Running gave me a confidence that I do not think I had before. After I crossed the finish line of my first marathon, I realized "Wow, I just did something that most people cannot do." I guess I can do some things (which was I used to tell my Latin teach last year when he was surprised when I got a translation right). If I can go out and run 20 miles on any given Saturday, and have only been doing that for a year, surely I can be a good historian and writer. I tend to be very critical of my abilities as a medievalist, and often worry if I am talented enough for this field, for it is a tough one. I have to remind myself that I can do these things - write research papers, translate Latin, present my research - after all, I can run marathons! And when I think about that (and that my professors told me that they admire me for running - they admire me? They are the ones I look up to), I get the confidence I need to go out and be a medievalist.
Last year, when I went to the big medieval conference at Western Michigan University, I bought a button that had "Mens Sana in Corpore Sano" on it. I clipped it to the lanyard I had to wear while I worked at CTY, in order to remind me that that is the way to live. Juvenal was right, we all should pray for a sound mind in a sound body.