“Saturday is rugby day!” Is what you will hear from most people who play the sport. It refers to the most common day in the world that the game is played. I say this almost every time I see a sticker on a bumper, a jersey, or anything else that is remotely related to rugby. I still remember coming to practice one day and the coach told me: “Today you are with the Forwards Miley.” I thought to myself ‘why is Miley calling me?’ Turns out I was named for my phenomenal rendition of Miley Cyrus’s song ‘Party In The USA’ at a club event the night before. It’s always fun to hear how you get your rugby name.

Now that you know a bit about me, let’s see how rugby changed my life for the better. “In the beginning, God created rugby” is what I mean. He probably did a few other things first. He did; yet create the sport that millions of people around the world know and love. Disclaimer, all my experiences with rugby were not good, especially when I almost broke some bones.

1. Rugby has allowed me to connect with people from all over the world. I have met French, Ecuadorian, Cuban, Chinese, Polynesian, English, and even African rugby players. I think there was also a clown. At the beginning of this reading I mentioned how I scream whenever I see something remotely related to rugby. Even if I see someone jogging in the afternoon, I’ll say, “Saturday is rugby day!” It is as if we are a family and we automatically feel connected to those who also enjoy sports. From Miami Beach to Hong Kong I constantly meet guys who play rugby. They’ll invite me out for a drink, to their kids’ birthday party, a guy even designed our current club logo for FREE!

2. It is also a great way to keep the extra pounds off. Imagine running a 5K and every 0.25 kilometers having to face a 215-pound guy who brings groceries to your house. This is rugby. To practice this sport effectively, you have to be in good shape because it involves a lot of cardiovascular exercise. In a hurry. Unlike soccer, but similar to soccer, the game is continuous and there are no pauses between impulses. The field is 100 meters long and you will run the entire distance at least 10 times in one game. As I write this, I was motivated to do 50 squats, so please give me a second …

3. There is no better feeling than scoring a Try! A Try is scored by landing the ball in the opponent’s in-goal area. Imagine a touchdown in soccer, but you have to press the ball against the ground. Scoring a Try is great because of all the hard work that goes into getting there. Imagine a soccer player scoring a goal. That kind of excitement!

So I hope I have converted you to the Rugby nation and that one day you will take the field. Most cities have a men’s league and most colleges have a college league. I have played against UM, LSU, UF, FSU, Auburn, and even Duke University. There is rugby everywhere. You just have to go out and find it.

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