A Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body

by Irene Schiff

Even before the environment and the infrastructures around us, it is within us that passions are born.

Practicing a sport: this activity so popular in Italy today certainly was not some decades ago, and if it was not popular for abled bodies, we can only imagine what it meant for persons who were differently abled! It was back in the 70's and 80's, when it was not only talked about at the professional level, when the first gyms and training centres opened, when we began to see the first visually impaired people on snowy slopes with skis on their feet. The great thing was also that we could meet them there and not bump into them. So then, they too can ski! It is true that some sports Discus throwing, sculpturewere already more or less popular, blind people played goal ball, and some sporting activities were practiced by injured soldiers even in the fourth century. But, its popularity in every day life and people's attitude towards sports represent the true social, sorry, sporting revolution. So, today, the differently abled can practice sports, can (or should) choose what discipline to practice, and can (or should) decide to practice sports at an amateur or competitive level. This may seem obvious but in the first conferences on the subject, I personally attended debates on the fact that it was already a lot for a disabled person to be practicing sports, imagine participate in competitive events. This may seem like we were back in the 19th century, but I assure you that I am not that old! Thank God these people have since changed their minds and the Paraolympics are a good example of that.
Society's duty is not to make decisions for these people, but rather to offer them tools to do so. If for some people sports means movement, for others sports mean sitting down on the couch and watch a game with a favourite team or any game with any team, the important thing being that someone is running in shorts behind a ball. There is a difference between active sports and passive sports, but there is also a difference between who chooses to practice a particular sport and who chooses another. Between the cross-country skier, the wrestler and the horseback rider, there are differences that go beyond the equipment and the uniform. Choices may be influenced by the geographical environment (it is easier to ski in Norway than in Basilicata) or by the structural environment, or even by the family environment. But, most of all, it is within us that are born certain passions and that certain choices are made. So, let's see what.... Olympic medal is hiding in each one of us!

Test: Are you sports oriented?

1) At home, where would you hide a precious ring?
a) in a safe
b) in the middle of old sweaters
c) anywhere but always some place different

2) With ex-lovers you try to
a) stay friends
b) not meet ever again
c) try all over again

3) At home you dress
a) in old overalls
b) in simple clothes bought for at-home wear
c) almost as if you are out

4) You are in a bar and a discussion degenerates involving your friends; you
a) leave the bar
b) defend your friends
c) call the police

5) You have a certain amount of money to celebrate your birthday; you
a) organize a party at home
b) make a reservation for dinner in a restaurant
c) buy yourself a nice gift

6) "To have both feet in two shoes" also means
a) to be very cold
b) to limp painfully
c) to want to look taller

7) Your favourite main course
a) cannelloni
b) tortellini in a broth
c) couscous

8) Who the most made the apple popular?
a) Snowhite
b) Eve
c) William Tell

9) Your favourite room is
a) the kitchen
b) the living room
c) the bedroom

10) For a trip to go well it is important
a) to have information on the place you are going
b) to have good company
c) that it be not too tiring

11) Your favourite game is
a) chess
b) cards
c) television games

12) Late night television programs are
a) a good sleeping pill
b) a source of update
c) an excuse to quickly use the remote control

13) What would you like to hear people say about you
a) he/she is a true professional
b) he/she is a great friend
c) he/she has so many qualities but also certain shortcomings

14) An acquaintance owes you a bit of money
a) you pretend to forget it
b) you call the person to remind him/her
c) you remind the person when the occasion presents itself

15) "This one ate the leaf" also means
a) that he/she is terribly hungry
b) that he/she loves gardening
c) that he/she is a true vegetarian


Question A B C 
1) 3 1 2
2) 2 3 1
3) 1 2 3
4) 1 2 3
5) 2 3 1
6) 1 3 2
7) 1 3 2
8) 1 2 3
9) 2 3 1
10) 3 2 1
11) 3 1 2
12) 1 3 2
13) 3 2 1
14) 1 3 2
15) 1 2 3










Dominated by emotions, concentration, calm and patience; these are your main characteristics.
Your sports? Those that are based on intense action, but prepared at length and carefully studied.
The challenge is not so much the other or others but time and distance.
What sport to choose from? Individual sports would be more adapted than team sports, but certain card games or chess games would also be good training.... for the brain.

Union makes power, the team creates friendship. It is important for you to feel part of a group, to know that you can count on others and that others can count on you. Friendship, integration, solidarity are basic prerequisites in your life and you want to find these elements even when you play or compete. Most adapted sports? All team sports and in particular those that, after a sportive competition, will lead to a friendly evening around a laid out table.

Sports means to you: sweat, getting dirty and uselessly tired. Once in a while, you think about it, you convince yourself that you should do something about it, but then everything comes back to normal. Try to at least ride on a still bike at home or take short walks and maybe the desire to move some of those muscles will come from within.