Basketball is a great way to stay active and find a community in the chaos that is medical school. There is a full-size indoor basketball court conveniently located right next to the medical school in Olin Residence Hall, which makes it easy to drop by after class and put up some shots. There is a wide scope of skill levels, ranging from a former professional basketball player to my roommate Ryan, a career 12 percent field goal shooter who “tries really hard” and swears “this is just an off day.” There is no shortage of people to play with; you can play 5-on-5 games just about every day of the week. I’ve found that basketball has been a great way for me to meet other medical students, grad students and residents. Even our professors have been known to drop by. Dr. Tim Yau, our Practice of Medicine professor is an excellent teacher, a caring father, AND he hoops! Overall, I’ve found that basketball is a fun (and free) way to take a break from school, stay active and build friendships.
— Matt L., M1
A Bowling Acrostic:
B-lasting balls down the middle is what we do best
W-hat could be better than rolling balls while wearing Velcro shoes?
L-ifelong friends are made
I-n these sacred halls of polished floors and vinyl chairs
N-CAA championship-grade facilities
G-oing to get bowling shirts, just wait and see
The new bowling club was founded by very cool and enthusiastic M1s in 2016. We bowl twice a month at Tropicana Lanes, a bowling alley about 15 minutes away from school complete with food, drinks and arcade games. Members can participate as often as they want. Absolutely no skill is required to join, and we welcome all levels of bowlers!
— Allie R., M1
If all the lectures about cholesterol and atherosclerosis followed by gorging yourself on Addie’s Thai are starting to weigh heavy on your conscience and/or waistline, it might be time to get into a gym routine. If you are looking for something more engaging than staring at a wall on a treadmill, I highly recommend the boxing gym Sweat, located 15 minutes away in Clayton. The four different types of classes provide a great mix of technique, fast-paced cardio and strength training. The trainers are awesome, and they always play upbeat, energizing music. You can go at 6 a.m. before you are conscious enough to know what you have gotten yourself into, or you can go on evenings and weekends if you are not a morning person. Do not be intimidated if you have never tried boxing before; you only punch bags, not people. It is a great stress reliever and a great deal for students, who can buy memberships for only $60/month.
— Sarah M., M1
Do you enjoy studying the muscles of the arm by staring at other people’s forearms while they climb? Well look no further, because St. Louis has plenty of indoor and outdoor climbing opportunities. For an indoor experience, there are two gyms within five miles of the Central West End with bouldering, top-rope and lead climbing routes for all. The Upper Limits gym is accessible by MetroLink, and Climb So iLL is a 10-15 minute drive from campus. Recently, a new student group, Climb Rx, was founded to help students purchase cheaper, semester-long memberships to either Upper Limits or Climb So iLL. Climb Rx will also provide free Intro to Climbing opportunities for those who are new to the sport and will organize climbing events among the WUSM community. If you are looking for more outdoor experiences, there are several locations that make great day or weekend trip destinations. Elephant Rocks State Park is a bouldering destination for many people in Missouri and is less than two hours away. Jackson Falls, three hours away in southern Illinois, also has great bouldering and ropes climbing. This year, the Wilderness Medicine Interest Group even organized a weekend climbing campout. Moral of the story: Climb on, WUSM, climb on.
— Greg W., M1
While not Amsterdam or Portland, St. Louis is a fairly cycling-friendly city. A robust bike plan has resulted in well-maintained bike lanes on many of the city thruways and drivers are, for the most part, cognizant and respectful of cyclists sharing the road. For a quick ride before class, do a lap or two on the six-mile track encircling Forest Park, and on Saturday head to the 12-mile-long Mississippi riverfront trail, stopping at Park Avenue Coffee by Lafayette Park along the way. Head west out into the county and you’ll encounter miles of suburban rolling hills for a moderately intense cardio session. And for an extended excursion with a group of friends, head west along the scenic 240-mile Katy Trail spanning the state. For mountain biking enthusiasts, a short 30-minute drive gets you to great trails such as Castlewood State Park or Chubb Trail. St. Louis also has a very active cycling community. Big Shark Bicycle Company, the favorite bike shop in town, puts on weekly social rides and organized races. A motley crew of hipsters lead a night “Ghost Ride” every full moon (see ghostridestl on Instagram), taking riders to odd spots throughout the city and ending in a party at an obscure dive bar or a private concert in an abandoned warehouse.
— Zelun W., M1
There are plenty of public golf courses from which to choose in St. Louis. By far, the most convenient ones are located in Forest Park. The Courses at Forest Park offers three 9-hole courses that can be played individually or combined in some fashion to make an 18-hole course. The courses themselves are well-maintained and should be a nice outlet for golfers ranging from novice to very skilled. As with everything in Forest Park, the surrounding scenery is beautiful and makes you forget that you’re essentially golfing in your backyard. Prices vary, of course, depending on the day and time that you want to play, though you can get nine holes with cart on a weekend for around $20-$25. Additionally, on the other side of Forest Park, the Highlands Golf and Tennis Center offers another 9-hole course, complete with a driving range and practice facility. This course isn’t quite as nice as the Courses at Forest Park; however, if you are looking to fix that nasty slice, you can pay $55 dollars a month at Highlands for unlimited range balls, free weekly clinics, and discounts on course rates and food — an enticing deal for any golfer, especially those in St. Louis during the summer.
— Alex Y., M1
Ace Inhibitors are more than blood pressure medications — we’re also the WUSM tennis group that meets up once or twice a week to rally! The Ace Inhibitors includes players of all skill levels, and anyone with an interest in learning or practicing tennis is welcome to join. There are several tennis courts available to students including the Hudlin Courts near Olin Hall, but given their age and the strange, foam-like material they’re made of, we tend to use off-campus courts. Just 15 minutes away, you’ll find the public Flynn Park tennis courts, the Tao Danforth Campus courts, the courts in Forest Park and the privately owned Shaw Courts. The Flynn Park and Tao courts are free, and so are the Shaw Courts after 8 p.m., so that’s where you’ll usually find a group of WUSM students Sundays and Wednesdays. Throughout the semester, we’ll eat out together after a grueling rally session. Look us up on Facebook if you’re interested in becoming an Ace Inhibitor!
— Jessica K., M1
There are many, many opportunities to stay active at WUSM, including intramural sports. The athletic department on the main campus organizes leagues for various levels of play, including women’s only, co-ed and open leagues. Many medical students take part in flag football in the fall, and there is a campus softball league in the spring and summer. Opportunities for all levels of play are available through outside organizations as well, including bar leagues for sand volleyball and beer pong, and weekend warrior tournaments for volleyball and basketball. It is easy to get involved in sports with people outside of the medical school, and it is something that I have valued as a way to make friends from different backgrounds.
— Maren L., M1
St. Louis is a great city if you love to run! Personally, my favorite place to run is in Forest Park. The park has lots of sidewalks and roads to run along that go right by the history and art museums, the zoo, the Jewel Box and various ponds. If you like longer runs, the trails around the perimeter of the park are about six miles around, and you can add extra mileage by running up and around the Danforth Campus before looping back as well. The designated running trails are gravel but it is perfectly fine to run on the paved bike paths (as long as you move out of the way when the bikers pass!). The Central West End is good for running in the early morning but gets very crowded and slow with lots of people and stop lights during the day. Tower Grove Park is about three miles from the medical school campus and has great trails as well. Apparently, you can also take a running tour of the city downtown. I haven’t tried it yet, but it sounds like fun and even includes paths right around the Arch! Finally, if you enjoy races,
St. Louis has a half-marathon and marathon in the spring and other races, including lots of 5Ks throughout the year.
— Hannah B., M1