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Finding My Arete

This past weekend, I had the amazing opportunity to be part of the Arete biking retreat through Aquinas. From the moment that I first went on this retreat as a shy and quiet freshmen, I knew that this was the retreat for me! This retreat encompasses your mind, body, and soul which is really what makes it such a unique retreat. Having attended this retreat for the past 4 years, you would think that I would become bored of the same retreat, but there are new adventures with every single journey. Not only have I been able to meet so many people, many of whom I would consider close friends now, but I have also been able to grow in my faith while deepening my relationship with God and those around me. While this retreat can be physically demanding, it just goes to show that biking about 40 miles in the course of a weekend is nothing when you are constantly being pushed to new limits by meeting new people, diving into your faith, and putting your trust in the Lord and remembering that He created you strong enough to do anything you that you put your mind to.

Arete is the focus of “being the best you can be.” Why wouldn’t we want to we the best versions of ourselves? After all, look at how God sacrificed His one and only son so that we could be on Earth to live life and be our Arete! We all should focus on being the best versions of ourselves.

That being said, this motto of constantly “bettering” one’s self was constantly running through my head as our group progressed through the retreat. While there were many great memories that I will forever be fond of, such as staying up until 2am singing songs, playing games, and finding those glorious views of the Grand River while biking on the trail, I know that my true tests came in when really digging deeper into my own faith in discussions and powering through the hills and many fallen trees along the biking paths.

If you like biking, meeting new people, nature, playing games, singing songs, deepening your faith and relationships, then you will love this retreat because it will help you find the path to finding your true Arete. In correlation to the theme of “being the best you can be”, I will end with one of my favorite quotes from the Dominican Sister, St. Catherine of Siena, as she proclaims, “If you are what you should be, you will set the world ablaze”.


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