...I have never seen that much mud in my life. Not even once. Except maybe the time I fell over in the stagnant pond and lost a welly. Or when I went hunting for Mickey's shoe in the wonderous New Hampshire bog. OK, so I may have seen that much mud in my life. But I'm pretty sure I've never tried to play rugby in it before.
Yesterday I reached the pinnacle of my manhood. I have spent years of my life in the pursuit of all things big, butch and scary, and have been laughed at whenever I have claimed to be those things. NO MORE. Alas, I have left the land of the small and timid people to become one of the most fearsome, savage adventurers of the world. I might even explore the possibilities of become a Viking.
At about a quarter to two, one cloudy afternoon (yesterday, in fact), I donned my number 6 shirt (how peculiar) and ran fearsomely out onto the pitch. I then took great delight in smushing people much bigger than me. Repeatedly. And slipping over in scrums because of the absurdly-short (suck on that, Philip Larkin, I can use compound adjectives too!) studs in my children's boots. So perhaps I have a long way to go to be big, but I think that I definitely have butch and scary in the bag after my expedition to the dark side.
As far as I know, there aren't any photos from the match, but I would like to assure all of my readers that I can strike fear into the hearts of props the world about. Be afraid. And instead I have included a photo of what I would look like if I were a Viking. And had a beard.
To top it all off, after being fearsome I was awarded forward of the match. An honour that still seems absurd. A forward? Me? Are you sure? Hooray for trying out new things, and let that be a lesson to all the people who mocked me and told me I wasn't butch and scary enough. HA!
And now that I have had a chance to be both a blindside and an openside flanker, I can happily say that it isn't quite so bad after all. I may even try again one day. But it would be nice to have the chance to do something sneaky deaky with the ball every now and again.