What Do You Do For Fun?

The question “what do you do for fun” comes up a lot in the medical field. I think people genuinely believe it’s important to have a hobby outside the walls of the hospital, which I obviously believe strongly in. When we’re in a group people will often say golf, running, my kids, what have you. It comes to me and I say, jiu-jitsu. The standard response is “oh wow I better back up and not make you mad”. (Which, ok was funny at first, but also sort of ridiculous. If I’ve been working with you for several weeks what are the odds that I’ll attack you out of the blue because you now know I train? They’re zero.)

 The second response is always “how do you find the time?”

So let’s break this down. A day has 24 hours. On a standard day most 3rd year medical students are working 10-12 hours. That’s 50%. You sleep about 6 hours, that’s 25%, so that leaves you with 25% of your day. Sure, you can include travel to the hospital for an hour of that so you’re down to about 21%. A two hour jiu-jitsu class only takes a little over 8% of that 21% leaving me with 13% of my day to study still.

Jiu-jitsu (or a 2 hour workout of your choice) is only 8% of your day! How do you not have the time to make that a priority a few days a week? This applies to anyone, not just medical students.

So spend that 8% wisely. Sure, a nap would be wonderful sometimes after a really long, hard day in the OR. But is that nap getting you any closer to your goals? I have some really amazing classmates who run marathons – are they going to be good at those by napping instead of running? Of course not! Same goes for jiu-jitsu. I know there are some days where your couch and a pint of ice cream sounds MUCH better than getting beat up on the mats, but is the first option making you into a champion or even a better person? Of course not.

Life is all about choices. I guarantee that after dragging yourself to a tough workout you never regret it afterwards. Most days, it actually makes you feel rejuvenated. So choose to use your 8% to better yourself, if you can. Because champions are not born, they are made. 

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