Exercise More…

Spirituality of Sport- Susan Saint Sing

Thoughts from p. 54 & 55 that really got me wondering…

 “A heightened experience in competitive sport, that is different than play or exercise!”

 “And the essence of that spirit, that drive, that connection to the higher being or higher self or higher state of achievement is part of the striving any athlete seeks.” 

I am not and have never been what I would consider an athlete.  I guess that comes from too many Friday night “Band Geek” parties!  We are what we have always been, in some ways.  At the same time, I have been going to the Y for 6 months, I’ve loved cycling for 5 years now, and I am crazy enough to get out there in the face of 20 mile an hour winds and blowing rain storms all around (Saturday) and spin perfect little circles for 52 miles!  Maybe I’m just finding “my unique brand of crazy?”  But I am not someone who has ever really had a “heightened experience in competitive sport.”  My closest claim to this was a heightened sense of vocabulary when I was on the high school tennis team!

The truth is I seek a heightened experience in a different arena.  I tout a faith that does not put as much faith in “myself” as much as in a “higher power” that is my source of life and grace.  Honestly, sometimes I have a hard time with a theology that says “believe in your self.”  At the same time, it’s such a standard and seemingly appropriate saying.  Is that kind of philosophy just a standard American cultural norm?  Is it one more pithy saying for a graduation card?  I wrestle with the questions of self reliance and God reliance, especially with sport!  Is it my strength and training which gets me over the mountain?  Or is it merely the grace of God?  Or is it perhaps the dancing of the two hand in hand?

Maybe I just don’t see it or get it because all I do in my life is “play” or “exercise” as she puts it.  There is certainly a BIG difference between that and competitive sport!  I guess I’m wondering if what I do is play.  It’s interesting to think about all the ways this question touches my life – in my cycling, in my professional career, in my family life, in my personal relationships….  But, more importantly, are these the only options?  Compete, play or exercise?  If that is indeed the case, perhaps I’ll choose “exercise” more often!

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