Player Profile: Lauren Oxendine

 

Hi everyone! My name is Lauren, but you can call me Lo, or Forrest, or Lolo. Whatever suits you. I’m one of the seniors on the team and I flank and eight.  I joined rugby my sophomore fall after a year of my friends trying to get me to join. In fact, I didn’t join rugby my freshman year because I thought rugby was too aggressive. Little did I know that it was everything that I ever wanted out of my college experience. So, I joined my sophomore fall because I was complaining to my friends, who were on the team, that I never got to see them. And they said to me, “if you join the team, you’ll see us a lot more.” And just like that I was at the next practice. After that, I fell in love with the sport. Here’s a picture from my VERY first game. That’s me! Trying to make a tackle. All I thought was, “I have no clue what I’m doing, but I know she’s not getting past me.”

Lo 1

Then I knew, I wanted to play rugby for as long as I am able. It’s always hard to accurately describe how great rugby is to someone who hasn’t experienced it. If I could describe it in one word, it would be POWER. It gives you power in every aspect of your life. Physically, you become stronger. You start to notice the changes in your body. You’ll be like “whoa, oh hey bicep, where’d you come from?” This is a picture from when I first started training for rugby! Baby muscles!

Lo 2

And other people will notice too. And I’m sure anyone you meet who plays rugby will tell you that one of the greatest things about rugby is that ANYONE can play rugby. Any shape, any size, there’s a place for you. And that’s something that’s so beautiful about the sport. Mentally, rugby will push you. There were/are so many times when I want to give up, but I keep pushing because I know that I can and with my teammates next to me, I know that if they’re still going, I can too. One of my greatest motivators is Amber. She yells at forwards, saying “You’re not tired!” When really, we’re all exhausted. But we keep pushing for each other. I want to also tell you about how rugby gave me the space that I needed to become fully comfortable with who I am and I think that’s something that I will always be grateful for (rugby gave me the confidence to cut my hair; I had a group of people who I know would support and love my decision).  I’ve also made relationships that I know will last my entire life (my rugby friends are my greatest friends), that too is a blessing to my life.

Lo 3Lo 4

Rugby is great because its welcoming culture is universal. No matter where you go, you know you can always count on a fellow rugger. Maybe it’s something about the sacrifice you make on the pitch for one another, but it’s a bond that’s never broken. It’s true. I played rugby for a team back home, the Cincinnati Wolfhounds, and I was met with the same friendly atmosphere as I had experienced at Brown.

Lo 5

Of course, the women on the team were SO much more experienced than I was, but they were nonetheless patient with my learning and willingly taught me.

These are just a few snap shots of what rugby has meant to me. It is so much more than the words and pictures on this page. But if there’s one last thing that I have to say is that I LOVE THIS TEAM.

 

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