Leeeeeeeaving, on a jet-plane

This is the plane I'll be flying out on! (Or at least one like it)

This is the plane I’ll be flying out on! (Or at least one like it)

Tomorrow’s the day!

That is, tomorrow I will be leaving for the Bingham Cup — out of NZ and off to Sydney, where there are already enough ruggers to give me a serious case of FOMO.

It’s been interesting to try and get enough gear together, after realising that the weather forecast (rain rain and some more rain) would necessitate changing gear multiple times throughout the tournament, and not just at the end of each day. Bingham have shouted us a single polo shirt, and when I got in touch with the ARRA they said the kit cupboards were almost bare. Luckily a friend has loaned me all of his old gear (in a much thicker and warmer poly-cotton than my Wellington kit) and I got together enough stuff to keep me warm and dry for the whole tournament. This means I have gear from a full four different associations, along with the NZ Falcons, including one association I have never represented.

I did have a game on the weekend – two in fact, down at Orakei Domain in the under 12 and under 13 capped divisions. The under 13s were a final – But really, no one did much toward dissuading me from my belief that the biggest problem in children’s rugby are the adults. The game got started really late because the one before it ended in an actual brawl – the kind where the police get called.

Let me repeat this – these children are 12. What the fuck parents? WHAT. THE. FUCK?

Then, my knee played up for 30 minutes. I’d had the hell strapped out of it by the guy at Physio Rehab, and I think that made it worse rather than better – I couldn’t actually run. I wasn’t giving the game the refereeing it deserved, so I asked one of my AR’s to take over at half time. Really disappointing.

Rather than get my knee strapped at Bingham, making my game worse, I went to the Doctor today and got a LOT of voltaren – pain? Ha! (It’s going to hurt like lube-free buggery, and I’m okay with that.)

And in further disappointing news… I don’t have a onesie. I had one all ordered and ready, bought off trade me. And then when I went to pick it up, the store was closed. Not in a ‘back at 9’ way – a ‘this business is no longer operational’ way. So I’m $40 out with no onesie to show for it.

Now I promised onesie. I feel terrible. So instead, I offer this. Wednesday morning there’s a “coaching clinic” with the Warratahs, (glorified photo-op) and when it comes to me getting a photo, I’ll be holding a sign saying “END UNICORN POACHING”. It’ll have a unicorn on it. Or as close as I can get, given I’m no artist.

Humiliating enough?

Any other suggestions (that I can carry out in 18 hours) chuck them in the comments.


Let’s be honest for now


There are approximately seventeen reasons I haven’t been making with the blogging, and all of them would be fair – I’ve been working obscene amounts, haven’t had a Saturday off in six weeks, haven’t been sleeping, am stressed as hell, and the depression that I live with has made a renewed showing in my life.

But no. The reason I have been eschewing blog posts to play hand after hand of Cards Against Humanity is because I don’t want to write about refereeing. Because the truth is – I’m not enjoying it.

That’s the first, unwritten rule of reffing. Enjoy Yourself. And I’m not.

All of the above reasons hold for why what is usually an excellent diversion from reality is turning in to something which is draining me. There are others – I’m carrying a couple of injuries, my washing machine has been broken for almost two months and nothing has been done about it, which makes washing my kit something of a mission. And I can’t handle any more abuse.

Yeah, I know, softcock, get over it, it’s just words. But it’s not. It’s anger which feeds into the knot in your stomach that has tied itself up knowing you’re going to cop more abuse this game. Self-perpetuating cycle.

I have depression. It’s been a particularly shitty time to have depression of late (if you want you can read why here) and so the parts of my personality that hate me have been particularly loud. I go into games beating myself up – and I’m less able to block out all that reinforcement.

I wonder if parents and coaches ever think about that. The idea that your referee might not just have his own shit going on, but have enough abuse going through his head that you’re actually doing damage.

I’ve apparently still been refereeing well – which is great. I can’t tell at the moment, because the depression is getting to my judgement first and filling it with crap.

Part of me wants to quit. I’m not moving up the grades, not being assigned to club matches, not getting any better. So if it’s all going to be more of the same why am I doing this?

I love the game. But I can’t keep battling this ball of stress and anger and hate that builds up in my stomach before and during games.

I leave for the Bingham Cup next Tuesday. I’m stressed out trying to work out all the details, trying to get enough kit together, trying to talk down my stupid brain which keeps telling me it’s all going to go badly and no one will like me and it’ll be just like fourth form camp. I’m not exactly in the ideal mood to referee at what will be a huge, and probably awesome event.

After that? Well, we’ll see. I’m getting my weekends back, I might get my Saturday morning mojo back too.

And just to prove I did try and blog, here’s a half finished blog post from three weeks ago.

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