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.  ^_^



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