The International Paralympic Committee’s motto: “’Spirit in Motion’ reflects the achievements of elite athletes who push themselves to their limits and exceed expectations in their sport every day.”.
No matter how disabled athletes are classified, there are individual and collective mental battles to be won. How to lose graciously and stay motivated despite defeat; overcome sickness resulting from the strain; to be courageous and trusting; and all the etceteras.
“Young Australian of the Year” (2005), Nick Vujicic says, “If you can’t get a miracle, become one.”. Born without arms or legs, he even surfs! Nick went on to be an author and motivational speaker about overcoming mental and physical limitations.
Paralympian qualities include focusing on ability; perseverance, inspiration, courage and equality, to name a few.
The mind-body connection in athletic performance is obvious, and there’s more to consider. What if the highest quality care is to include spirituality into sports training?
“Conclusions/Recommendations: The impact of spirituality on health and healing is a topic that has been virtually ignored in the disciplines of athletic training and sports medicine. Because of their lack of exposure to this topic, most athletic trainers are unaware of the many positive associations that exist between spirituality and health and healing. The available literature base regarding this topic is quite large; its findings need to be explored and integrated into our profession.”
Thinkers throughout time have raised the bar. Many get to live their high ideals. Talking about a higher view of man’s identity – “man” as generic for men and women – Mary Baker Eddy wrote in her book ‘Science and Health’ (1866), “… the loss of a limb or injury to a tissue is sometimes the quickener of manliness; and the unfortunate cripple may present more nobility than the statuesque athlete, — teaching us by his very deprivations, that “a man’s a man, for a’ that.””
The IPC’s motto ‘Spirit in Motion’ surely signifies including lifting one’s thinking above mental and physical limitations – raising the bar.
There are 161 Aussie Paralympians competing and there’s much to look forward to.