The saying goes that the early bird gets the worm. But when it comes to college athletics, it's more accurate to say that the early bird gets the weight room.
This morning the women's lacrosse team had our first 6 am lifting/conditioning practice. It's just one of the bonuses of playing sports in college-- you get to the gym before the janitorial staff! But seriously, as challenging as it is to wake up at 5:30 after a long night of homework, it's really satisfying to get a great workout in before the rest of campus has even had a chance to hit the snooze button.
A certain pride comes with knowing that you and your team are working harder than anyone else. You have the commitment and dedication to get up and get going because you know that all your hard work will pay off during the season. I think that is the distinction between high school and college athletics: the passion and drive. Any talented athlete can compete at the division III level, but to be successful and to enjoy it, you have to really love your sport. If you're planning on continuing your sport when you get to RIT, make sure you know what you're getting yourself into. It's an enormous time commitment, physically demanding, and emotionally taxing. But it's all worth it if you really love the game.
It's very powerful being part of a team of women who are as passionate as you and willing to sacrifice their sleep to train and make each other better players. I'll give up a few hours of shut-eye if it means working together toward a common goal. When we win the Empire 8 Conference Championship this spring, it will definitely have been worth it!