“Brothers, on three…”
I’m going to write six words that will probably piss everyone reading this off.
I have too much free time.
Now, before you go writing your senator to complain, think about this. Daily, I read 200 pages of novels, text books, blog posts; I clean my bedroom (sometimes twice because I am that messy of an individual). I do daily laundry. I go to the gym. I apply for jobs. I’ll walk the dog. Sounds like a full day right?
It takes less that three hours.
Conversely, my roommates are two hardworking individuals that are occupied all day. One is studying nursing, the other is running his honey company. When they get home after long days of work or clinical, they don’t pop in front of the TV and sit until tomorrow starts, they keep productive.
For example, William is currently renovating the bathroom, while Rebecca is always cooking/baking/planning social events to make sure we’re all fully happy. And the funny thing is they never, ever complain about not having enough time. They also have one of the healthiest relationships I’ve ever seen, another Kiwi trait I’ve noticed here that’s making every relationship back home look like middle school flings. But I digress.
We’re told growing up, that we can be anything we want to if we work hard enough for it. Now, that simply is a boldfaced lie; regardless of how hard I work, I simply don’t have the capacity, status and/or genes to become Stephen Hawking, Arnold Schwarzenegger, or a Rockefeller (although if there are any good looking 20-30 year olds in that family…) I’m not sure if it was growing up in a suburban town that led me to feel this sense of entitlement and expecting stimuli/success at a constant rate, but it is ever present. What someone really should’ve said is, you can definitely have a life that doesn’t suck if you get up off your ass and apply yourself!
If I’ve learned one thing from Kiwis, it is not to be passive. There is so much time, every day, that just gets wasted if you allow it to be. Yesterday, I learned more about building composting retaining chambers than I ever would’ve thought to learn. I also stacked two kits of wood with a teammate and William. And this was a recover day after playing a match and going out the night before. But there it is! Everyone here keeps active, be that socially, with regards to obligations, with leisure, etc. It is incredible.
It does leave you questioning your own internal fortitude. And it makes me a bit nervous to come back home.
This is not to say that I’m feeling sorry for myself. What I am witnessing here is inspiring me to be a person of a bit more substance. I’ve got graduate school coming up in less than four months. It will take time. It will take effort. While I was studying at University, I remember this ever impending pressure that comes when you think that there were always assignments due, and never enough time.
Looking back, truthfully, there was a lot of Xbox, partying and sleeping in too late because, you know, life is hard when you have three classes a day and have nothing to fill the rest of the day with (reflecting upon Freshman and Sophomore year (side note: I paid how much for that education again? …idiot!)).
So, here I am, sitting at the coffee table, writing this blog post, encouraging all of us, but mainly myself to get up and do something with your day. Yes, work sucks for the majority of us and you’ll never have time enough to do what you want to do. But personally, rather than dwell on the fact that I’ll never be a millionaire, professional athlete, rock star, astronaut, celebrity chef…I gotta tell my ego to go jump in the lake and just do things that will make me happy, even if it takes more effort, in turn making me a better person.
So my (self)advice, learn something, ask questions, don’t be afraid to look like an idiot. There’s always more time than you think. It’s a helluva lot more rewarding to throw yourself into a new situation and have a semblance of an idea on what you’re surrounding yourself with, even if it’s foreign to you, than it is to sit idly and let the experiences you could be involved in slip by due to lethargy. Everyone’s an imbecile in something and an expert in others, bridging the gaps makes for a better “community.”
Find a way to enjoy exactly where you are at this moment in time and try to not let the day slip through your fingers.
Wow. Talk about getting in to it quickly. The week (in events) went as follows:
Land>Brunch>Beekeeping manual labor>Job Hunt>Read The Great Gatsby>Lifting>Training>Lifting/More Job Hunting>Thursday Game>Party Like a Rockstar> zzz All Friday>Family dinner with the Kiwis>Game Saturday>Strip Tease the netball team>Go to a Super 15 Rugby match>Party like an older rockstar with bad hips>Write Blogpost
This trip could go pretty fast.
