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Self Literacy through Sports

March 23, 2016

Self Literacy through Sports

Hi there, my name is Alexandra Bacchus. I’ve been working at Know Yourself for two consecutive summers–their very first college intern! Apart from that, I’m in my junior year at Wesleyan University where I study economics, government, philosophy, and history. Learning from Dr. Bonyfide and the whole Loops Crew through the workbooks, comic books, and Anatomy Adventure Series has taught me that knowing yourself is more than just a mission statement; it’s an important practice that helps guide everything I do. I’ll be sharing with you how having an understanding of myself, both physically and mentally, helps me live life the best way I know how!

One of the best parts of my childhood was having the opportunity to play multiple sports. Each one taught me something different: volleyball emphasized teamwork, softball required patience, basketball prized sportsmanship, and track taught me self-motivation and self-respect. All of these learned qualities have had an impact on my life far beyond the sports that instilled them. My friendships benefit from patience because communication takes time; work and school require leadership and the ability to work in groups–both are aspects of good sportsmanship.

The importance of exercise is one of the greatest lessons that stuck with me even after I stopped playing on teams. I’m a healthier and happier Me when I exercise because I can feel my muscles getting stronger and my mind clearing after a long day. Feeling sore after a hard workout used to be the worst part because of the pain; however, I discovered that stretching helps the body adapt to the discomfort. When we exercise our muscles, they essentially break down (just a little bit) in order to build back up bigger and stronger than before. Stretching beforehand as part of warming up reduces your chance of injury or pain post-workout. In this situation, knowing myself changed the way I viewed exercise. From that moment forward, I paid attention to how my body works and why my muscles hurt after exercising, and then I sought out other strategies for minimizing the pain. Working out went from daunting to desirable by gaining just a little bit of knowledge.

It’s so important for athletes to know their bodies’ limits: when to stop or when to push just that much harder. It’s important for nonathletes too! Self Literacy is essential for everyone who wants to make sure the best exercise machine (the human body!) is ready to work.

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