By R. Brady
Football. Soccer. Volleyball. Cross country. Basketball. Sports surround us constantly, from competing in a golf tournament on a Friday afternoon to sprinting across the red track on a Saturday morning. Families sit around the TV at night eating nachos and watching the big game together. Sports help us exercise and stay healthy. But there’s one thing most people forget about, and that is practice, practice, practice.
I have been running for my school’s cross country team since fourth grade, and never before has it been a problem for me to attend practices. But this year, my freshman year, sports have suddenly become much more prominent in my life. I did not have to try out for the team, but I am running every school day, and sometimes weekends, too. Not only have I noticed soreness and pain in my legs, but also physical fatigue. My schedule now consists of only school, cross country, homework, and sleep. I have little to no free time, and lately I have been tired by as early as 8:30 p.m. Unfortunately, the combination of cross country practice, other extracurricular activities, and homework will not allow me to sleep until 10:30 p.m. or even 11:00 p.m. This is causing extreme fatigue and also filling up my schedule.
Is it necessary for sports to practice every day? I think it depends. I am definitely not a star athlete; there are no tryouts needed for cross country, but if there had been, I probably wouldn’t have made the team. I am not used to running for five days straight, especially after not running all summer. It is causing both physical and emotional stress – physical pain in my legs from a three to four mile run each day and mental anxiety from my packed schedule. But I also think that if a person is the star of the team, extra practice may be necessary to make sure the athlete is doing the best they can.
I have to admit that with the many practices, I have improved greatly in just three weeks. I ran my fastest time for three miles, and my running stance is better. Also, a sport counts for a PE class, so I am able to finish some homework in study hall. However, even just a day’s break from practice would be appreciated, as I have to walk stiff-legged around school from the soreness in my muscles. In the end, I think sports are a great way to be with friends and stay active, but high school sports are often, in my opinion, taken way too seriously.