Slow Sport? What the hell is that?
Now that I am exploring the concept of Slow Life more and more —thanks to Slow Soup— I start to notice it's affecting every aspect of my life. Including the most unexpected ones. Sports is usually associated with speed and performance: so how could it be slow?
Let’s start with a brief history of "Slow Life":
The slow food movement was born in Italy in the 80s, in reaction to fast food.
Fast food fills your stomach not your soul. Fast food’s tastes are super attractive but simple and monotonous. Fast food is rich in calories but poor in essential nutrients. On the other hand, slow food is all about the variety of incredibly tasteful ingredients, nutrient-dense diets, genuine recipes, home made or prepared by skilled hand. It is shared with loved ones sitting around an actual table, not eating while standing, watching TV or on-the-go. It is about paying attention to the food, and eating with delight.
If you take the statement of slow food and apply it to anything (so why not to exercise) a whole new world is coming to mind.
Magazines keep repeating over and over that exercising is painful but that you HAVE to do it. (If not, you sure will look like an ugly fat cow). We take it as an unquestionable truth, go to the gym in Uber because we are always running late. We use machines to burn as many calories as possible in the least amount of time. We want results, as fast as possible. We are told how to get a bikini body ready with numerous cardiovascular exercises. We want to control our bodies, forgetting that our bodies and minds are entangled. This actually leads to mistreating our body. "Sport without mindfulness": this is how we could define "Fast Sport".
What’s following is more my own personal idea of sports than a real statement. And I am realizing I always have been an adept without ever thinking about it. I exercise a lot, but what I want to achieve is exactly the opposite of what we are constantly told to do. I just want to feel good in my body and mind.
So how? Of course I like performance, but not at any price. Of course, there is pain, but there is even more pleasure. I believe it is not true that we need to suffer.
Sports can be a great source of enjoyment. It’s quite difficult to explain how, but here are a few clues:
1/ Respect your body. Never do anything violent. Do not mistreat your body but listen to what it has to say. If you feel like to throw up, it means you must stop!
2/ Believe in «mindful sport». Meaning, when you exercise you can be conscious of every single inch of your body. Once you are connected, try to understand the mechanisms, and how nice this feels. This will actually make you feel good, ultimately.
3/ Performance and challenging the limits are good things. But not at any price.
4/ Get information on how your body works. The more you know, the better it is.
5/ Do not practice only one sport, but different kinds with complementary functions. Cardiovascular is good, yoga is good too. Also because we need new stuff everyday not to get bored ;)
6/ Forget the looks! Try to notice the changes in the way you feel more than the changes in your body shapes. It is always a tremendous joy to realize that the machine functions properly ;) And it feels so good when you can achieve something you’d never done before.
7/ If you're feeling lazy, lower the goals. Start slow. It is better than not starting at all ;)
8/ Anytime possible, walk instead of driving, skip the elevator, take the stairs, bike to your meeting.
9/ Go slow, but never give up.
These nine points are not solemn affirmations but my personal experience. Still, I hope it will help!
Text by Isabelle, Slow Soup's Founder and designer.