Posts Tagged ‘college’

Day 283 – Sport for Women

“You’ll get nothing out of sport”, I was once told that, many years ago, by an individual who shall remain anonymous! Approximately 10 years on I’m glad I didn’t listen. In fact I’ve used it as a motivation ever since, not just in sport but for anything I’ve wanted to achieve. Its been a phrase that calls to mind the effort that’s needed to overcome resistance and a reminder of the rewards that can follow. It’s something that has been imprinted into my brain.

Why am I blabbing on bout this now? Well the day I was last supposed to update my blog I attended a launch Zumba class to promote the Sport for Women Day in March 2011 (http://sportforwomenday.com.au/about/). Sport for Women hopes promote exactly that by combating negative portrayals of women’s sport in the media as well as other initiatives. One of the questions asked on the day was what were some of the ways to keep girls from leaving sports at the typical teenage years, when they are increasingly distracted by school, work and social factors and sport takes, a sometimes permanent, back seat? I had always been mad about sport, fanatical about playing and supporting and couldn’t understand why more people didn’t take it up, but here was a question that got me thinking, this time from a different point of view.

2 years ago I went back to college to study photography and the demands of that, along with work and injuries meant I let sport take more of a back seat. It’s often easier to let stress fool you into needing another hour in the library or on the computer instead of a trip to the gym, it’s easier to believe you don’t have time to do something your mind tells you will hurt. But does the mind lie? It took me until this launch to realise I had been going down the same path that I had been campaigning people not to take.

I mean for most people who see a ‘list of benefits of sport’ in some article or website it reads like skeptical Oprah-esque ‘glance at it but ultimately it is exaggerating to make you buy into something’ scheme. Words like ‘beneficial for the development of social skills’ or ‘contributes to his/her mental well-being’ can be the type of scientific speak whose subjective use we are worn down by through public advertising. It makes you want to ignore you saw it and sit down on the couch to another bag of chips and an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

And I had been doing a lot of that, or telling myself my brain needed an extra hour in bed to rest from all the study instead of an hour on the treadmill to revive it for another day. Or forgetting that sport took me from being a painfully shy, almost reclusive 16 year old to someone who could talk to the walls, and probably has done, albeit while under the influence of alcoholic substances! Even mentioning alcoholic substances or unhealthy food, it prepares you for a life where those things are a luxury, not a way of life.

In the modern developed world we are used to seeking short term highs, watching a movie instead of reading a book, getting a Facebook comment instead of spending time organising a get-together with a friend, getting a sugar fix from a can of coke rather than a banana. Yet psychology tells us we are more content when achieving long-term goals. Sport is one of the best ways I can see to buck this trend. There is an awareness that some things take a constant, continued effort and that they are worth that effort. But it’s more than that, it’s a feeling that you have spent what time you have putting your life into a positive spiral, not one of regret, armed with a host of new friends, a few trophies and more experiences than most people fit into a lifetime.

And yet it’s difficult to get up an hour earlier or want to put in more effort when the day has already made you tired. You give up and something stops you from going, or doing. My advice going forward is something I give to myself also, figure out what in your life is telling you not to do something, stick 2 fingers up at it and walk out the door.

You’ll get nothing out of sport? I’ve got everything from it and I’m sure so many more would say the same.

Happy 2011 and new years resolutions to all!

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Day 219 – Slow Synching

We were learning and taking some pictures with slow sync flash and second curtain flash at college today and as I always like messing with photos (or playing with light as the pro’s say) I took the following for today’s 365 entry.

Day 47 – Sadness in Parting

Practical people want to expect the unexpected and creative people want to do the unexpected! Both are clouded in an eternal mystery that no one can close to understanding. There is very little art that doesn’t come from something that has already existed (well according to one theory, and my college lecturer!) and there are very few ways of predicting where our lives will take us, no matter how planned out you think you may be.

