Friday, January 24, 2014

Some unconsidered aspects of physical training

When I saw this as the topic of conversation for the January Charlotte Mason blog carnival, I wondered if it was chosen as anticipation for the 2014 Winter Olympics. I don't know if that is true, but it made me want to read this portion of Volume 3: School Education.

As habit is central to the Charlotte Mason livelihood, and well should be the crux of our lives as successful persons, I consider the Olympic athlete to have mastered this portion of their physical attainments.

I played sports growing up. Volleyball, basketball, track. I even went on to play volleyball in college. It started out as something enjoyable, just something extra to have my hand at. And that is what draws us to about anything new, I suppose. 

"The object of the fine physical they may get the most...out of life...for their own pleasure." -p. 102

As I continued in my athletic endeavors, training became more intense...even to the point of losing my lunch a few times from so much physical exertion. So did this make me throw in the towel? Did it make me say, "Forget this!" Well, no. Honestly, I loved the competition and results too much to give up that easily.

"Enjoyment is good by the way, but is not the end." -p. 102

And as I pressed on to more lofty athletic attainments, I could look back and see that a continuous, habitual routine of exercise had given me (through many years of sweat and exhaustion), a position to agree with Charlotte Mason whole-heartedly.

"...for the disciplined life has more power of fresh enjoyment than is given to the unrestrained." -p. 103

Although I was nowhere near Olympic heights, I have at least an inkling of an understanding as to how much habit (and heart) go into the sacrifices these athletes make on a daily basis in order to attain just the possibility to compete with others who have also beat their bodies into show the world just what a body can do out of the "splendid material" God has given them.


  1. Wow! What dedication! When I trained as a ballet dancer, I was often in touch with pain - from exertion, stress, fatigue and failure, but my personal goal made it all worth it!
    I think that we need to trust the Lord to birth that goal and vision within each child so that he/ she can train, endure and overcome. What is amazing is that this type of physical training is useful in so many other areas of ones life. Thank you for sharing your inspiring post!

  2. Thanks for sharing your experience as an athlete and for making your first contribution to the blog carnival. Congratulations!

  3. Thank you, gals, for your encouraging comments. I hope to continue my self-education as I plod through CM's thoughts and as I read your inspiring posts as well :-)