As an athlete, it's easy to get stuck in a cycle or routine throughout your sports career. Doing the same thing day after day, sooner or later it becomes a way of life, second nature, a daily habit. Early morning practices, weights, conditioning, ice baths, treatment, 2-a-days, 3-a-days, etc. at some point your body and mind gets used to it all.
But one day, all of that will end. One day you'll stop setting 7 alarms to make sure you're awake and on time to a practice that starts before the sun rises. You won't have to spend hours in the training room icing and rehabbing, trying your best to get completely healthy again (even though every athlete knows that's close to impossible). You won't have to cancel or turn down plans because of practices or spend all of your free time sleeping because your sport takes so much out of you. One day your coaches and teammates will be a thing in the past and you will no longer be able to claim that jersey number as your own. One day you'll be just another fan in the crowd instead of a player on the field/court.
A PSA to all the athletes on their last season: Don't take it for granted. Don't forget about all the memories you made with your teammates on bus rides or in the locker room. Don't forget about those games that were so close and that you fought so hard for, whether you came out victorious or not. Don't wish away all of those early morning workouts or training sessions no matter how bad they suck, because one day soon, there won't be anymore. Don't take the game for granted because I know first hand, that I would do anything to play the game one more time. For one more bus ride with my team, one more pre-warm up dance party, and even one more early morning work out (yes I said it). You don't know how much of your life is dedicated to the game until you're no longer playing.
So, as you finish up your last and final season of playing the game- Don't wish it all away, you'll miss it more than you think.