December is always good time to reflect on the previous year and even our whole life and I have realized that sport has always had a huge impact on my life. I must admit it’s an inseparable part of my life.
So I played tennis, table tennis, badminton, cycling, jogging, ice- skating in winters and lake swimming during summers. All sports I learnt myself, as no-one had time or skills to teach me and there was no place around I could go to train. As a teenager I fell in love with athletics, as it did not require any equipment or special place to practice – mainly running, medium and long distances were my favourite. The secondary school PE teacher neglected our class so much and the only thing we played was volleyball, mainly without any support from the teacher, in Polish we call it “ mata i grajta” approach. The result is I hate playing (love watching as Poland is pretty good) volleyball till todayL.
Fortunately, at the beginning of university studies, all 1st grade students’ sport capabilities were tested and the athletic coaches discovered my talent for running. I was selected to the athletic university team which I had been representing for 5 years with some small successes – ex: a team bronze medal in a cross-country race, for which I have been awarded with University Chancellor’s Award for the achievements in sport (not academic).
Although students who are involved in sports, including myself, benefit in many ways: have increased grades, better self-esteem and social skills.
Mover, I made great friends and one of them is my best friend till now, had opportunities to visit different cities in Poland and abroad and learnt some other sports like skiing, which would not be able to afford that time if not within the athletic team – 1-2 weeks during winter we used to go the mountains for training.
|University Chancellor's Award ceremony with Paweł Adamowicz, University Vice-Chancellor and present Gdańsk President|
When I joined the university team I had no idea those experiences could later help me succeed in my career. Let me quote some findings from the interesting study.
“The research report, titled “Making the connection: women, sport and leadership” by the EY Women Athletes Business Network and espnW found that female executives are more likely to have played sports than those in non-leadership roles — and they’re also more likely to hire other women who have played a sport. Playing sports can help women develop motivational skills, team building skills, and the ability to see projects through to completion — and it equips women with the competitive spirit that’s essential for success on both the playing field and in the workplace.
“This study validates long-held theories that women who are athletes are well-suited for the business world and have tangible advantages,” says Laura Gentile, vice president of espnW, in a press release. “From work ethic to adaptability to superior problem-solving ability, these women enter the workforce ready to win and demonstrate that ability as they rise throughout their career.” More in the article.
I still do a lot of sports from which I benefit in many ways:
- 30 min of yoga every day makes me more mindful and helps me to keep fit and slim (believe or not but cannot find anything better to sculpture my body). The feeling of every muscle, even in my small fingers, is great and I break my own limits like standing on the head which was impossible before due to the fear.
- nordic walking and running recently (yes, started running last month after a 15 + year break as planning to take part in charity running races). These sports are easy to do as I live next to the forest and help me to unleash my creativity – all ideas come to my mind when I walk or run.
- swimming gives me the feeling of freedom.
- And more and more which I do for fun: tennis, windsurfing, skiing etc.
All these make me stronger, give me more energy and what’s the most important make me happy! That’s my secretJ
Let’s add “Play More Sports” to our New Year’s Resolutions lists!
Does not matter what age you are, choose something you like. My mum being 68, instead of taking pills and complaining about health problems, exercises every day!
Start from 20 minutes 3 times a week – small steps is a key to a successful change. A few years ago, when decided to practice yoga every morning, started from 6 asanas and when did not feel like practicing was saying to myself: “do only 3” and usually ended up with 6, because once you start you want more. Happy New Year!