“If we can, we should force ourselves out of gyms and off machines into the natural world, knowing, or hoping, that we may stumble upon awe… Studies have shown that people who regularly feel awe are more likely to be generous, helpful, altruistic, ethical and relaxed. When dwarfed by an experience, we are more likely to look to one another, care for one another.”
Excerpts from Julia Baird’s Forget Calories. Exercise for Awe. (May 6, 2017, NY Times):
If you joined the hundreds of people in my swim squad, you might think at first that the routine was simply about getting a solid bout of exercise before the day begins…The caps we wear are bright pink. The name we call ourselves, the Bold and Beautiful, is also quite daft, but it’s a reminder that the squad was formed several years ago by middle-aged women who were too nervous to swim the distance alone. This morning swim was never about skill, but about pluck.
Most days, at some spot along the mile-long route, heads will cluster, arms pointing down under the water at enormous blue groupers, white dolphins, color-changing cuttlefish, wobbegongs (bearded sharks), and even tiny turtles and sea horses. One summer, a white dolphin frequently appeared. At this time every year, gangs of…
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