Rugby is an art.
Like an aggressive piece played by an orchestra or an intricate, passionate dance, all the motions are executed with a sense of beauty.
I am a wing.
I am on the outside looking in on this masterpiece as it comes together.
The ball is loose.
I feel the rumble of the ground as the pack rushes forward like a small herd of elephants.
The ball is knocked.
Scrum down to red.
Crouch. Bind. Set.
Bodies interlock. The ferocious human table is formed.
Pushing, driving, fighting for possession as I anxiously fidget waiting for the outcome.
The scrum half digs like an angry terrier for the precious ball.
As the ball moves down the line, I am about to jump out of my skin.
My boots dig into the earth, propelling me forward.
Suddenly, the ball is in my hands.
I take flight.
Never before have I been this quick. There are wings on my feet.
Nothing but wide-open green.
Don’t look back. Never look back.
But hearing the thunder behind me, I did just that.
Like a bolt of lightning, I am hit.
I see the world turning on its side and then all I see is sky.
I hear all air leave my body, escaping through my lips.
There’s a familiar metallic taste in my mouth.
I can no longer see the sky.
I am covered by bodies.
My teammates, like valiant warriors coming to my aid.
They protect me as they push away the enemy.
I safely place the ball behind them and the battle above me begins to dissipate.
I pick myself up and remove my mouth guard, spitting and spewing crimson onto the dirt.
This is rugby.
And blood makes the grass grow.