Now that that is out of my system, a calmer more controlled (hopefully?) climate is going to emerge as trainings are on Tues/Thurs and games on Saturday. And there’s still so much to do!
Kiwis as expected are still the most welcoming people I’ve come across. They are warm and receptive and always quick with a joke. No divas allowed as you’re bound to get picked on at some point in a conversation…it’s just inevitable.
The rugby here is intense. Defense is paramount, if you can’t play it, you’re found out quick. I’m making it a personal mission to not be the weak link in the chain as these boys play hard and expect the same out of you.
The team coach, Darren, had spent the last 13 years in the states (even married to a “Yank”). What he said of rugby in the states is, “You boys either got enough mongrel to become good rugby players, or you don’t. Simple as.” He then patted me on the back and congratulated me on how I played, telling me he was glad that he won’t have to worry about my efforts when putting me in. So for that, thanks to the Brockport Doggies and NYC. Maybe I’ll actually come back a player.
Other than that, not much to report. Last time I was in the country, I circumnavigated it, so I saw a ton of the places and did a lot of the touristy things. This time I want to get a more, “local,” experience. My NZ list of activities to do is as follows:
- Sheep shearing
- Duck hunting (non Nintendo version)
- Tramp a mountain
- See the All Blacks play
- Score a try
- Brew (craft beer is getting big here)
- Try to surf Raglan
I’m sure the list will grow. I’m definitely open to suggestions so feel free to contribute!
It’s good to be back.
It’s the start of winter here and I could not be happier to have layers on, knowing full well that I’ve escaped a sweltering asphalt filled summer in NYC.
I was welcomed yesterday by high humidity, gray overcast skies, spots of rain, and two smiles I hadn’t seen in over a year. William and Rebecca, my host family, roommates, whatever terminology suits best, were quick to scoop me up and rush me into Auckland, where we grabbed coffee, caught up and headed to brunch with Rebecca’s family.
I have forgotten how odd the pricing of NZ can be. Breakfast 15.90 NZD (13.50USD); it was unbelievably delicious, and it was the weirdest thing not to have to tip your server for the lack luster service you get at just about every restaurant globally anyway (thank you for that NZ!). …For beer drinkers concerned here it was $23.90 for a 12pk of…okay brew, that oddly enough gets their hops from the NW United States.
After the meal we swung back to William’s parents about an hour outside the city to pick up some fruits and vegetables from their lakehouse garden. What an awesome sight to see this completely organic garden off the side of their house. The quality of the air here, I simply cannot describe. I haven’t breathed this comfortably since the last time I was here.
As we approached hour 38 of my consciousness from leaving from the airport, I had to find a way to stay awake as I did not want to be as jet lagged as I had been on the previous trip. I accompanied William to his honey company’s storage and separation facility. While he effortlessly moved 300 kgs of honey with a dolly, I moved a few with some hilarity. He did well to explain the intricacies of the honey business, leaving me impressed with all the work these boys have gotten done to make it a profitable business venture. Brilliantly, or perhaps in just true Kiwi fashion, he dismissed this feat with a simple, “But you know, it’s just another job really.” BS, it’s cooler just about any job I’ve had, and none of them were my own business.
After loading 3300kgs of honey back onto the truck, we headed back to Hamilton. I finally unpacked and settled in for dinner, after which I was fading fast at approximately 7:15pm local time. I’d beaten my record from the last time I was here and commenced to sleep for a whopping ten hours.
Not a bad first day.
Now here I am, on the first day of the big adventure. I’ve had a bit of breakfast, a shower, mowed through the first chapter of the Great Gatsby and am now off to discover Hamilton, and adventure (and hopefully a job and a gym).
