Friday, August 8, 2014

Articles I Appreciate II....

This is not the doctor's office.
It's your office at home or bedroom, isn't it.
It's been planes, trains and automobiles for the last two weeks. I have traveled from Camden, NJ to Spring Lake—my favorite town on the Jersey Shore, and I am now in Washington DC. I've had plenty of time to collect "Articles I Appreciate" for my Friday posting.

Said travel has afforded the time to make a dent on that proverbial pile of magazines. I know you know what I am talking about. Some of you have even told me you stopped subscribing to weekly periodicals because it's just too hard to keep up. And I totally get it.

The best advice I can give? Don't unsubscribe—commit to reading those articles that are of interest to you. Don't tell yourself you have to read the publication from cover to cover. If a story doesn't hold your attention, move on. When I see an article I know I should read, but I don't want to, I review the title (in full), I read the block quotes, I look at the pictures and read their captions. All information is formation. 

The following articles, however made me pause and think more deeply. Some brought me to prayer, one resonated with my own experience so much so that I could have written it (but not as well). Another had me consider an idea I had never thought about before.  The Friday formatting of "Articles I Appreciate" is as follows:
  1. Each one has a connection to sports, athletics or fitness in some way.
  2. There is a spiritual dimension that is explicit and implicit.
If you can think of other criteria I ought to consider, please let me know!

Skin in the Game: Under Armour Knows Athletes. Can it sell it to everyone else?
by Kelefa Sanneh, The New Yorker, March 24, 2014

In case you haven't noticed, Under Armour is everywhere. Teenage girls at the school where I teach love Lululemon, but it's price point is very high. Under Armour however is competitive in its style, value and it can serve every athletic family's needs. 

This piece is not overtly spiritual, but it chronicles the dream of its founder and CEO, Kevin Plank and what he aims to do. It also gives a nod to his alma mater. It says "He went to high school at St. John's, a football-loving Catholic prep school in Washington, where he became fixated on the sport." That is of personal interest to me because I will be giving a coaches retreat there next week. I can't wait to see how Plank has shared the wealth.

Like most articles in The New Yorker, this piece is lengthy and extremely well written.

Getting the body, mind and spirit in shape in Allentown Parish
by David Kilby, The Monitor, August 7, 2014
One…Two… Three…
Parishioners exercise their mid-sections by doing sit-ups. 

Photo from St. John the Baptist Parish Facebook page
Who picks up the literature in the back of a Catholic church? Well....I do. After mass at St. Margaret's in Spring Lake, I got "The Monitor," the paper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton, NJ; I was delighted to read that St. John parish started an athletic program that brings together people of all ages and abilities for summer fitness. 

It is a collaborative effort between the parish priest—who has community building skills and a lay person who is also a football coach and has athletic training experience.

I started to wonder how this can change the experience of weekly mass for parishioners. Sports bring people together. The priest isn't just the presider, he is now a coach and partner. Folks are less likely to enter and exit the church without running into another friendly face. Hopefully it's a fit one too. 

The Walking Cure
From what I've been told, walking
the Camino is tremendously spiritual
by Michael Rossmann, SJ America Magazine, May 13, 2013

Even with the diagnosis of my heart condition, I have yet to fully give up running. I just love it too much. But my health has also humbled me and taught me to re-evaluate my expectations and the personal demands I have put upon myself. The grace in that humility, is that I have grown to appreciate walking.

Rossmann writes, 
"Additionally, walking has a surprising number of parallels with the spiritual life.
At an initial glance, walking seems rather unproductive, similar in many ways to spending time in prayer. There are usually far faster modes of transportation. Additionally, if one walks for exercise, it initially appears to be less efficient than other types of exercise that will raise your heart rate much faster.Scientists, however, are starting to see how intense exercise is not necessarily..."
If you want to know more, I recommend reading this excellent editorial!
Concluding Thoughts: Creativity is the name of the game. Perhaps your parish, like mine, now offers Yoga to young adults. Maybe you are a member of a walking group and have made new friends in the journey. Enjoy!
Oh, and Notre Dame is another big time athletic program that is sponsored by UA. Who and what is next for the company and their mission. Stay tuned.
Photo Credits
Pile of Magazines
Walking the Camino
UA and Parish photos are from the articles

No comments:

Post a Comment