It’s a break up.

It’s about time that I sit down and consolidate my thoughts calmly, after crying my eyes out yesterday. hmmm.. this post may not be very long but it will probably take me a while to type it out with my right last 2 fingers being unable to exert much force, even just to type.

Before anything, I would like to dedicate this post to the KE Touch team 13/14 I’ve played with and also KE Touch team 12/13 (although only huiming knows about this blog ahhah). And also my beloved coach, Raihan.

Thank you, thank you for letting me start my trug journey with a bang!

I still remember IBG 2012 touch rugby, Adela, Grace, Sophia and I playing for E block on the field. We didn’t know shit about the game and sophia literally flew out of the field after getting a touch by Tasha. I kept complaining about how the ball was not round and how counter-intuitive it is to have the ball thrown backwards after running so hard with it trying to gain distance, and having to stand behind the player with the ball when we wanted to gain ground.

Then came CCA fair and somehow I was bent on joining KE Touch, placing it on a higher priority than squash, something I was so comfortable with. Probably because Cheryl and Max sold the CCA really well, and many from my OG signed up to join:)

First training came and I had fun, still complaining about the awkward shape of the ball and how the game made no sense having to pass it backwards. Few trainings on, we were taught that the real game had something called roll ball instead of the tap and pass during IBG after getting a touch. I was mind-Fed then:/ and we were taught 3-ups. Training after training we did 3-ups and I could not understand why we kept doing to same old boring thing which I saw no purpose in. Still, teammates made trainings enjoyable and I looked forward to each training. Then one fine training, coach appeared, and I was intimidated. He lacked smiles and enforced suicides. My performance during training sessions with him just plummeted but I could not do anything about it, I was just scared. I cannot remember exactly when was the first time I saw coach execute some moves on the field, probably against the guys team when he sidestepped so swiftly and it was just a pleasure watching him handle the ball so smoothly. I was in awe. I was full of admiration. I respected coach. Later on we started doing Splits (S1 & S2) and progressed to ‘A’ and ‘B’ for blue zone attack (okay until this season, I never knew that was called blue zone:/). I was given the position of the link, a position I felt was insignificant, where the weakest player was placed, the position with no glory. But despite what I thought, I just wanted to play my role well. It was the last training before IHG day and the girls were performing badly, not sure if it was due to pre-IHG jitters or not. Number of dropballs were record breaking and from being angry, it seemed like coach took pity on us and gave up on being angry. IHG came and went by (can refer to my previous post about it). Regrets filled me as we lost to teams we could have won, drew teams we could have won. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the whole process:)

I then took over the team from Cheryl together with Huiming and we were determined to see better results this year. Everything remains clear in my mind. How Tim and I sat on the SRC spectator stands with Raihan, asking him to come back and coach us, letting him know that this year we wanted to see results. And coach agreed to come back and coach us:)

First training came and I was so worried. There will be no coach for the first few trainings, just Tim and I with the seniors to guide the freshman. I was not like Cheryl who had prior touch experience in JC, I was a nobody, I was just a link who picked up the dumps of my teammates. But Tim and the seniors helped out a lot and trainings went smoothly. One-by-one, people started quitting because they realised the sport did not suit them or they preferred the other CCAs they had joined. I started worrying, asking Max non-stop what was happening, if I would end up with a team with less than 16 players. But after a while, the quitting ceased and I had a team of 18 players:) After a few trainings, coach appeared again and this time, I was still scared of him but I was thankful that he was here. Just his first training with us, he taught us a 6 men move, shuffling the cones around quickly to show us the running lines of players and how the ball has to travel. It was new to the freshman, it was new to seniors, once again, I was mind-Fed. Coach said he was going to take on a new approach this year, leaving the basics for Tim and I to teach the team and he will teach the team more advanced stuff. And first training with coach, I sprained my ankle-.- well done michellekwek. Soon after, coach taught us the sub-move and I kept thinking what was the point of the sub-move when we could just sub out simply by out pods. But coach does not teach new things just for the sake of teaching new things.

It then came the holidays. The training that I came up with gathered a lot of feedback. “4 times a week training?!”, “Isn’t it too excessive?” and I believe coach was shocked too because it was KE Touch’s tradition to slack off during the holidays. But No, no amount of training is too excessive. “Popcorn” then came about as a blue zone attack move and we took a long time refining it, even till 2 trainings before IHG. Training in the hot sun was so different from evening trainings. It sapped our energy and drained us all. PT with a lot of running, weird and crazy warmup drills by coach then smacked us in our faces. But still, I was enjoying training and looking forward to mondays, tuesdays, thursdays and saturdays:)

