Monthly Archives: January 2008

Need a break from work?

My brother’s throwing an end of January sale today … look for something cute for Valentine’s Day. 🙂


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On Success …

“Success is the sum of small efforts – repeated day in and day out.”
– Robert Collier

Been busy in the real world, putting my nose to the grind.

Between work, non-rugby life and rugby team life, there hasn’t been time to dwell on blogging. I’ll get back when I can, probably will need to schedule it in.

Hope you’re all well. And staying warm if you’re freezing like me in the Midwest. Brrrr.

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Marion Jones

The unfolding story of Marion Jones’ downfall is truly sad.

And now she’s going to prison.

This guy thinks she deserves it

The most disappointing thing is Jones could have gone down in history as the greatest female athlete ever by doing it naturally. She was so good even before using steroids that she didn’t need them to win far more than her fair share of fortune and fame.

That wasn’t good enough. Jones got greedy.

She cheated, and she lied. She still might be lying about how much she knew and when she knew it.

It won’t be any fun watching her go to prison. But I’d be lying if I didn’t think she was getting what she deserves.

What do you think?

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Filed under Blondie: my thoughts, women's sports

Monkey Bar – Day Two

A little tired going to class last for day two of our rugby class at the Monkey Bar Gym. And it was snowing and slippery.

Big T and I were running late so I missed the initial first few jogs in our warmup, but lucky me got in with time for the skips, lunges and bear crawls in all four directions.

If you want a killer exercise for warming up, try bear crawls. Our warmup is in lunchlines, three times down and back about 10 meters. We bear crawl forward, backwards, then sideways facing one way and then the other. Three times each. It just burns.

Next up, we jump-roped for time. 150 forward jumps and 150 backwards jumps together for time. I should’ve done the backwards jumps first, because they are trickier. But I did forwards first and paid for it later as I was tired trying to skip that rope backwards which requires more coordination and timing. I also need to work on not using a double-jump on my backwards jumps. I finished in about 5:20. Not very good, but I know how to improve. Our better athletes were in two to three minutes, FYI.

Our main workout was clean and presses for one half of the group and then kettleball swings and bodyrows for the other group. I was in the kettleball/bodyrows group. We did 15 seconds of kettleball swings and 15 seconds of bodrows, switching back and forth for 10 minutes. I used a 12 kg. kettleball, which is about 26 pounds. I averaged 6-7 swings in my 15 seconds, but only five bodyrows by the end.

I found this good explanation of kettleball swings:

Kettlebell Swing
1. Hold one kettleball between your legs and your body is in a bentover stance with your back flat.
2. Swing the kettleball backwards and then forcefully swing the kettleball forward to a chest level. Keep your arm straight and forcefully extend your hips, knees, and ankles.

But we hold our kettleballs with both hands, not single-handed as this describes. There is even this little cartoon guy to demonstrate (he moves at the original link):

For bodyrows, we use a a two-handled strap thrown over one of the various poles and beams in our gym room (it is a veritable jungle gym in there). You set the handles at waist height, then drop down to the ground. You hang on with your hands, but you row up your body to the handles powering through your torso and hips, not a pull-up.

Here’s a semi-decent picture of a bodyrow, although we keep our backs straight:

The body rows are tough. They start out pretty easy, because you’re not using just your arms, but your torso, so that’s much stronger. But by the end, you’re just exhausted. I love the kettleball swings though. They are hard, but I really like them.

We switched to the other exercise of cleans and presses. I started by grabbing a 20-pound ball, but realized I should use a 25-pound ball. But there were none left, so I used a 30-pound ball. A bit much, so I had less reps per 15 seconds, but it was tougher, so it’s okay. I started with 4 reps per 15 seconds, but finished averaging 3 reps. With this one, we’re simply picking the ball up in a clean and then pressing it straight up above our head. Drop it back down to knee height, then clean to chest and then press. Try to hit the same number each 15 seconds. You get a 15 second break while your partner goes. This kicks your ass. With six minutes left, we were all groaning.

We used D-balls for this, basically weighted medicine balls that don’t bounce. I prefer using the balls versus trying to use a kettleball in each hand to clean and press, which is the other option. I think I would have a hard time keeping my hands coordinated and lifting together.

We cooled down with a basic yoga move to work on our core strength.

Needless to say, I’m pretty wiped out today. I’m assuming tomorrow’s soreness will be worse, but hopefully not. Overall, it was good to workout already knowing the exercises and the proper technique.

Pretty glad it’s Friday and I don’t have another workout tonight, but I’d like to make sure I run and jumprope a bit this weekend and take some nice long walks to loosen up before we work out again next Tuesday.

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Sore, Tired

Our indoor rugby session last night amounted to over 90 minutes of stop-start sprinting with ball-handling drills. A hell of a lot of running.

I was already hungry before we got there, but Big T ignored my attempts to convince him it would be more fun to eat instead of train. He keeps me focused, even if I’m still hungry.

