This week’s assignment is to reflect on the act of reflective writing itself, which is either perfectly timed to force me to pause in my headlong rush towards final due dates, or designed to trip up my momentum.
As I’m writing this I’m also working on an environmental scan for our management case study, but I have a live feed of the European Cross Country Championships playing in the background. It’s the final event of the day, the senior men’s 10km, and even though these are the world’s fasted men they hardly look like their moving. When you’re running a distance like a 10km it can be equal parts frustrating and exhilarating. On one hand you feel like you’re hardly moving, you become so focused that you begin noticing everything, the spectators, the countryside, the hardness of the ground, but on the other you can’t believe how fast you’re moving and the thought of keeping it up for another few kilometres becomes the biggest mental challenge.
Do you see where I’m going with this? [By the way, Michael Mulhare just came 15th]
If we hadn’t been required to pause and reflect during this, our first semester, I doubt that most of our class would have paused at all. Time has flown by, one minute it’s Monday morning and then it’s Thursday night, but once a week (or twice in my case) we have to sit down and think about our readings. Reflective writing, as I see it, is like writing in a diary with an audience in mind. The writer is forced to explain what they normally wouldn’t and to write in clear, correct grammar to do so. In running that’s called a race recap, something that many elite runners (often marathoners) do to analyse what went right and what went wrong. Something else is does is show the thought process of an elite runner while there running, something that’s very difficult to imagine when you’re watching them. My favourite recent race recap is this one by Rob Watson on his Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon because he manages to give good advice, good reflection on his performance and reaction, and do it in an entertaining manner.