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Run For My Body, Run For My Soul

Enhancing body, mind, & spirit throughout my lifetime result from my physical activity. Reflecting on experiences is a key to personal development.

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Dewey (1933, 1938) in his works How We Think: A Restatement of the Relation of Reflective Thinking to the Educative Process and Experience and Education believed that reflecting on our experiences is a key to personal development.  He pointed out the importance of reflection to connect experience with learning to create meaning and stimulate growth and change.

In my first blog, I stated that gaining a personal knowledge of practice (how you live life) requires reflection.  After writing my last blog titled “Recreational Sports Contributes to Personal Development” I started thinking about my own sports experiences.  The July 8 blog focused on traditional aged college students.  I think it is important to consider how an ongoing active lifestyle contributes to personal development. I have been a runner for over 40 years.  I don’t run as much as I did “back in the day” but running and exercise (being active) remains important to me.  

While discussing the importance of reflection in my first blog I suggested to my readers…

  • Consider your past, present, and vision for your future
  • Consider ways you can share with our readers, family, friends, colleagues, students
  • Consider ways your experiences transfer from one aspect of your life to another

Taking my own advice, I thought I would share some insights from my past, present, and future plan as a runner.

My past:

**I was a scholarship athlete (track and cross country) as an undergrad. 
**I raced competitively (road race, duathlons, triathlons) for 20+ years. 

My present:

**I workout usually 6 days a week…sometimes 7, sometimes 5.  
**I lift weights, bike, pilates in addition to running. 
**I take part in group workouts for the added social benefit.

My future:

**I plan to continue to workout regularly with a primary focus on weight bearing activities. 
**I expect walking and swimming will be part of my future activities BUT I plan to stay in the present for as long as possible.   : )

During my competitive years I had a quote on my bulletin board.

To those who keep pace with the sun, 
the day is a perpetual morning.  
–Thoreau–

I continue to start my day with exercise and predict mornings will continue to be “my time”.  Never (well almost never) is there a day when I don’t look forward to my workouts. Sometimes not a long or fast workout but I always go.  My motto at this stage in life is ‘something is better than nothing’.  

Start without an end in sight 
Remember that anything is better than nothing.  
Let the pace find itself.  
Run for yourself.  
Run for today.
–Unknown–

In the past, my running was a priority…now it does not fill my day, but it does influence the rest of my day.

Running is fun.
Not HA-HA fun, but a quieter kind of contented fun.  
Not fun every minute of every day.  
But fun in the overall effect.  
My running is easy and comfortable, and it feels good.  
Seldom is there is a morning when I do not feel 100% better in the last mile of a run then I had in the first mile.
–Henderson–

As I move forward in life, I know I will continue to pursue my activities.  The older I get, the more I realize there is more to these activities than just the competitiveness I found in the past.  Improving and enhancing body, mind, and spirit result from my physical activity. 

Check out these two articles:

Why Fitness is a Spiritual Practice

What Does Running Mean to You

Wrapping Up and Looking Forward

Time for you to think about your lifetime hobbies and how these experiences have been beneficial to you. Pulling from a classroom assessment strategy, the one minute paper I’ve listed some questions below to help stimulate your thoughts. A one minute paper is a short writing task to prompt reflection.  

**Why was the hobby important to you in the past?
**In what way is the hobby important to you now?
**How has the value of the hobby changed over time?
**How will the hobby be a part of your future?
**How has your participation in the hobby impacted your life (past and present)?
**How do you expect the hobby to contribute to your wellbeing in the future?

NOTE: Your initial answer to each question should take 1 minute or less.

Feel free to share your thoughts…I’m interested!!!

Thanks for reading.

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