Thursday, October 22, 2015

Full Circle

I'm going through my mental prep, as I typically do before big competitions or camps such as this, and I'm thinking about all the advice, experiences, etc. shared with me by teammates and friends who have been to a Mike Friday camp. The commonality said by everyone is basically as follows: "it's hard and they're gonna try and break you mentally and physically."

It's interesting because it wasn't until this moment, as I was circling my mind to find that place where I've been through something similar, that I remembered the hellish week of my first rugby trainings at Saint Mary's in 2004. 

Historically Coach Tim O'Brien holds a "winter camp" and it's meant to fit a lot of rugby, fitness and camaraderie-building in a short amount of time. It just so happens that my first week was the start of this camp; and even more so, it was the one year he decided to bring in a Navy Seal to run us through an amazingly challenging mental and physical grind 

We'd start at 5:30am with a nice winter warmup, crawling on the wet, muddy grass for a few hundred meters; Get into teams of four or five and run for hour(s) with heavy logs on our shoulders, up in the hills of Moraga; Carry 25lbs weights under water in the pool, in a relay fashion; run 2 miles with a 15 lbs med-ball...then turn around and do it again (mind you I had just come from football training and don't think I'd ran 2 miles straight since my elementary school's jog-a-thon). All this while a crazy man would scream obscenities (that were quite humorous for me, at the time). 

In any case, here I am reminiscing on this challenging, yet rewarding experience, and realize where I am today. Realizing what challenges are ahead. Realizing the mental anguish that will occur. Realizing the physical toll this will take. But more importantly, realizing how rewarding I know it will become and how much these  challenges will groom me even further. 

Am I worried about tomorrow? No I'm not. I'm excited! The unknown is uplifting and rewarding. If I knew what tomorrow would bring, I'd be bored by the time I got there. I'm ready to challenge myself again, to prove myself again...just like I did 11 years ago when it all started at SMC. 

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