Call It What You Will

Liar. Wishy-washy. Uncommitted. Procrastinator. Anti-social.

These are names I’ve either given to myself or I would’t put it past that others have given to me. Nor can I say that I blame them.

I could offer up excuses about my new job (but it’s become less new yet the love of the work and constant deadlines has made me somewhat of a workaholic) or how my husband and I have opposing schedules and, as luck would have it, the days that coincided were also the days that people wanted to get together with me or, even, how I’m trying to scrape time and work on finishing a novel. But, I don’t want to offer up excuses.

You don’t want to hear them. I don’t want to give them.

So, instead, an apology. A sincere apology.

For those of you who have reached out to me and have asked to get together in 2011, that meant a lot. Thanks. I still value our friendship and while I’m whatever you want to call it, you’ve earned a real special place in my heart.

New Year = New Me?

Contrary to what this blog was leading up to, you would think that my New Year’s Resolution would be to hang out more and get in touch with friends. Well, no.

There I go again, hurting people’s feelings and making others feel less important.

But this year I give to myself and my husband to cherish time together, make time for ourselves and to be loving enough to ourselves to try new things and not be upset if the venture doesn’t stick. Ok, that last one was for me.

Read Between The Lines

What I’m not saying is this (I cringe as write this but it’s the truth): I’m not a rugger anymore.

Everything I said in my Ignite Phoenix speech was true. Damn, I loved being the feminine chick that would love the opportunity to tackle your ass on the rugby pitch.

But reality hit me this past Fall season: I wasn’t as good as the other players (by a lot!) so I slowed down plays, the plays were complex (no wonder they are a Division 1 team — when I played rugby (in college) I used to write an “L” on my left hand and an “R” for my right hand, for crying out loud! — it dawned on me that I could get hurt and maybe in college I didn’t care but now when I bump in to my car door results in a beautiful bruise, I care.

So, in 2011, I learned that I love rugby and I was a rugger. Yes, past tense. It’s ok. Chapter closed.

Bring on, 2012!

Not sure what this year will bring (an apocalypse, maybe?), but I’m wishing for you what I’m wishing for myself: success in your endeavors, the freedom to try new things, good health and to never doubt that you’re loved.

Ignite Phoenix Recap – My Personal Timeline From Fan To Presenter

Martha Schulzinger speaking about rugby at Ignite Phoenix 10
‎(CC) Devon Christopher Adams & @nooccar

Speaking at Ignite Phoenix 10 was a tremendous experience. I was already becoming an Ignite Phoenix groupie from my first Ignite Phoenix night experience — Ignite Phoenix 8 — but I needed to take the leap and become an Ignite Phoenix veteran.

Was It a Matter Of Time?

I had worked with Jeff Moriarty, one of the founders of Ignite Phoenix, as well as some Ignite Phoenix veterans: Dustin Diehl and Tina Perez. Jeff’s comments and their presence were reminders that I should share my passion with the fantastic community that is Ignite Phoenix.

This was also around the time that I had rediscovered rugby through the Tempe Women’s Rugby team. Some of the best girls I’ve had the pleasure to be on the pitch with. Things were coming full circle. Sorta.

I needed to actually submit to be a presenter. I can recall lying in bed with a real nasty head cold when the tweet went out that submissions were open. Thanks to a fellow rugby lover I had the title ready to go — “Why I Love It When My Hooker Gets The Ball. Why I Love Playing Rugby.” I put together a quick bio and description and it was fingers crossed from then on out. And after some Nyquil I was also out.

Several weeks went by and I had nearly forgotten about it. Then an email came and, oh crap, I actually got picked.

Time to Get Serious. Finally.

Procrastinating. That’s exactly what happened as I had the illusion of time, family in town and I was starting a new job. Legitimate excuses? Maybe, but I was still not writing, assembling or practicing my speech.

With maybe a week and a half to go, 50 notecards that tracked the progression from full sentences to keywords, I was feeling less jittery.

Slightly.

The Moment Has Arrived – Time to Talk to 853+ People

It was a full house. After all the running around from last minute ticket exchanges, materials needed to set up the speaker booth and seat arrangements for friends and family — all there was left to to do was wait. Wait and watch the other eight speakers present.

I’m not even sure what I said. I strayed from the script, but not badly. But the crowd, the Ignite Phoenix crowd, is so fantastic that it doesn’t matter. They responded to my questions and were eager to learn about why rugby is so awesome.

Littlest Martha at Ignite Phoenix 10
(CC) Devon Christopher Adams & @nooccar

But the secondary tactic might have also been at play — distract the audience with bright blue sexy shoes.

Truthfully, I’m grateful. I’m grateful that this event goes on. I’ve learned so much from other people’s passions and am honored to have been able to share my own passion. I’ve made further connections that I hope can turn in to friendships.

Ignite Phoenix or Ignite [Your Town]

If you’ve not been to Ignite Phoenix – you need to go. Ignite Phoenix 11 is October 28. Fair warning now: When they announce tickets are on sale, buy them that day as they will sell out. And usually that same day.

Not in the Valley? Find an Ignite near you and get involved. You’ll be glad you did.