Friday, 21 August 2009

Running through my mind...

My partner Ali last week wrote about how she gets her best ideas when she’s asleep – and I’m sick with jealousy! I only wish I could get my best ideas while I’m snuggled into my memory foam mattress (if you don’t have one, go and test drive one RIGHT NOW! You won’t look back.).

But I’m afraid my best ideas come to me when I’m running. Which means they don’t come to me all that often!

And I call it ‘running’ because it makes me feel rather sporty and athletic, but actually it’s more like ‘waddling at speed.’

When I was a kid, I ran around with the best of them – but once I hit puberty, that all came screeching to a halt. I couldn’t get out of gym class, but somehow I managed to avoid actually running all through junior high and high school.

I am lucky enough to live near what is arguably the most beautiful of the London parks, so a few years ago when my husband persuaded me to head over there and have a stab at a gentle jog, I thought ‘Why not!’

Of course I soon discovered, ‘why not.’ It was HARD! And I was hopeless! I’m not built for running. I’m built for shopping. But the husband refused to give up and patiently coached me through running 10 steps, then walking 10 steps and so on. I remember when I could run 50 steps! I was so proud.

I must’ve looked like nothing on earth. I remember puffing and panting in my husband’s wake, like a fat little pilot fish in the wake of a sleek porpoise, when we passed a beautiful lady in full African dress walking in the opposite direction. She looked at me pityingly, and said kindly, ‘you go, girl!’ It then dawned on me how very, very pathetic I must’ve looked…

But I persevered. And I’m happy to say that on a good day I can now waddle at speed for 40 minutes without stopping!

And as if getting sweaty, red-faced and frizzy-haired and being sneered at by gangs of teenagers wasn’t reward enough, I found something interesting: sometimes problems I’d been struggling with became crystal clear. I’m not sure why, but when I have no distractions (except the sound of my desperately labored breathing!), the repetitive action forces my mind to cast about in desperation for something interesting to think about – and it’s astonishing how often solutions to problems or new ideas pop up, seemingly out of nowhere.

So whenever I’m stuck with a problem – maybe there’s something wrong with the structure of our Creative Content scripts, or I just can’t figure who would be the best voiceover for a particular project – I slip on my running shoes.

But when all is said and done, I’m still jealous of Ali – I think I’d rather be sleeping than sweating! - LK

We’d love to know: What do you do when you’re ‘stuck’? How do you find inspiration?

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