What we need is something to synthesize these forces [the logical mind and the our appetites and emotions] create out of this diversity, fuse the body, mind and spirit into the unique person each of us is.
— George Sheehan in How To Feel Great 24 Hours A Day
The answer, Sheehan concludes, is sports, with the runner not just seeking the perfect race, but
seeking his own perfection, seeking to purge the negative emotions, seeking to quell the animal appetites, seeking to keep the brain at work on things the brain should do, but most of all seeking a total acceptance of him and his universe, a loving of himself and his fellow and his Creator.
I like that Sheehan terms it “the perfect race.” The object is not necessarily to win the race, but to seek what is perfect for you, “seeking his own perfection.”
This morning, as I ran a brief two-mile run in our town, my mind was racing. The running helped me let go of the thoughts at least a little, so I could return to them with more focus this afternoon. My mind is still racing, but is able to stay on course, to the tasks I need to accomplish this afternoon. So is my soul at rest — for me as a Christian, in God; for you as a non-Christian, it may be in whatever God or in whatever sliver of humanity that is good. Regardless, I believe like Sheehan that exercise can help you become centered, or at least seeking that center, wherever you find it.