Pain is Gain

The last time I felt like a crumpled piece of cardboard, I was playing tennis for the first time. This was way back in 9th grade, when I wanted to become more active and athletic. Alright, honestly, I was just being Asian and wanted to appear more presentable and well-rounded for college applications. So yes, I was thinking of getting into a good school before I entered high school because I was just itching to leave without starting.

Anywho, I remember vividly the first day of tennis practice. The sun roasting me like Thanksgiving turkey, bright and early. We started training with ridiculous laps around the track field and Speedy Gonzalez sprints on the tennis courts. I was melting and hacking for air after the first 2 hours of my tennis career. When I got home, the pain started to hit. I was seriously sitting on my childhood Fisher Price chair, arms and legs outstretched like a stuck mummy. My muscles were nonfunctional. I could not lift a leg without falling back. I was useless, pitiful, and enfeebled. But it was funny. My sister laughed at my immobility. She could poke me and I lacked the energy and muscle power to kick and return a knuckle-sandwich.

As I got more fit with tennis and running well into college, I never had to experience such pain and soreness, until last week. It has to be a record of how many new things I attempted in one week: Step-dancing, Bollywood hip-shaking, and skidding down the snowy slopes. Let’s say I have plenty of hematomas (aka, fancy medical term for bruises) and soreness down my legs, hips, butt, and a little bit of my arms. Half my body right now is mad ugly and very much useless. Simple things like clapping or lifting up my backpack were exasperating efforts.

I still applaud myself for balancing fun time with study time in medical school. Yes, I partied, clubbed, exercised, cooked, watched crime shows, and spent all night glued to Asian dramas under my bed covers throughout college. But really, in medical school, you are expected to be buried in cubicles. My sister is still amazed I have time to dance and go on restaurant excursions. Now I guess I’m paying for it with my broken body and bruises.

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