When and how did you first start playing rugby? What got you into it?
Lisa: I started playing last year, in 2018. I teach with Jessica Oya, and volunteered to help her run the cross country team. She would make me run with her, and tell me about this crazy sport where she was always injured and bruised but got to know and play with the best women. Every run she asked me to join, and every run I told her I’d never do that because I’d never played a contact sport. As the cross country season wound down, she said, “How’re you going to keep this fitness up?” And I agreed to go to one practice. Now...here I am. And loving it.
Did you play any sports prior to rugby?
Lisa: Tennis and running, the least contact sports ever.
Do you have a philosophy/mindset when you practice and play rugby?
Lisa: To learn all that I can so that I can be less confused with every game I play. The beginner mindset is more than an attitude for me - it’s a way of life!
How did you first find out about the All Blues?
Lisa: Jessica Oya, see above.
How long have you played for us?
Lisa: Since December 2017. I’ve played 7s, practiced with WPL and am in my second D2 season, though!
What is one of your best memories thus far as an All Blue? What do you like most about being on this team?
Lisa: I just love the amazing people on this team. I’m in awe of all of them, and beginning to wonder why I ever hang out with anyone else. JUST KIDDING don’t tell my other friends that.
Is there a particular player and/or coach that has influenced your development as a player?
Lisa: Evan Hoese, Chou and Bosko are the best coaches! I love Bosko’s wisdom (I’ll be publishing a book on her wise sayings soon, no one steal my idea), Chou’s sassiness and support, and Evan’s self-prescribed loving Dad approach of whipping us into shape, with love. Every All Blue I’ve played with so far has influenced me greatly, and I have too many role models to name. I wanna be all of you when I grow up, seriously.
What is the best advice you have ever received about playing rugby?
Lisa: “This sport is super confusing, just keeping playing it until it’s less confusing.” I honestly think every teammate so far has told me that. And they’re not wrong!
What skills are you working on/would like to work on right now?
Lisa: All of them. I’m so new and green.
As a teacher, how do you balance work and playing rugby?
Lisa: One of the ways I do this is by inviting my students into the world of rugby, but inviting them to games and letting them know when I have practice and games coming up. It’s fun to know that 6th graders in East Oakland are getting a small bit of exposure to this sport through me, and we can bond over their love and dedication to the sports they play to the sport I’m playing. Plus, now I can relate to the soccer playing students wearing cleats!
Who’s your favorite rugby player/team to watch? Why?
Lisa: The All Blues. Because duh.
What is your favorite non-rugby activity?
Lisa: Teaching and reading.
If you were an ice cream flavor, which one would you be?
Lisa: Something classic and reliable, like French Vanilla or Chocolate Chip cookie dough.
Most memorable thing for which you’ve gone to Kangaroo Court for?
Lisa: Declaring that I wasn’t of this rugby culture the first time I had to chug a 40 in front of everyone. I’m still really bad at chugging.
Anything else you’d like to share with us?
Lisa: I hope this wasn’t too boring! >_<