Field of Science

Jogging - a way to get creative idea? Nah!

An article on jogging (which has since been lost) made the claim that, wow, every now and then a runner gets a nifty idea while running, a flash, while the brain is being repeatedly jarred against skull. Now this is something about which the Phactor, as an intellectual athlete, knows a great deal, not about running, because the only two reasons for that are if you are being chased, by someone much bigger or really scary, or chasing someone, much smaller and about to get the butt kicked, about this type of blank mind creativity. It takes practice to learn how to allow your brain to creatively drift along such that interesting ideas that your subconscious has been working on can wash ashore onto the beach of your conscious mind like the bit of creative flotsam that they are. Here like a beach-comber of the brain, you must grab these ideas and make an effort to remember them before they wash back out to sea. The key is to avoid distractions, intrusions upon your consciousness that prevent you from noticing new ideas as the bob there at the edge of the tide. Walking to work is good time to beach-comb for new ideas, solutions to problems, and other creative thoughts, because after a long night of working on it your subconscious mind has the most to offer, if you are properly prepared to accept them. Another time is when you relax in your garden with a decent drink, and just watch things grow, the butterflies dance, and the comings and goings of your little bit of nature, quiet except for the sounds of nature; no i-anything within reach, no distractions, and zounds, there it is, an idea. Such ideas are cheap really, once you learn how to get them reasonably frequently, many prove flawed, unrealistic, or impractical, but not all, and after you offer up these bits for a few years, you get a certain reputation for being a creative thinker. And then someone makes a news story out of a couple of runners who have noticed that every now and then this happens while they are running, and that’s news? Ah, perhaps it’s a novelty piece, a runner gets an idea, how quaint, how unusual, how unexpected. How unusual that some part of your mind survives after being numbed into insensitivity by a really boring form of exercise. One wonders how much more often these people would get new ideas if rather than jogging along distracted by the task of avoiding uneven slabs of concrete, tree roots, and dog doo, these runners sat in a garden, in full margarita induced musing mode, and actually practiced thinking?


cindy said...

So, no marathon for you, huh?
i know some folks experience a sort of zen moment while gardening. all the chatter in their mind eases to a low buzz. The same thing happens when I run. Stay with me here: When I run a familiar route, I know where all the ditches, nooks, and crannies are located, so I don't have to put much effort into watching my step. Also, running 4:30 in the morning minimizes the traffic issue. Once, I get in a rhythm, I can let my mind wander. The chatter becomes a buzz. Enter the zen-like moment. Now, I can focus on the bits of flotsam that have washed ashore. It's like a three-for-one deal--I stay in shape, clear my mind, and collect mental flotsam.

Now, I've had creative ah-ha moments while sitting on the commode, so I believe creativity can happen at any moment.

The Phytophactor said...

Had to figure a reasonable runner might not agree; why the Phactor takes perverse pleasure in teasing runners is quite hard to understand.