The the girls had our first ever friendly with SH. It was mad. But it marked the baseline of our performance. Middle middle losing the ball at the blue zone, 3-ups with both runners running 10m laterally apart, penalties against us. It was mad. It was also the first time I played centre, as well as the “no-glory” link. We lost 4-0 and I was depressed. But we were determined to bounce back stronger and fiercer. Training camp came and it was intensive training with friendly against SP, ice bath, doing weird exercises along the NUS pool, running in and out of the shower, interesting whiteboard sessions. And again, trauma injury to my right quads which caused me to be out of action for 2 weeks:/ Holidays ended and training reverted back to twice a week with occassional saturday sessions but PT increased. Before I could go back for training, I sprained my ankle once again during handball IHG and I was out again for 2/3 weeks. Still remember how I sobbed after the injury, afraid that I will not be able to play for IHG Touch. We had a friendly with Eusoff which I could only stand by the side and watch on, we lost 2-1 which I was not very happy with although the score was probably unexpected for most (in a good way) but the tries we conceded were NOT LEGIT. Then coach told me that we had to cut players soon because now we had 19 plus cheryl coming back it would be 20. It was difficult and once again, I was stressed over it. Honestly, it is amazing how stressed I have been over Trug. People who know me know that I am not easily stressed, school work will never make me stressed, results will never make me stressed. It’s not that I am easily stressed over trug but it is because it means the world to me, it means family. Coach and I had long conversations over whatsapp and face-to-face and I was no longer scared of him, I love him (as a coach):)  I returned for training and we had a friendly against KPMG and once again, there was improvement for the girls team. Since the SH friendly, we were going up, and only up and I was proud of my team. The lines were more or less set and we were specialising in our positions. I was playing centre with Grace, really an honour for me and I am glad that we could play together. I started learning how to dive and everyone was peaking, slowly but surely. We played a friendly against TH and we won 2-1. Really, we were going up and only up. Last few trainings leading up to IHG, our defense was improving, our attack was getting sharper, everything was going well. I was all excited for IHG.

IT CAME. The male and female teams fought hard but results just doesn’t show it. It is sad. After the EH match my hand was hurting. I tried to practise with Grace doing the splits, dumping was a painful affair, and so was throwing and catching. But I did not want to sit out. I told myself if I am going to play, I jolly well play my usual standard if not exceed it. Every pop-pass from YiNing to me during 3-ups, I focused extra hard to catch the ball because my left thumb and my right last 2 fingers had no power. Each time I dumped it was with extra concentration. Each time I made a pass I turned my body more than I normally would to compensate for the lack of power because the last 2 fingers give the “finishing touch” to each throw if you understand what I mean, but I no longer had that. Spamming cold spray just didn’t help but when you are on the field, you won’t know what pain is. I dropped the ball at the blue zone again SH and I was utterly disappointed. That was the first drop ball for me during that day and it had to be at the blue zone with 2/3 more touches left. I just cost a try.

After the match, I did something I shouldn’t have; Crying in front of my team. I tried to hold it in. I really did. From the first KR match, I held in my tears of anger when we conceded 3 tries. During EH match, I fought to keep my tears in after failing to square-touch my opponent, allowing the dummy-break and subsequently the pass out for the try. The tears came out later on, just a bit, as tears of happiness each time Max scored a try against KR. Once again, tears of anger built up in my when we let in a try by TH. But by SH, I just could not hold it in.

To my team, thanks for making this whole journey a great one. I would not exchange it for anything else in this world. The memories are so precious and I will hold them close to my heart. Thanks for fighting hard and I am proud of each and everyone’s performance. Against TH and EH especially, we did well. They were close matches. We really peaked during IHG, but I guess our peak was just not enough.

To coach, thank you coach, for starting my touch journey. Thank you for replying me at 2/3am when I randomly think of trug and whatsapp you my questions and opinions. Thank you for everything coach. You are my inspiration.

To Tim, Huiming and Kaixiang, well done guys:) And thank you for being there for me.

To Max, thanks for listening to me rant and question non-stop yesterday, wiped my tears and mucus while you starved. Thanks for teaching me so much, answered my questions about the game at weird and random times of the day.

No more tears I hope, my eyes are hurting and I am exhausted. But each time I think of a try conceded, it still feels like a stab in my heart. I was just telling Max, how much I am hurting now is how I felt during the break up 2 years ago. I don’t know why it is so bloody painful. I enjoyed yesterday though, playing the game, understanding the game so much better than the previous IHG. And now knowing how important a link is. In fact, there is no one position where you can put a weak player. As Cass mentioned,” the team is as strong as the weakest link (player).” The training sessions after I returned from my second sprain were the best sessions of my life, even with the suicides and flags.

Looking back at the past 2 years, the experience with KE Trug is the best experience of my life. I am grateful to everyone who has played a role in making it the mostest awesomest (Max’s Language).

For the past 5 months, my life revolved around KE Touch, changing my diet to no spicy food for the last 3 weeks, planning my life around training. I am going to miss training. I already feel so empty. I am missing my teammates.

IHG has ended for me. The second and last IHG I will experience. The best. With the best team.

Thank you guys for everything. I enjoyed it thoroughly:)

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One Response to “It’s a break up.”

  1. Butterfingers Says:

    “The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart. “We will all come back stronger next year, Kwek!

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