There is no denying it - exercise can be the elixir of health and well being. If only it wasn't also such hard work. TD has been doing 5km Park Runs for the past 5 weeks, and I joined in for the first time last Saturday. The good bits were a sense of accomplishment, seeing a huge snake watching us from the long grass next to the path, and starting the weekend on an endorphin high. The other bits include being amused at the fast runners who eclipsed me before I had rounded the second corner, and the feeling of old age that hit my leg muscles several hours later. I celebrated with a long afternoon snooze.
|A beautiful setting for a Park run/walk|
Sport is compulsory at TD's school, and for good reason. Not only does sport encourage teamwork and camaraderie, but it also balances out the long hours of desk sitting and information intake. TD is required to participate two afternoons a week. She also does archery every Friday, which, although offered by the school, is unfortunately not recognised by the school as an official sport. I mention this because TD's weeks are very full, and she needs to cut back on some commitments to lower the stress levels.
A lot of time is devoted to music - orchestra, senior strings, choir and double bass lessons are all extra mural activities. There is no day that she has a free afternoon after school. The trouble is, she loves all of these extras and is going to be heartsore to cull one or two. But it must be done. Inbetween all of these activities, she needs time to devote to studies and homework.
So this is what I am wondering : having agreed that sport is beneficial to the youth, can it not be said that cultural activities are just as important and character building? Orchestras, choirs, painting, clay work, acting are all excellent activities and help produce well rounded people with more to offer the world. It is my humble opinion that the school system is geared towards the sporty people: two afternoons a week and they are done with extra curricular activities. Also, the number of sports awards at any prize giving shows an obvious bias to the emphasis placed on physical prowess over cultural activities.
How about leveling the playing field, so to speak. How about making sure that each learner spends two afternoons a week on sport and two on music or art or drama. I am suggesting the introduction of a compulsory cultural programme. At least then all the learners will have the same amount of time to study and do homework, and they will all come out as well rounded individuals. Or perhaps then the school management will see that overloading all the kids, instead of just some of them, is not good for grades, and some compromises need to be made. What do you think?
TD's school year has ended, so she has a long holiday to think about what she will decide to cut next year. She will keep doing the Saturday Park runs. A healthy mind in a healthy body is not exactly modern science, as it was first penned by the Roman poet Juvenal in the 2nd century CE. How about reversing the logic: Corpore sano in mens sana. A healthy mind can produce a healthy body. I guess it is all about balance and a wholistic approach to happiness.