Lots of good drills, some four corners, two-on-ones, three-on-ones, and then variations on those some more, then some mauling work. We had a new player show up who I think will be a good fit.

Tuesday’s fitness testing has finally shown up in some soreness in my abs and legs, ever so slightly in my traps. And the running just makes me tired. So I’m a bit stiff today and definitely didn’t want to get out of bed.

Tonight is our first major workout at the Monkey Bar. So look for an entertaining recap tomorrow of me getting my ass handed to me.

Big T has also suggested we do our own MBG-style workout this weekend so we don’t spend four days doing nothing in between the three-day bonanza of fitness. I said sure, albeit a bit grudgingly. I do have a jump rope though that needs some jumping.

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Put Me in Coach posted a survey for anyone who has coached rugby before … and it’s pretty interesting. If you have ever coached, go check it out

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Eagle Updates

A few Eagle-related updates for you …

• Help out your Eagles! From Sadeana Green, Manager of the USA Women’s 7s:

The team is doing a fundraiser to help support the program. We are selling raffle tickets to San Diego 7’s (trip for 2 including airfare, hotel, and tickets to tournament or $1000). The tickets are a $10 donation for 1 or 3 for $25. If anyone is interested in purchasing a ticket please have them email me at

The drawing will be held on January 20 in Little Rock, Arkansas at the National Team Try-outs.

Sadeana Green
Manager WMT 7’s

• Also, this update from the U-20 Eagles … Thanks to Dana T. for passing it along …

U20 WNTCamp deadline is 1/12


This is a reminder that the U20 Womens National Team Camp will be held in Fullerton on Sunday, January 20. This is the last camp that will be conducted before the final USA invitational camp to select the U20 national team to tour South Africa in June and the U18 national team to tour Canada in July.

The camp is open to female rugby players who are 15 -19 years of age. Players who are 14 years may participate if they have played at least one season on a high school team. The camp is open to players born after January 1, 1988.

Only around five regional camps are conducted every year, and this will be the only camp for California, Arizona, and Nevada. With last year’s camp a success, and with girls rugby growing at a tremendous rate in southern California, national coach Bryn Chivers has decided to come to Fullerton once again.

Registration is available online at, and the cost is $45, which includes lunch and a camp t-shirt. Teams or schools sending 6 or more players can make arrangements to mail in a check. Deadline for registration is January 12, and no walk ins will be permitted.

For team registration and any further questions, please contact Ravi Perera at

• I am long overdue in sharing this with you and I know it’s already been out there, but just in case you missed it … via Put Me in Coach:

USA RUGBY and the IRB need to SEE that women not only participate, but support their own programs in order for the women’s final to be played in Petco park.

There are two ways to do this:

1) If you are going to USA 7’s for any reasons, to watch anyone – buy your tickets from Kim Brock at USA Rugby.

2) If you want to play 7s, Kim Brock will help arrange for you to find an opponent and you can play on the 7th/8th … FOR FREE! That’s right FREE!! And then get your spectator tickets to USA 7s through Kim for the big event Saturday.

If we can show enough interest in the women’s game, the women’s International Final can again be played in Petco Park. That’s cool. Let’s try and make it happen.

The official words:
As many people already know, the San Diego 7s event in rapidly approaching. It is the largest International rugby event hosted in North America and a stop on the iRB’s 7s World Series. This event will take place on February 9-10 at PetCo Park, home of the Padres, in Downtown San Diego. This event features 16 of the Worlds best 7s teams including New Zealand, Australia, England, South Africa and your USA Eagles!

What you may not know is that on Thursday and Friday the 7-8th there is another event running in conjunction with the San Diego 7s known as the San Diego Invitational. There will be nearly 50 rugby teams in town ranging from youth, high school, collegiate and Masters (AKA old boys). Also, as a part of the San Diego Invitational, there is an International Women’s 7s event featuring teams from Samoa, South Africa, Canada and most importantly, the United States Women’s National team!

Last year the women’s final between the US & Canada was played at PetCo Park in front of 15, 000 spectators who were there to watch the men’s event and we are really hoping for this to happen again. This is a tremendous opportunity for women’s rugby, not only here in the states, but internationally as well. In order to make this happen, USA 7s is asking us to show that the women’s rugby community supports their National Team.

How do we do this?
The San Diego Invitational has all age levels, but for the most part, only male participants. Women’s senior and collegiate teams have not shown interest in participating. I am not sure if this is due to lack of knowledge or interest in the event.

If we, the women’s community, can band together and show that we are participating in the San Diego Invitational and purchasing tickets to the USA 7s event (at a discounted group rate) it will help the USA 7s make the decision to have the women’s final inside the stadium once again.

How does the San Diego Invitational work/how does my team get games?
On Thursday and Friday we have 8 fields available all day long. Your team can challenge another team from a different territory or you can submit your interest to Kim Brock and she will work on matching you up to another team who has shown interest. We can work out a round robin format, short halves, full matches or whatever you want your matches to be in order to get you to the event.


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