So it's my sophomore year of college and I'm heading back to my dorm. Tightness and soreness was an understatement--my body felt like it was eating itself away (in a way, it definitely was if I didn't get some fuelin it pronto). I had about 3 hours of a late night orgo TA session, so I could hopefully begin to wrap my brain cells around the problem set due the next day.
Whether it's club sports or varsity sports, something definitely hits different about athletics while being a premed. Certainly I was used to the rigor of AP classes and SAT prep after 3 hours of lunging and hitting balls against the wall (I play squash). But it sure took me a bit of a while to adjust...so my heart goes out to any of you folks who are grinding away practice after practice while pursuing your dream to become a doctor.
I really think the biggest challenge in participating in a sport is the time commitment. And I'm not just talking about practices. This is why it always surprises me when people ask me: "Did you anything else in college?" The fact of the matter is that playing a sport (depending on the sport and the nature of the program) in itself could very much be like a full-time job. All the practice, strength and conditioning lifts, extra sleep (because yeah, those late nights eventually come back to bite you) and stretching for recovery, and ultimately games/road trips that eat up entire weekdays or even weekends require tremendous time investment.
So I have tremendous amount of respect for my fellow college-athletes who dedicate their mind, body, and soul to the game. You should be very proud of your role as a cog in the machine that is your team. It is not just a means to stay in shape--it helps develop qualities that will prove to be valuable in your future career. Thus, given that healthcare involves both tremendous time management, leadership and cooperation, you are not only doing your team and school service by playing sports, but also one for the patients that you'll serve someday.