The lure of rugby" /> The lure of rugby" />

Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - May/June 2016 - (Page 32)

by Piper Wood IT'S 6:54 A.M., AND MY CAR IS FREEZING AND COVERED IN A THICK LAYER OF CONDENSATION. SOME PEOPLE CALL IT DEW, BUT I CALL IT A NUISANCE. MY NEIGHBORHOOD IS A GHOST TOWN AS I DRIVE TO THE PRACTICE FIELDS. THERE, I THROW MY CLEATS ON AND JOIN MY TEAM IN A LIGHT JOG. BY THE TIME I HAVE RUN THE LENGTH OF THE FIELD, MY FEET ARE NUMB AND SOAKING WET FROM THE "DEW." T he morning sun on the field warms us up, and we are all but sweating by the time tackling drills start. We giggle as we knock the wind out of each other, slamming into the cold, wet grass. "Hold!" my coach bellows over the chatter. As he starts to explain how we are positioned, I pray to the grass-stain gods that I have made a mistake. If I did, and coach stops to correct it, it means I am good enough to be noticed. As I lay in a post-tackle position, I see the team through a different lens. I see nine girls who sustain the closest bond I have ever experienced on a team. To me, this is the best way to spend my Saturday mornings. Rookie Season In 2013, I was one of two freshmen on the Valley women's rugby team. The first day of practice, there had been a heat advisory warning, with the August humidity putting temperatures in the mid 90s, and the grass hadn't been mowed. A senior on the team had convinced me to attend this practice, and I agreed in part because rugby was a club sport. Club sports connoted a lower level of commitment, and I was a busy student. Because of the small number of interested players, I made the team without any prior knowledge of the sport. I began with no expectation of even making it through the season: I waited two weeks before even buying my first pair of cleats. 32 imagine My first year, the team was primarily seniors. They were science geeks, soccer stars, and drama kids, yet through countless agility drills, pick-up games, and successful matches, they'd forged strong connections. As a freshman, I was afraid of being shut out of the team's camaraderie, but gradually, steadily, I saw a shift in our interactions. As they mentored me and taught me the rules of the game, I began to see them as teammates, not just the girls I ran practice drills with. Having 15 "older sisters" coach me through the game and through my first year of high school gave me indispensable knowledge. Though I was relegated to wearing a hand-me-down XXL men's jersey in my first game, it stated I was #1, and felt like the perfect fit. Growth & Transformation My coach equates the first year of playing rugby with trying to drink water from a firehose. There are so many rules and strategies in rugby, and my freshman year I learned only the basics. In "sevens" rugby, which is what we play, seven is the magic number: There are seven people on the field (also called the pitch), and you play games with seven-minute halves. Players are allowed to tackle the ball carrier, as long as the tackle falls below the waist. To restart a play, each team receives an equal chance to win the ball during a scrum, in which three players May/June 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - May/June 2016

Big Picture
In My Own Words Karl Deisseroth, Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry, Stanford University
Mind Brain Philosophy and neuroscience at CTY
A Meeting of the Minds at the National Brain Bee
Mind over Matter Overcoming communication barriers via technology
A Fish of a Different Color My neuroscience internship
Immersed in Brain Science Summer research at Rockefeller University
Brain Training Four graduate students share their research
Prime Time for Brain Science Exciting new findings, from brain maps to mindfulness
Making the Connection Teaching kids about mind, media, and health
Selected Opportunities and Resources
Pitch Perfect The lure of rugby
My Stress-Free Adventure Scuba, sailing, and discovery
Off the Shelf Review of Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant
Word Wise
Exploring Career Options Interview with neuropsychologist

Lisa Jacobson

One Step Ahead Ten commandments for college success
Planning Ahead for College Can your dream school become a reality?
Students Review New York University
Creative Minds Imagine Fiction contest winners
Mark Your Calendar
Knossos Games
Mind + Brain Philosophy and neuroscience at CTY

Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - May/June 2016