Friday, November 13, 2009

The Fun Theory

I started my run at lunch today a little slower than usual; it is getting colder out there. I told myself I needed a strategy to get moving. I searched through my IPOD for the selection of songs that have proven to make me run faster. Mentally, I knew I needed more. What to do?

At the beginning of my run, I saw someone I have known since I was seventeen. I stopped to have a quick chat. It was really fun talking to her and she lifted my spirits; I ran a little faster after that. Ah ha! An idea…Normally when I run I acknowledge most everyone I pass. Today I was going to do more than that. I decided I would surprise people. I would go that little extra.

“Beautiful day for a walk” I said to a small group of ladies. “Yes, it is” and they smiled.

“Good to see you out on the trail.” I commented to the mayor and his friend. “Keep running.” He encouraged with a smile.

“You win!” to those runners heading in the opposite direction – they laughed.

I passed a group sitting at a picnic table, and they surprised me by talking first. Someone asked about my running “What are you training for?” I answered “Life”.

In between these moments with fellow trail lovers, when I was running along the trail alone, I made a point to crunch every fall leaf I could. Before I knew it, I looked up and my run was complete. More so, I was smiling – that was so fun!

This all got me to thinking about The Fun Theory. Volkswagen has come up with this great little gem and the aim is to offer people ‘fun’ incentives to do the right thing. For example, commuters tend to take the escalator when arriving and leaving the metro, so Volkswagen turned the stairs into a giant piano with each step playing a different note. The use of the stairs went up 66%. That is fantastic! Check it out...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Missing Piece to the Puzzle Found and Lost Again

I am beginning to abhor his e-mail, and now the phone when the call is made in transit from one place to another – neither leading to me. His voice is often laboured from the walking and his attention is anything but undivided. This cheats me.

Once during an awkward call our voices, our breath, just lingered on the phone. He had called me at work which he knew limited me in my reactions, prevented me from being open and honest, prevented me from telling him to go fuck himself. He could feel my impatience; he began speaking rapidly to fill the void, to fill the silence, to suppress the frustration in me. He described where he was – I did not care – it was not here.

“I’m staring at a parking lot full of water” he said, which suggested to me that he must go now as he had arrived at his destination. I said nothing. After a brief pause, he attempted to fill the void again, he wanted to talk about anything, nothing - he just wanted to avoid the reality of this situation.

“There is a puzzle piece just floating around in this big puddle.”

“Ah ha!” I said “that is the missing piece to the puzzle.” in a mocking Sherlock Holmes kind of way.

“Ya?” he questioned, excited by my new tone.

“Ya.” I replied and instructed “Pick it up.”

“No. It is all grimy and grey.” He said.

“Hmmm." I am disappointed, "That is why it is always missing – when they find it, no one picks it up.”