Tuesday, July 31, 2012

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥: Sportuality by Jeanne Hess

Release Date: January 13th, 2012
Publisher: Balboa (Hay House)
Page Count: 216
Source: Complimentary copy provided by Westwind Communications in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you!)

Sportuality is an examination of sports at all levels from a Western perspective, focusing on how it reflects our cultural belief in separation and dualistic thinking, as well as how sports can grow peace, understanding, and joy. Sportuality crosses disciplines of sports and spirituality to help readers-athletes, coaches, parents, and fans-evolve a higher consciousness within sports and competition. Using a journal and questions for self-reflection-called a "box score" and "time-out" -readers can reflect upon and create their own sportual stories. By examining words traditionally used within sports, Sportuality helps the reader think critically about competition, community, communication, spirit, humor, enthusiasm, education, religion, holiness, sanctuary, sacrifice, and victory. Sportuality can also expose our learned beliefs in war and violence so we might be willing to choose the alternatives of joy and peace.
What Stephanie Thinks: The spirit and essence of sports are conveyed through Hess's quick, upbeat, and motivational Sportuality and I think it's a book all Christian athletes can get a lot out of. The style in which the book is written is casual, but still very sophisticated. The author does her best to distinguish Sportuality from every other self-help book you've probably read, while still maintaining a professional, easily followable tone.

I love best how different aspects of health are considered in this book, not just physical boundaries, but also the importance of mentality, as well as environmental elements such as society and more deeply, religion. Structured in a convenient, buoyant "game plan", Sportuality is encompassed around four quarters: the bases, Communication and Spirit; the  aspects we build on top of that foundation, Competition and Community; the most important self-regulated roles of all, Enthusiasm, Humor, and Education; and last but not least, the spiritual significances, Religion, Holiness, Sanctuary, Sacrifice, and Victory. 

As a whole, it was not the most effective book I've read. Enjoyable and with the occasional extraordinary anecdote, yes, but completely fabulously memorable, no. I recommend Sportuality for those—young and old, healthy and recovering—who need that extra push of prayer and inspiration when it comes to the game—this applies not only to sports games, but also works well for the game of life. However, sometimes I feel it's a little too preachy (especially in the last quarter), so I would endorse it for only those who have strong grasps in their faith.

Stephanie Loves: A list of laughter's benefits:
  • "Laughter ... leaves [us] invigorated and alert.
  • Laugher provides isometric abdominal exercise to tone abdominal muscles.
  • Laughter ... helps us manage pain or illness.
  • Laughter helps protect us from colds and viruses because it increases the levels of antibodies (Immunoglobulin A) in the nose and respiratory passages.
  • Laughter increases levels of natural killer (NK) cells and antibodies to boost the immune system.
  • Laughter stimulates production of lymphocytes containing T-cells that deal with cancer cells.
  • Laughter reduces blood pressure and heart rate if practiced regularly.
  • Laughter is one of the best muscle relaxants.
  • Laughter reduces stress hormones, epinephrine and cortisol.
  • Laughter provides facial exercise and increases blood flow to the skin.
  • Laughter activates our tear glands to brighten our eyes.

(Herwitz, Michigan Today)

Radical Rating: 7 hearts: Not without flaws, but overall enjoyable. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