Hello hello, Ruggers,
This week was especially spicy! The Rogues went to Nanaimo over Labour Day long weekend to get some serious training in and start our regular season journey! Let's begin with some thanks to the individuals who helped make our trip possible:
- To Coach Patrick, for organizing and coordinating events throughout the whole weekend, and working our team hard during practice and touch games;
- To Heather, for being such a warm and generous host, cooking multiple meals for the entire team and willingly planning and participating in our festivities.
Thank you Pat and Heather!
Rogues began to trickle into Nanaimo Friday afternoon. My group arrived around 4PM, and wow, what a location! Heather has a beautiful property and home on Long Lake. We were so fortunate to be able to camp in her backyard and witness the amazing sunsets and fantastic morning views. We also didn’t mind the cozy dock, SUP boards, and the hot tub either. More Rogues arrived, we settled in: pitching tents, cooling down in the lake, and warming up in the hot tub - what a way to start the weekend, eh?
After the first of three delicious dinners made by Heather, we headed out for our initial training event of the weekend: pole dancing. To those of you who are skeptical, trust me when I say it's – nearly – the most fun you can have on a pole! And, damn is it hard too. Not only does it require heaps of upper back strength but you also absolutely must let go of any fears of looking silly. Confidence is sexy, and our incredible instructor, Karleena of VIBE Dance Studio, helped us hone our confidence to feel, and hopefully look, our sexiest. Thanks to Karleena for the experience and and for being patient with training even the clumsiest of us (which is mostly your dear writer). After pole, we returned to the house to have a comparatively early evening, consisting mostly of lounging around the fire pit and in the hot tub.
Saturday morning, we awoke bright and early to prepare for the day! The Rogues prepared breakfast and lunch as a team, helping to keep Heather's guest house tidy after cooking up a storm. We had a couple of hours of relaxed cabin time, giving the team a chance to enjoy the lake views, go swimming, and even have a little guitar session!
Mid-morning, we headed to Coach Pat's School of Strength for some outdoor training. Highlights include tire flipping, agility training, and rope exercises. We capped it all off with some inter-team tug-of-war. The whole morning was great fun, leaving us sore and eager to play some rugby!
After the morning session, we returned to the house for lunch and a bit of relaxation time before our afternoon training. The rain started pouring down so the whole team cooped up in Heather's guest house. Some of us napped or chatted, and others got involved in some very competitive games of Codenames (well, I hear it was mostly Nico who made it competitive...).
Our afternoon training session took place at the Nanaimo Hornets Rugby field where Patrick normally coaches. We practiced through some light-rain, doing some running and passing drills, and also learning how to perform line-outs. The session ended with the team playing touch. We were fortunate enough to also be joined by 3 Hornets, who helped guide us through drills and touch.
We spent the early evening having dinner at the Hornet's Clubhouse, again, orchestrated by Heather. The Clubhouse is a beautiful log-cabin styled building, dating back nearly a century. It's filled with pictures of the Hornets throughout the years, and the immense history of the place is palpable as you enter it. After dinner, we went back to the house for a bit more minor partying before hitting the sack in preparation of Sunday.
Sunday morning was a slightly later start for the Rogues, courtesy of Coach Patrick who knew we needed that extra hour or so of sleep after Saturday. Again we prepared breakfast and lunch before heading to our first event of the day: slackline. Like pole dancing, slacklining is trickier than it seems, requiring good balance and no fear of falling over to get yourself on the line. With the help of acroyoga instructor and slackline enthusiast Kevin, we all gained some skills on the line; many of the Rogues were naturals (of course, we are amazing) and managed to not just get on the lines but also take a few steps!
We returned to the house for lunch and some downtime, praying that the cloudy, rainy weather would part and give us a nice bit of sun for some beach rugby. While the sun came out, by the time we managed to hit the beach in the afternoon, the tide had come in and there was really no room for us to play. Instead, Coach Patrick had us run up and down the stairs twice (which were nothing compared to the Wreck Beach stairs, pftt) before heading back to his School of Strength so we could use the field there to play touch. Since it was our last time playing touch on the island, many of the Rogues really gave it their all, and we left the field tired, sweaty, and ready to party.
We were granted use of the gym showers to clean-up and after we headed back to the house for our final evening. Now that we have been a club for a few months, the execs decided it was finally time for a little Kangaroo Court! For those of you who don't know, Kangaroo Court is an opportunity to call out your team members for infractions they've made against the team, and then have them adequately punished for it! While those who are charged have the opportunity to defend themselves or have a 'lawyer' defend them, your case must be strong or the judges will find you guilty. Kangaroo Court is a special time for rugby teams, and no photos or recordings are allowed of the proceedings.
However, I can tell you that various members were charged and convicted of heinous crimes against the team, including but not limited to:
One, Sal (that's me, dear readers), for forgetting to bring the Rogue of the Day outfit to our Chilliwack tournament just two weeks earlier (truly a shameful mistake).
One, Ita, for skipping practise in the rain just the day before to get a "sexy massage". Seriously Ita, you should know better than to tell people where you're going.
And one, Brennan (yes, even coaches and execs are not immune to the whimsy that is the Kangaroo Court!), for stealing a beer from Sal (looks like I am prone to drama...) and then having the AUDACITY to claim that he bought them himself. Tsk tsk, Brennan.
Kangaroo Court ended with dinner and a final night of festivities to cap off the weekend. There was drinking, hot-tubbing, skinny dipping, dancing, and laughing into the early hours of Monday.
Whew! So much! It was an absolute blast from beginning to end.
Alright, until next time,