Mysticism in sport is a unique experience in which someone is engulfed by a feeling of existence both in real time and stopped time as well as entering a realm of unparalleled reality surrounded by mind and spirit (Higgs & Braswell, 2004). Despite the inexplicability of mystic experiences, poetry provides one means of deciphering them. The purpose of this article is to model how sport participants could be engaged in a process of self-reflective inquiry, then self-author scholarship that synthesizes and interprets the results of their self-reflection. During their 2021 Winter Quarter course on perspectives in physical activity, four undergraduate students were invited to create an original work of poetry on a sporting experience or set of experiences. Each author supplemented their poem with a reflection paragraph, which identified how their poems overcame limitations of “exact speech” to convey mystical qualities embedded in their sporting experience. Three styles of poems were produced: (a) acrostic, (b) haiku, and (c) free verse. Through the creative writing process, the four authors furthered their knowledge of winning and losing through sport, love and connection to sport, transcendent levels of play including the ‘flow state’, as well as furthering their understanding of mysticism and its unique relationship to personal experience. Analysis of the given poems revealed similarities in the emotions evoked, either as an athlete or as a spectator. Future directions would include exploration of other sport roles besides athletes and spectators, as well as the incorporation of additional artistic modalities besides poetry.
Balido, Celene Tehya; Barbar, Coby Allen; Napolitano, Mia Isabella; and Sapienza, Jenner Robert
"Poetic Meaning and Perspectives on Sport: Introducing Kinesiology Undergraduates to Mysticism,"
International Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities: Vol. 14:
1, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/ijurca/vol14/iss1/2