1. Four words: “Get on the line.”

You die a little bit inside when your coaches yell that phrase.

2. Finding random bruises.  Everywhere.

You take off you coat and a friend says, “Holy crap, what the heck is that?!” as they point to a huge black and blue spot on your arm.

3. You’re always hungry, no matter what.

When you are done eating, the only thing you are really thinking about is when you can eat again. Or trying to space out your meal swipes so you don’t starve.  And when you find a snack you stashed in your backpack, it’s like a dream come true.

4. Walking to practice in the dark…because the sun hasn’t even come up yet.

Waking up before the sun rises is almost unheard of.  It’s 5:30 a.m. Who’s awake?  You, apparently.

5. Hearing non-athletes complain about waking up early.

By the time they get out of bed, you’ve already been up for three hours, running your butt off.

6. Cringing at the sight of stairs.

Stairs make you want to cry. Especially after leg day or after running sprints for an hour straight. You see the stairs in Palumbo, say, “Forget it,” and head for the elevator.

7. When people ask you if you have time to do something later, the answer is no. Always no.

Friends are always asking you to get food or watch a movie or go out, but you never have time. You have a constant cycle – practice, class, food, class, sleep.

8. Muscles that you didn’t even know you had hurt.

It’s the first practice after break, and coach unleashes every horrible drill you can think of. Your whole body feels like a plate of spaghetti, so you’re numb to the pain. Then the next day, the pain starts to kick in. Everything hurts.

9. You take board games too seriously because winning is everything.

On the rare occasion someone wants to play you, it’s on. If you don’t win, you accuse others of cheating. Losing is just out of the question.

10. When you finally have a day off and you don’t know what to do with it.

When coach tells you that tomorrow is your day off, pure happiness takes over your whole body. Then tomorrow arrives and trying to find stuff to do is almost impossible.

11. Wearing jeans is out of the question.

After practicing for three hours, the last thing you’re wearing is jeans – or any form of “real” clothing for that matter. When you do dress up everyone notices and it’s compliment city and you feel like a million bucks.

12. Having to sit out of practice because of an injury.

As much as you complain about not wanting to go to practice, that’s all you ever want to do. As soon as an injury happens and the doctor tells you that you’re out for two weeks, depression hits. No one wants to sit out and watch everyone else get to play.

13. You wouldn’t trade it for the world.

You were blessed with the opportunity to play the sport you love for four years. You go through the hard times and the pain for the game, for your team and for the name across your chest.