Is athletic training a modern expression of prayer? Despite one’s religious beliefs or affiliations, it must be acknowledged that the practice of prayer has held a powerful role in society throughout history. Across cultures and across time, the practice of prayer has been a means for reflection, for self-assessment, and for expression of fears and desires. The practice of prayer has also given us reason to hope.
As science, technology, data, and reason continue to grant us the option to move away from institutionalized religion, what is taking the place of prayer? What are the modern means for reflection, for self-assessment, and for expression of our fears and desires? What in the modern day, gives us reason to hope?
Perhaps a big part of the reason that athletic training (alongside yoga and meditation) have become so popular is that they are modern expressions for the practice of prayer.
Through athletic training, we are made to reflect, to self-assess, and to express that which we fear and desire. Through the discipline of athletic training, we are also granted hope. Athletic training shows us that by approaching a task with intention, focus, and discipline, that things will improve, things will get better. Athletic training also shows us that no matter the level of pain or discomfort, there is always peace and comfort in our own breath.
Consider approaching your workouts as prayer- Reflect. Self-assess. Use your body to express your fears and desires. Pay special attention to your thoughts as you train. Pay special attention to your body and its movements. Master the mind-muscle connection. Take peace, take hope, in the comfort of your own breath and in your ability to always getter better. #appalife