Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Another Way to Look at Sports Nutrition & More...Rory McIlroy

McIlroy will play for Ireland in the 2016 Olympics
In "An Introduction to Catholic Ethics" Andrew Peach writes, "In Book II of his Ethics, Aristotle states that it is the virtuous man who has really discovered or determined what virtue is. It is not as though Aristole locked himself up in an ivory tower and cleverly devised a number of rules for becoming virtuous. His knowledge of virtue was acquired in the same manner everyone's knowledge of virtue is acquired: by observing virtuous people."

Yesterday, I wrote that I believe this rule of thumb can apply to other areas of our lives. If we seek excellence, look at the best. If we want creativity look at those who are creative. And I believe that can also be true for those who are fit, healthy and strong. What do they do that keeps them in shape? How often do they exercise? And what do they eat? Just this week, I was reminded that Rory McIlroy serves as an excellent example.

For a unit on spiritual identity, I teach about McIlroy a Catholic from Northern Ireland. As the number one golfer in the world, he is a popular figure. Most, but not all students are familiar with who he is. So, I thought it was important to summarize his short but successful career and showcase his beautiful swing through a new video clip. I came across many items of interest, one of which is here:
I was curious to know how he lives. (and at one point, I wondered, Is that creepy?). Regardless, these aspects of his home caught my attention and have stayed with me. They aren't overly revolutionary or unique, but I would like to offer some insight on each.
1. He has a gym. At just 5'9" and 161 pounds, Rory is strong and he is fit. Even a few football players in class commented on this.  

I don't know that I would ever use a gym if I had one in my own home. Personally, I love the experience of working out and lifting with others. They inspire me to work harder and better. I don't think Rory has that freedom. He is far from anonymous. His commitment to personal fitness is a primary concern. So important that he was intentional about including space for it in his home. 

2. He has a trophy case. I liked what Rory said about this room. It serves as reminder of what he has accomplished, but he also has many shelves to fill. Go for it Rory!

3. His kitchen. When I saw this, I wondered: Does Rory really live in this place? All I saw in that kitchen was a bevy of fresh fruits and nuts. A blender was easily accessible so he can make his own smoothies. Where were the Cheetos (or at least the baked ones?!) Does he have a cookie jar? And then I realized that number one and number three on my list make number two possible. 

Looking at his kitchen, I was struck by its cleanliness. I found that sentiment to be symbolic as the fresh foods in that kitchen make me feel that way. I went looking for a story on a young man who has three different major titles in just 25 years and I found inspiration. 
The name "Rory" means "red king" in Irish.
Later that I day, I joined the JV golf team for nine holes. After our second hole (we were on the back nine), they raced to the snack bar. I couldn't help but laugh when I saw they purchased Lays' potato chips and Reeses' peanut butter cups. No Cliff Bars, no trail mix or fruit, just good old fashioned junk food. Ah, to be 15 again.

I thought back to what I watched earlier that day: insight into how the best chooses to live, and how that inspired me. Most of the time, I'm not too different than the JV boys I have come to know and love. But I want them to do better. Me too.

I think Aristotle had it right....

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