This article is part of the USA Women's Eagles Final in '14 blog. All entries are written exclusively by members of the women's national team.
If you said something like “we do do pet fashion here, thanks for asking” I can pretty much guarantee that I’d be the first to turn to the nearest person and whisper “do do.” Unfortunately for me, my body isn’t quite as youthful and spritely as my sense of humor. I’m what you’d call a… “mature” rugger. Which means I’ve spent more than a decade joyfully smashing into other human beings and now my body is mad. How mad?
Well, any time I sit in the same position for more than a few hours my hip flexor tends to lock up and when I get up and try to walk I look like a constipated hunchback. Just slap a googley eye on me and put me in a bell tower. My hip flexor usually loosens up in a few minutes, but initially it’s not pretty.
Then there’s this weird bicep thing. If I smash into someone good and hard in just the right way I get a little camel hump in my bicep. It always fuses back together with time. Slowly and surely, like a really crappy Wolverine.
Then there’s just the general bumps and bruises that come with the game and the amount of time it takes to shake it off. The longer we play, the longer the recovery time seems to stretch out. But oh well, gurrrl, it’s part of the deal. We’re all given a relatively small window of time to play rugby, especially at the highest level, so we have to make every second count. When our bodies protest, we’ve just got to find ways to shut it up.
Here are a few things I’ve done:
- Tried and true. Prehab, rehab, post-hab, all the habs, really. Three times a week, I set aside at least an hour to do a stretch and foam rolling routine. Super boring, but effective.
- Glucosamine and fish oil. For the ol’ joints.
- Compression pants for recovery.
- Green tea (the kind with brown rice is the best) and any foods that may or may not have anti-inflammatory properties. It’s hard to notice a difference with this stuff, but it certainly couldn’t hurt.
- Daily electrocution. Not like some weird aversion therapy, but rather stim. Low level electrical pulses that contract your muscles and can help with range of motion and healing.
- And some other things that I won’t bore you with.
With CanAms coming up we’ve got two tough matches in a fairly short amount of time, so we’ve got to recover off the field as hard as we play on it. Maybe even a little harder. It’ll be demanding, but when it comes down to it I know every one of us will gladly put our bodies on the line for country, our teammates, and the chance to play the game we love.