Posted Jan 2008 by Cary Kennedy,to the left of Marc Butler in picture above
Last sept shortly after participating in the Aspen Ruggerfest,I declared my desire to withdraw from all rugby activity as a player,coach,manager,photographer,rugby website editor,tour organizer,and kit laundry maid. This means that I have resigned my status as coach/manager for William and Mary Rugby after 27 years of continuous service. Given up my organization chores with the Virginia Gentlemen and Virginia Cardinal Master select side. I will try my best to quit as golden oldy rugby player. The boots have been stashed deep in the closet. I contemplate the real possiblity of never having to franticly search for my boots. I know you are thinking. We have to retire from rugby,at least, 7 times before it sticks. I have lost count how many times I have retired from rugby as a player. This could be the real thing?
Do not know precisely why the sudden wish to withdraw. I have never really anaylized the reason why I was drawn to rugby in the first place and stuck with it for 35 years. It is trully scary how much of my life and times have been dedicated to rugby activity. The rewards always flowed yet the pay offs could be unpredictable,delightful, and surprising. I was totally engaged during some fine rugby times.
We have heard all the reasons why we play and why we quit. I subscribe to all the attractions and drawbacks. I have no desire to bore you with the cliche's. The drawbacks have converged it seems. I will miss the competition,the moment by moment awareness during a rugby match,the friendships,the respect,the hate,the love,the satisfaction,the good play,the gratifying ruck, the perfect tackle,the practices,the young players when they get it,the joy and sorrow that rugby thrusts into our lives and makes us trully feel alive.
I will remain an observer of the game. Many of my rugby friendships will remain active. My current challanges are building a new home,hands on,sawed over 15k bd ft the last 18 months to be included in the home. Have been framing nearly everyday for the last 60 days. Tired but satisfied. Funny,isn't it? Same feeling after a well played rugby match. Rugby prepared me for the rest of my life and has taught me that the best moments come after preparation,hard work,challange,assuming risk,and good luck.
Fast forward to Dec 2008
I don't know how it happened? The Boys invited me back to coach William and Mary this fall and I accepted. Attended every match and made every monday practice with committment. Continue to assist The Cardinals,my ol boy side, with some organizing assistance. It's still a mystery. Rugby retirement has eluded me again,at least,for now. Actually happy to be onboard again,yet bewildered as well. My rugby soul has the upper hand again.
Rugby retirement is still on hold. Picture below is me at Savannah Ruggerfest March 2009 leaving the field after winning the 45 Championship.
picture taken by Bethany Puopolo