I mean who would’ve predicted the Irish economic collapse, the death of Princess Diana, the rise of Hitler, various world events that would’ve had people laughing at you if you dared suggest their imminence. My life has always been unexpected. Aged 15 I never expected I would someday look back at my school years and be glad the experience made me who I am. Aged 16 I never expected to play camogie or football again, I ended up playing both for Munster. Aged 18 I never thought I would love my college years the way I did. I never thought Killeedy would win a county title, even 5 minutes before we won the first of 4! I thought I would come to Australia in 2005 for no more than 3 months, I’ve now spent 3 years. I look at life now and no matter where it seems to be leading, for good or bad, I can smile and think you just can’t predict it at all.

I never expected to find myself in Melbourne today, and I’m sure my grandmother never expected to watch her brother’s funeral on a computer screen at the other side of the world. Death is unavoidable, and sometimes expected, but always fraught with emotion that can be an essential part of the grieving process. Maybe funerals are reminders of our own mortality, or an event where we ponder our connection with a person who is no longer as we are, alive. Whatever the psychology its hard not to be affected, its hard to feel the pain of the loved ones whose lives will now be uprooted from a happy daily routine. No matter how old, how young, how sick or how tragic death is, it can never truly be expected, conceived or fully prepared for, and neither can life.

Quote of the Day:

“When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced.
Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.”

Day 25 – Changes

Was a bit busy yesterday to write with work and college but I took this photo at Central train station. Again, trains, can’t get away from them! I just liked the way the light was reflecting off the train as it passed through the station.

Funny day in a way, I moved desks at work, delighted with my new environment and a different view (still at a wall but a different wall at least)! Similar thing happened at college, for the first few weeks everyone had sat in the same spot for the lectures. Its something I don’t like, as I have this wierd need for a change in routine every-so-often! I’d be too scared, however, to upset the status quo that seemed to exist in our seating arrangement, but to my surprise yesterday someone had messed it up and everyone sat in different places. I’m so happy, it really is the little things in life!

Quote of the day: “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves”
— Leo Tolstoy

Day 23 – From Russia With Love

Today was dominated by college, interesting VC lecture, great egg sambo at the cafe that know my coffee order (but I don’t know their name?), a start on 1 assignment and a 4th change of mind about my photographer presentation (2 were due to my choices being stolen by classmates-just kidding!).

As an aside i’m just watching the Winter Olympics, due to my housemates insistence that its required viewing. I don’t know the name of the thing we were just watching but its basically some people skiing down a slope at substantial speed then hurling themselves off another slope, doing triple head-rush-inducing somersaults in the air and hoping they don’t break their necks on the landing. Like we were saying what kind of parents send their kids off for ski-ala-break your neck somersault lessons? Just hurl yourself off this cliff son and one day you could get to Vancouver..

As for the Canadians getting some well dodgy gold medals…!

Anyway the picture today is just a random train scene, as I seem to be spending so much of my time on them why not remind myself of them a little bit more!

Ahh the scarcasm is getting to me, best be logging off!

Quote of the Day: “We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are” – Anais Nin

Day 16 – Back to College!

Ah man, I’ve been looking forward to going back to college ever since I got my timetable! And it didn’t disappoint! Our first class, well lets ignore the fact I missed yesterday’s class in order to work, was Visual Communication where we learned bits of the sensual and perceptual theories of VC, the history of camouflage clothing and watched a fascinating documentary on how our brain processes what we see and sense. A lot of the study was done on people who have brain damage and how certain processing areas of the brain work for them and more don’t, and what that can teach us. The conclusion was that how we perceive the world is a lot more complex than just our brains processing what we see through our eyes. I’d explain more but I don’t have the time! Go google!

Apart from the knowledge aspect I look forward to the structure that it provides, even if it’s a pretty rigid structure with class, work, study and a bit of training! It kinda feels like I’m making the most of my days I guess. I do wonder where I’ll find the time for this blog, even thinking about it I’ll have gone through 4 college terms by the time this blog ends! I guess thats why its called a challenge!

Anyway pancakes are calling me from the kitchen and after that I’m gonna have a bit of a think about my lental resolutions so better go log off!

The quote of today is attributed to a genius of a graphic artist we had to look up for college called Maurits Cornelis Escher:

” To have peace with this peculiar life; to accept what we do not understand; to wait calmly for what awaits us, you have to be wiser than I am”

Oh and the picture is the view (slightly edited) on the train passing over the Harbour Bridge on the way to college at North Sydney!