Saturday, January 5, 2008

Can you get Creativity and Motivation out of a Bottle?

No, but you can get a heavy dose of inspiration out of a bicycle. Today was an unusually warm (76F), sunny but windy day in Texas. I pumped up the tires on my Trek and hit the road. After spending the last few weeks riding an indoor trainer, this was exhilarating. To my surprise, with every mile, ideas were bubbling up to the surface of my mind. I had brainstorms for three new blog posts by the time I hit mile seven. The words and concepts came very easily while I was riding. I then spent the next twelve miles wondering if I would remember it long enough to get it transferred to bits and bytes on my computer!

And that gave me another idea - I think I need to get a voice recorder. So when I come up with these epiphanies while riding, rollerblading or walking I can capture them at the moment.

This phenomenon that I call “exercise induced motivation” is nothing new for me, but every time it happens it feels astounding. I recognized the power of exercise many years ago while a freshmen in college. After classes, I would attend practice for the volleyball team. Lots of running, jumping and hitting the ball really got the endorphins and blood pumping. Following practice, I would return to my dorm room and immediately sit down to crank out my homework – engineers are assigned several problems or exercises for most classes. The engineering problems seemed to be a breeze and go much faster after a good workout.

In addition to cycling, I like to walk every day with my dog, but for me it doesn’t heighten my creativity the way cycling does. I think to get maximum inspiration you must work up a good a sweat. Walking is a good way to clear the mind and cycling is the best way for me to jumpstart my motivational motor.

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