Tag Archives: faith

The Sound of Silence

Whether its on yahoo groups or facebook or via email, everyone seems to be asking me for ideas about finding music to listen to while they work out.   This is a hot topic in magazines and blogs right now, and most of the popular media have ideas for workout playlists:

But that’s not really what I want to talk about.  I want to let you in on a little secret: I don’t listen to music when I exercise.  Ever.

For as much as I love music– I’m a trumpet player and a tuba player and was drum major of the Notre Dame Band of the Fighting Irish back in my college days– music is not a part of my fitness plan.

What?  Surely I jest?!

Nope.  It’s silence for me.  My workouts are time for me to think and be present with myself.  I think about my body and what I am doing.  I am conscious of its power and grace, and I am thankful for its abilities.   When I perform resistance exercises, I like to lose myself in the rhythm of my breath.   Running affords me time to appreciate my world.  I appreciate the terrain of my route and the feeling of the sun or rain or perfect weather on my skin. 

Running is my time of prayer as well.  Without the distractions of my daily life, I can concentrate on that for which I am thankful or that by which I am challenged.  Offering up these prayers while I run makes me feel unequivocably alive. 

Maybe I’m the only person who feels this way.  I’m okay with that, though.  The sound of silence, the rhythm of breath, and the power of my self is what motivates me to exercise in the first place.

Peace

It’s been an unusual December, as I’m adjusting to having a child in school and now a break from that routine as he’s on winter vacation. It’s also been an unusual December, as my family and I have made a conscious effort to spend this advent season thoughtfully and unhurriedly. All things considered, it’s been a great success.

If you celebrate Christmas, as we do, lighting an advent wreath nightly or having advent calendars for the children creates a calm but exciting ritual the children enjoy. It has been a meaningful way for us to share, as a family, our faith and what it means to us daily. Simple acts of charity are an act of faith, and my children have learned that there is great joy in sharing with others, even if you do not know them.

We certainly have plenty of room for growth, but planting the seeds of faith and charity– and seeing how we can act on them daily– has brought me a sense of peace amidst the rushing world around me.

Regardless of what you believe, the power of ritual and tradition can provide an anchoring presence in your life. Tuning in to those things that make you feel grounded and happy and whole is important; integrating them into your life is profound.