WRITE REGULARLY TO RUN, WALK, CYCLE, EXERCISE WITH AN IMPROVED MIND
Author Becky Kane indicated she asked 32 friends about journaling to prepare writing her article, “The Productive Benefits of Journaling (plus 11 ideas for making the habit stick)” for Doist.com, and only 4 admitted to have cultivated this habit.
If she had asked me, I would not be among that smaller group of diarists. Kane introduces the topic by listing some famous people who regularly wrote down personal thoughts. Naturalist Charles Darwin, WWII British prime minister Winston Churchill, and Spanx founder Sara Blakely. There are others, listed in various articles that are dominated by men. Scientist Marie Curie, artist Freida Kahlo, and free black woman Emilie Davis are three other women who journaled.
These people were busy living productive lives, it seems, and maybe they had thoughts that documenting small events would later be interesting to others.
Kane provides the perspective that the reason to put pen to paper, and perhaps why these recognizable names did, is for its personal, not public, benefits. That today we are increasingly ‘passively consuming information” and the “key to learning” is to stop, and “start actively engaging with the ideas we encounter.”
With Kane’s advice in mind, perhaps it would be more beneficial for athletes to write a journal than “bullet” one (see Earned Runs previous post). Why?
The mental component of athletics has always been crucial to success at elite levels. It is also important at the everyday-athlete level too. We may decide not to follow through on training plans because of pressures exerted on our personal and work lives. Our confidence and desire to perform well may be knocked down by troubling circumstances that have nothing to do with fitness. In a vicious cycle, our poor personal sport performance may have deleterious effects at home and in our careers.
Reflective writing can help “train our attention and strengthen neural pathways.” Becky Kane says. She quotes a neurologist who explains all the cognitive steps that the “practice of writing can enhance”. There’s much more to her argument promoting this activity, best read in full in her in-depth article.
Her next two article segments cover what the title promises: tips on how to get started and suggestions for journal themes. The following list of writing approaches could contain one that has enough appeal it motivates action: Gratitude, Goal, Value, Ideas, or Curiosity journals, and Morning Pages.
Earned Runs suggests that regardless of the approach, based on Kane’s discussion. writing in journals should NOT zone in on athletics to benefit our athletic lives. By addressing distractions, working through issues that threaten to overwhelm us, documenting ideas, or expressing wonder or gratitude we free ourselves to enjoy fitness challenges, commit to reasonable goals, and experience the satisfaction of accomplishment.
As Kane indicates, journal writing shouldn’t be a self-conscious effort; it doesn’t need to be edited, sound good, or make good reading. The same as running or other fitness activities, we just need to get going and do it to experience any benefits.
In a way that makes it easier.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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