Hi everyone,
I have a link to this poem, it pertains to football but I think it could actually pertain to anything including medicine.
I play womens football. I think I may have mentioned it in previous posts but not in any detail. By the way this is American football, full contact tackle. But I am in a dilema so I need some good advice.
I played last year. Its rough and very demanding physically as well as time wise. My problem is I am somewhat undecided about playing again. We actually play in the spring so right now we are just starting the practices. At this point it is practice for 3 hours on Saturdays and 2 hours in the classroom on Tuesdays. but in January the classroom will be ending and we will be practicing on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Saturdays.
Now here is the problem. I am not sure I really want to play. I actually didn’t see much playing time and I think it will be the same because we have the same coach. I hate the idea of busting my ass in practice and doing the best I can then not getting a chance to play. But some people hardly ever or never go to practice and they play. I know I am not the greatest athlete but I do give it 100% effort. I sound like I am really whining don’t I?
The good thing about playing is it would make for something unique when I get to the interview for med school.
I think I can spend that time maybe taking some classes instead of being in the pouring rain three times a week. I also have a fear of getting hurt. I managed to only sustain some minor injuries last season including a concussion, ankle injury and major bruises on my humerus. (They thought it was broken) The docotor were quite surprised that the x-rays were negative.
I enjoy the friendships with my teammates but I just don’t feel that motivated.
Thanks for listening to me rant ( my first)

Hi Cathy,
The poem was very nice. Your experience with “riding the bench” on your football team is very similiar to General Sugery internship. You work your tail off getting folks pre-OPed, admitted to the hospital, worked up, taken care of post-OP and you don’t get to do the surgical case. It can leave you with a feeling of not being appreciated. Sure there are plenty of things to learn in providing good patient care but you entered Surgery to operate. The joy in surgery is in the operating room and not generally on the wards.
What you have to decide is where you want to put your time. At this stage in your life and especially true for me, is that you have a very finite amount of time that you can spend doing recreational things. If football provides you with the physicial conditioning, the mental break and the comrade-ship that you desire, then the hours of practice are worth the time.
On the other hand, if you think more about getting hurt and less about playing the game, you need another sport. Football is a wonderful game that can challenge you on many different levels but the nature of this game lends itself to injury. Some of your bangs and bruises can come back to haunt you in your fifties and later (as some of the professional football players have discovered). I have a cousin who played professional baseball who retired a few years ago. He has more aches that I have and I am almost twice his age. He had plenty of money but he misses the comradeship and mental challenge of the game. His body will not allow him to play at the professional or even semi-professional level and he is only in his early 30s. (I personally want him to become an orthopedic surgeon so he may try for medical school).
The bottom line is that you find something recreational that you enjoy that won’t land you in the Emergency Room and the OR, and do it. How about coaching a young women’s team? Thousands of young women especially need to know how to play team sports and really need the input of a strong woman in their lives.
I have been watching the documentaries on training Navy SEALS lately. This training is very similiar to my training without the ice water swims. The 80-work limit rule has taken some “exhaustion” out of this training but you still have to learn to push yourself beyond the pain of your back and shoulders as you are holding the leg of a person that you are tying to amputate, or the ache in your feet as you are finishing a 16-hour radical neck dissection for cancer. Most of the time, I am so involved in the cases that I forget the passage of time but you do reach a point where desire for perfection is all-consuming and you tune out any aches or fatigue. Generally, when I am closing the incision, I begin to realize that I have been operating quite a long while.
Decide what you want to do but your experiences with your football team have provided you with many lessons and experiences that will take you through life. Just be sure that it does not provide you with injuries to go along with those lessons.