There’s a reason why I love playing rugby and it’s not because of the shower scenes (although the last one we had was so un-erotic that someone even commented that it was odd to have that many gay men in a shower stall and have no one thinking about sex) or the undressing on the field or getting felt up in the scrum or lifting our captain up in the air by his ass. It’s when one teammate believes in your ability and pushes you to do better – and is willing to help you get where you need to be.
There is a player on our team, Chris, who is a major sports fiend. Now, I know it’s odd for gay men to be sports oriented (trust me there are still a few raised eyebrows from my friends when I bring up playing rugby) but Chris just wants to play rugby. He doesn’t want to get involved in the politics of the team. He just wants to play and he wants to make sure that when you play with him (in the sports sense, not sexual you pervs), you’re giving it your all as much as he is and doing it right. He consistently gave me advise on making sure I’m bound in properly and crouching down in the right stance. Even more so, he’s willing to take me aside and work with me on certain aspects of the game to make my skills are honed and ultimately become a better player.
This is a new thing for me because in my experience, the more skilled players pretty much don’t want to do anything with the less experienced players. They want to hang out with their friends who know what they are doing and can put forth the effort and let the other guys who are still learning struggle along and have to have the coaches mercilessly work them or, even worse, learn it all on their own. To have Chris’ expertise in this area and his willingness to work with me to become a better player means a lot. It means that he recognizes that I have the potential and desire to be a better player and I deserve to be on the competitive “A” side.
I just wish he had been there to see me sprint out that last stretch of our suicides last night. Damn that felt good.