From High School Football Kicker to Eagle at The Rugby Weekend – Meya Bizer shares the journey.
Meya Bizer grew up with a strong female role model which gave her an unafraid attitude to take on high contact sports like football and rugby at a young age. This early involvement in sports paid off for Bizer as she prepares for The Rugby Weekend – though becoming an Eagle wasn’t as smooth as she had expected.
“I started playing football in seventh and eighth grade as a wide receiver. Going into High School is when I switched over to being a kicker. I actually ended up getting a scholarship to go to college as a kicker.” Says Bizer.
Though football may have been Bizer’s first love, it was rugby that won her over in the end. It was freshman year of college that Bizer found herself on a USA Rugby tour. By her sophomore year, she made the decision to transfer to Penn State to pursue rugby fully.
“In 2015, the USA Sevens coach reached out to offer me a residency spot with the team. Later, I found out I was selected as a traveling reserve to go to Rio with the Women’s Sevens for the Olympics.”
Feeling confident about the direction her rugby career was headed, Bizer was on the Road to Rio until the unexpected happened.
“During a warm-up scrimmage around the start of the Olympics Games, I simply cut wrong and tore my ACL. So when the team was going into Opening Ceremonies, I was coming out of surgery”.
Bizer was determined not to let this injury hold her back from her dream; so she moved forward in physical therapy with one thing in mind – being back on the pitch.
“Since I started my career as an athlete, I didn’t want to let an injury be the reason I had to retire – I want to decide to retire when I am ready to retire. Moreover, if I would have just said, “well that is it” I would have always wondered what I was capable of. Whereas if I put everything I have into it, that is all I can do.”
Simply put, her hard work paid off. Bizer will be making her comeback appearance at The Rugby Weekend in Chicago on November 3rd, 2018.
“I cannot contain my feelings. I am so excited to be back in a familiar environment.”
While Bizer prepares for the upcoming match against New Zealand’s Black Ferns, she offers a piece of advice to fellow rugby athletes across the nation, “Remember that a freak thing or accident can happen and that it might be it for you for a while. Therefore, you want to remember to appreciate the time you have now.”
“Going into Rio, I got to go on tours and play all the time. I was consistently around the environment I love. Whereas the years I was in recovery, I was unable to do that or be involved with the sport in many ways. Now my appreciation for a good practice and the opportunity to tour is higher than ever.”
Bizer offers one last piece of advice to young athletes that may find themselves in a similar position she was at an early age.
“For young athletes – especially girls who are scared to play rugby or play a sport that can be perceived as masculine – I offer the advice to not be held back by those fears. If something like playing rugby will make you happy, then go for it.”
Watch Bizer and other Women’s Eagles at The Rugby Weekend on November 3rd.
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