterwards, trampled and bruised and muddy, she bounced right back up on her feet and did it again.  That's really the whole point.  She keeps trying, and I'm so proud of her.  ^_^



From: [identity profile]

Go Char! It really is about the getting up and doing it again. There's a lot of life in general that may be like that. Not all the time, which is good. Still, to know one can do so? That's a big part of the whole situation.

So Go Char!

You've got a lot to be proud of, Meri A. *G*

From: [identity profile]

Thank you...I agree on all counts. ^_^ It makes me happy to see her getting so healthy and having fun doing it, too.

From: [identity profile]

She sure looks like she's having a good time! And good for her for being able to take a tackle and get up and keep going. Fast, tough, and determined--good skills to have, and not just on the rugby field.

From: [identity profile]

I agree! I've been pushing her to join a sport...ANY sport I begged...just do it! Naturally she picked the scariest one.

Kids in sports do better in school though, and get better grades, and tend to go on to college. So I think it's worth the risk.

From: [identity profile]

You know that I haven't seen Char in the flesh for many years, and I'm having a hard time connecting the kid who dressed up so girlie, with the rugby player you show here. But that's my problem...she's obviously doing great.

From: [identity profile]

LOL...don't worry, she's still girly. She just has bruises all over her arms & legs now, which look incongruous when she wears the short frilly stuff. ^_^

From: [identity profile]

Thanks. :-)

Wow...the trees really bloomed fast. Two weeks ago they were mostly bare still, but as of right now we have great big leaves on everything. When spring gets here, it does it all in a hurry.

From: [identity profile]

Cuuute couple they make. And she looks very good in that uniform. I'm proud of her for you. ^_^

From: [identity profile]

She's something else, eh? ^_^ I'm just really glad she's finally found her niche.

From: [identity profile]

I think she looks *cutest* in the second photo, however, I too like the first one best because she just looks so ATHLETIC, flying through those (clearly notably larger) red-clad girls, football in hand and obviously going full tilt. That's one picture I'll never have of doing something athletic. I'd kind of like proof that I do put some effort into being active...especially if one day I need assistance to walk and have gained weight from unavoidable inactivity. Of course, I'd never look as cute as Char does, she's clearly little wee and I'm moderately, er...not. I mean, I'm SOLID...I never look trim in that small way. But that's not really what I admire, it's the movement, the strength...

That's actually one huge reason why I work as hard as I can now, while I CAN. The fitter I am, the faster and better I bounce back from each attack, and the less damage is left behind. Plus, the fitter you are, the farther you have to fall to become UNfit.

So I think that's an absolutely awesome photo that she should be sure to keep around. You never know how precious it might become later on.

From: [identity profile]

That's why I love that pic too...she's completely surrounded by the enemy & still chugging away. It looks like something you'd see in a sports magazine too. ^_^

OMG she is SO strong right now. She runs five miles without getting winded and RUNS, not jogs. Rugby is 80 minutes of action and she can stay in for the entire game without needing a break. She was really sore for a week, when the practices first started, but now she has no pain at all (in fact she often says the work is getting too easy).

I agree; it's best to get strong when you can. My bad winter (of '08) would have been even worse if I hadn't gone into it in fairly good health, having ridden my bike all summer.

When I see elderly people who are really failing & unhealthy, it's almost always because of weight & bone issues, & those are two things that regular exercise will improve. So I am doing my best to get healthy & strong too (like you). I want to be healthier at 50 than I was at 40.

PS...Char is SO looking forward to meeting you! I told her about spending a day at Niagara-On-The-Lake and she got SO excited & wants to come. She's a real girly-girl (in spite of the rugby) so you two will have a lot in common. ^_^

From: [identity profile]

My first response to Char looking forward to meet me was to think, "WHY?" lol. :) (I've talked to her once or twice on her LJ but she either hasn't been on much or hasn't posted a lot of public entries.) Though I'm interested in meeting her, too, so I suppose that could go both ways. Though of course I hear a lot about her from you. :) (And see lots of photos!)

Yeah I thought it looked very professional-sporty, too.

I SUCK at running. The chest part isn't good...I have to wear two high-quality bras to keep any jolting from going on...and worst of all, my bladder issues (the constant feeling of it being full or nearly full) got worse the summer I tried running regularly...the jolting motion just killed me, I'd only be out ten minutes and I would NEED to pee. It made the whole thing torture. I still feel kind of like I wimped out, but no one can be good at every sport/activity, not even professionals, so I guess I with all my 'issues' can be content to just get as good as I can at one or two. My best friend is really great at running...she ran 12kmh for 50 minutes solid and I don't even know if that's one of her better times or not. She's getting back in shape now from the baby, just started 'strollercise'. :)

I think running is just a better thing for little people than for...not little ones. :) Plus I need to be my lightest to feel like I'm not lumbering and I was ten pounds lighter last time I ran. (Jogged. Definitely jogged.)

Niagra-on-the-Lake really looks darling, like a snow-globe city (well in winter, anyway) or someplace you put on a homey, quaint postcard...sort of old-fashioned or doll-like.

I'm girly too, of course, at least in taste for things related to appearance...I do love to shop for girl stuff, at least. :)

I'm so sore from my hour of digging and my hour of biking yesterday and the hour and a half of very hilly biking today...everything hurts. It made that photo look all the more precious, to be honest. It looks like something important, to me.

Hopefully the soreness dies down and I can get stuff accomplished tomorrow as well.

From: [identity profile]

Wow! Go Char!

Even attempting a sport like rugby is amazing, and it's wonderful to hear that she's enjoying it so much.

So cute with boyfriend du jour. ;)

From: [identity profile]

She loves rugby now...studies it online, downloads All Blacks games, a total fangirl for the sport. I've spent about $300 so far on equipment & no end in sight, but I guess I don't mind 'cause it's great to see her so motivated.

LOL..."boyfriend du jour"! I've been calling her the Serial Dater. She's breaking hearts all over the place. I hope she sticks with this kid though 'cause he's a decent guy.