Saturday, January 21, 2006

Fitness - body, mind and spirit (answer to last post)

Kudos to TG, Mac and W. for their guesses… Yes… you are close.

If you read back a couple of posts, you know I’m taking a course on leadership this semester. Well, as I was reading, it got me thinking about my work, which has never really been so much “work”, as a “vocation” for me. I’m not a particularly religious person (sorry… I know some of you will be disappointed by that), but I am deeply (and almost equally, privately) spiritual.

For me, being a teacher and a student is definitely a calling. I pour my heart and soul into my teaching, and my studies. I crave books and get charged up by research. I have a positively insatiable curiosity about most things (which I try to curb at times, hoping it will keep me out of the realm of “social freak”).

For me (and for many teachers, I would guess), being a teacher isn’t a job… it’s part of my identity… It isn’t what I do… it’s who I am… why I was put on earth by the Powers That Be.

I realized that by making a conscious effort to be healthy and fit, I will be able to “be” better at this… will have more mental clarity and more energy. It also means I’ll be able to connect more deeply with more students… and I’ll also be a more effective student, too. In the long run, it probably also means that I will be healthier for longer and will be able to follow this life path for a few extra days… (I hope).

I ran into a former student the other day in the gym. She’s moved on to another level of Spanish and we got to chatting about how it was going. She pulled out a cue card with all her latest verbs written on it… She was studying Spanish (memorizing infinitives, to be precise) at the gym!

I beamed.

I told her how thrilled I was to see how into it she was.

She beamed.

She’s a kinesiology student and although she likes Spanish, it’s not as easy for her as her "kines" (the kids say it "k'neess") courses. I would guess that the gym is a kind of sanctuary for her…. And it’s a sanctuary that I too, often frequent… Meeting her there and crossing paths for a few minutes confirmed that there are many places to connect with students… with others… with self…

I feel like there’s finally a connection between body, mind, and spirit. I always knew I was not exercising to have a perfect body. That just ain't gonna happen. What I did not know was what, besides that ever-vague thing we call "health", was motivating me. Then I figured it out... So I could live the life I was put here on earth to live with more strength, endurance and clarity.

I told my trainer all this.

He didn’t say much… I suspect he just thinks I’m weird.

You might, too.

And I probably am.

I'm OK with that.


madcapmum said...

I like how you're working at integrating everything. It makes a lot of sense to me, and I can reflect it back into my own life and make some more sense of my own desire for an increased fitness/health level.

Your trainer thinks you're weird, huh? Well, I wonder how integrated HE is!

Sarah Elaine said...

MCM - Oh, come now... Let's not be too hard on the trainer! He's put up with a lot of crap from me since we started working together... I think the poor chap doesn't quite know what to make of his little "30-something,language-loving, spiritual, somewhat incorrigible, teacher-student" client.

Thanks for your comment, though... You found the word I was looking for, but couldn't come up with... integrating.

Great word!

Turtle Guy said...

Wow. You've done some really deep soul searching - and discovery. Very, very good... and thoughtful. (a couple of my words for the year from posts previous)

Your spiritual side is something I know we've touched on somewhat superficially, but I think a deeper discussion on the topic would be fascinating to me. "The Powers That Be" are definitely a contributing influence on me and my journey and I'd be fascinated to explore what they mean to you in yours.

...thanks for the kudos!

Peace and gentleness for your soul.


M A F said...

I like your kind-of "weird" Sarah. It says a lot about your getting more in touch and more comfortable with being who you "be."

I wish more people could truly appreciate the role of teachers and understand the reason teachers teach is because of what you wrote about it being a part of your(their) identity, it is who you(they) are.

ipodmomma said...

as Charlie Brown says to Linus,


you're not weird at all... well, not to me at least. you just know that life is about all different kinds of living, and being conscious of our physical health, and taking proactive steps to maintain it, is just as important as five fruit/veg a day, or doing one's seatbelt in the car, etc...

lovely post!

kt said...

sarah sarah! you know, my biggest RUNNING influence ever was my "Readin', 'Ritin', and Runnin' " teacher in high school! i think his mentality was the same. (i wonder how long he had to work at getting that class approved?) we ran tues/thurs i think. a req. of the class was that we run a few local road races too. we were also supposed to keep a journal (as in all his classes) and run (i dunno how many) a few times a wk outside class too. we would run, then meet back at class or in the gym or somewhere to "brain barf": just write out whatever came to mind. our papers were usu. dribbled w/ sweat drops! =)

fun fun. i think he DEFINITELY was a runner to clear his mind and keep his creativity CLEAR = CLARITY...and in life.

i know it does for me.
don'tchya notice that the rest of your day is GRAND when you've worked out? that's why my fav time of day to GIT'ER DONE is in the a.m. THEN i am READY TO FACE THE DAY!

i love that you are so devoted to teaching. your KIND can pour the love of learning into folks...who maybe have not GOTTEN that by the time they reach you! it must be frustrating to TRY to teach those who are just in for the credit. those who barely squeak by. that must be the dilemma: how to invoke DESIRE into college-age, driven, bound-for-the-workforce students!
well, kudos to you. i admire the drive.
we are so opposite in many ways but wouldn't it be fun to run together? i have run w/ my STOCK BROKER, man-of-few-words uncle, a high school teacher from my church, her daughter (both of whom i have to drag conversations out of but whom i enjoy), etc etc eclectic, motley bunch...all at different times. it is the running that unifies us.
fun fun
love ya
God bless

Constantine said...

I too work at being fit so that greater clarity and energy find me. I don't "think," as in contemplate, when doing the boxing thing (that's more about keeping your head in the "game" if you will), but when I run I do a lot of thinking. Of course, the side benefit of exercise is that it helps to flush out the ol' killer cortosol! (Bombay Sapphire helps on this front too! Or so I hope! Grin. Actually, mucho agua helps to flush ‘er out too.)

zouzou said...

Hmm. here comes Z, late as usual. I hear ya. This merges right into commentary from many mystics contemplating the meaning of life, one's approach to living and embodying spirituality and integrity (integrity: The quality or condition of being whole or undivided; completeness) on a daily basis. Sounds like you were missing a piece of yourself in your self-concept - namely, your physical presence. Without which, might I add, it would be rather difficult to exist on this plane ;)

I've been struggling with integration in many forms for many years - first it was integrating my work personna with my private life (can you say jekyll and hyde?) then it was integrating my spirituality with how I was "showing up" in the world, then it was integrating my private values with work and relationships, the list goes on. The journey to wholeness is fraught with slugs underfoot, brambles and thorns lashing at your flanks, unexpectedly treacherous ravines, and then when you least expect it, a sudden blossoming of wild flowers and the sun warm on your back. Carry on!

Kim said...

Sarah just catching up on blogs here but girl you are SO NOT weird. Rather I wish you had been my spanish teacher, you are the kind of teacher that I would crave for my 'step children' right now. And what a better way to become a better teacher than by being a student yourself.