Hoping today rocks for you,
Well, here it is. 3 months ago I had the idea to spend the summer (for us northern hemisphere dwellers) in New Zealand. Summer in NYC sucks; it’s hot and, sure the sun dresses are nice to look at, but when you’re covered in sweat waiting for the subway it doesn’t bode well for your chances of making a good impression.
With a gaping hole in my finances due to one job finishing this past week, it would’ve been impossible to survive, let alone thrive in the Big Apple, so alternative plans needed to be made.
This year, I’m going to stick to my guns. Yes, there are a few new and crazy things I’m trying this year but the decisions I’ve made in 2012 I’ll stand behind and continue forward into 2013.
As far as my rugby, I’m looking to find a permanent home for my guys, a more permanent system of play that they are comfortable with, and a bit of new inspiration for them. Hopefully they meet me on that one.
As always I’m looking forward to the BossTweed’s Trip to USA 7s
From a conversation a few years ago that I’ve been thinking about lately:
Them: “You never did your homework, never looked prepared, but would be fine on test day. It was the beginning of a long time not expecting much, and last min surprises. That was life too, not just school. Anyone who didn’t know would never count on you getting anything done, and people who did never wanted to. You did a lot, and some people got it, but when you didn’t deliver it just realized those low expectations. I guess that’s better then just being a complete f**k up”
Me: “but in the end, things worked out”
Them: “Did it? we’ll see”
Getting the job done isn’t the only thing that matters, having folks know you’re good for it and be comfortable is just as important.
Viewfromthestands will be providing
live score updates a final score update throughout the at the conclusion of the 60+team tournament hosted by the Village Lions at Randall’s Island Park in NYC on Saturday, March 24.
Schedules and scores listed by division below. [updated with final scores]
UPDATE: sometimes there’s just too much to do and something has got to give, we needed the live scoring gnomes as field marshals, parking security and coaches… We’re going to shoot for live scoring next year, but for now here are all the updated scores from all the brackets…
As a rugby coach there are a few things that inevitably need to be overcome. Fear of failing, fear of trusting others, and normally there’s an inherent fear of contact. In rugby as coaches we often run into that last one most often. And to me, at least, this makes sense. As Americans in most sports we’re taught that contact is either against the rules or only used as a means of persuasion. Even in football a ‘hit’ is a play ending activity, but the point of the game is to avoid that hit. With rugby we “own” contact, and it’s used as part of a perfectly valid tactical decision. Coping with a fear of contact is something that can be coached, or suddenly remedied with the 1st tackle where “that wasn’t so bad…” So what happens when you’ve got players who don’t mind the hit, but just won’t “go to ground”
Lately I’ve been seeing a trend where players are just afraid to hit the ground. It’s not the contact that bothers them, they’ll slam into a tackle in perfect form, only to then forget about completing the tackle and try to keep their feet. Or in the case of a ball carrier try to place the ball when still driving forward. In the higher echelons of the game there is certainly a place for this. But a 18ys old college girl who first touched a ball 2 weeks ago isn’t instinctively going to pin and poach the ball. For a time it looked like it was limited to my girls, but now that I’m dealing with a men’s team as well I’m seeing it in both new and experienced players.
So why is this? Where does this fear of the ground come from? It can’t be a fear of getting dirty, most fields we train on are turf. Is the loss of control when you’re on the ground? I’m just not sure. I certainly understand after, for example, a player gets stamped they tend to be reluctant to end up at the bottom of a ruck. But, barring that the ground isn’t so bad.
This (can we call it a phenomenon?) has caused me to alter the way I view tackling and contact. In the past we’ve ended the tackle cycle with “drive through and complete the tackle, then release the ball carrier and get to your feet” Now we’ve got a “drive through until both you and the ball carrier go to ground” I’d always though that last part was implied.
It’s still pre-spring season here and I’ve been trying to get things in order ahead of losing my weeks/weekends and sleep to rugby for the foreseeable future.
In lieu of real content let me share this with you: Rugby can haz Cheerleaders?
Lets get a compare/contrast to the USA7′s dancers?
All in good fun…