An image of legs and shoes, running along a woodland trail.

SPORT & SELF DEVELOPMENT

Trainers on asphalt and concrete, the thudding pad of the ground beneath feet. From towerblock jungles in the urban sprawl, to muddy trails through overgrown wilderness. Endurance, following through on a set goal, under the dim clouds of winter days and on through into the blazing summer heat. Sport is often seen as a solely physical experience, an exercise in athleticism and control of the body. But sport is just as much an exercise in mental agility and endurance.

What do you think of when you think of sport? For many it’s the luminous TV screen, distant non-participatory. The cheer of a stadium crowd. For some it’s the gym, the daily training routine; machines inside walls, each person moving to their own internal rhythm. Then there’s the surfers, the seafarers, closely followed by the skateboarders- mastering balance and agility. The climbers, from granite rock faces to the thin air and heavy snow of nepalese mountain ranges. The yogis, their calm meditative sport rooted in breath, and invisible strength.

Sport doesn’t have to be an element in self development, but it can incorporate key goals and enable us to work towards clear and defined goals in a measurable way. Whether in running, yoga, team sport, alternative sport- measurable exercise allows us to overcome mental barriers, and to work through psychological challenges in a way which no other activity can enable us to. Sport can be meditative and therapeutic. Sport truly allows us to bring together the mental and physical in order to accomplish goals.

When we utilise sport as an aspect of our self development, we find that our mental and physical limits are often intertwined. Through challenging, both mental and physical limits at one time, we allow ourselves to exceed our capabilities, and to craft new goals based upon our new understanding of ourselves.

Do you incorporate sport or fitness as part of your self development?

Featured image: Tara Glaser via Unsplash.

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