Saturday, September 8, 2012

In which I find I think best on my feet

Often when I go running, not much running actually gets done.

It all started when I lived in Vienna. I discovered quickly that if I went on my run through the city, I ended up stopping every few minutes to look at a beautiful piece of molding on a facade, or a group of workers setting up a giant tent for a traveling theatre company, or sign saying that Mozart once spent the night in this or that building (between Mozart and Beethoven, I think just about every building in town has been historicized in that manner). So, I decided that if I ever wanted to get any actual running done, I would need to stick to the canal road by my apartment. No fancy buildings to look at, no distractions. Right?


Because, as it turns out, the Danube Canal is a hub for graffiti artists. Not just punks with spray paint cans, but actual artists. In fact, the canal wall is one of the only places in Vienna where graffiti is actually legal. So I got to run by stuff like this every day.


Needless to say, I spent more time strolling and gazing than I did running. (I also improved my German quite a bit...turns out the Anarchistic movement has a pretty large following in downtown Vienna and they often painted slogans all over the canal walls. It was pretty entertaining trying to decipher them).

So you'd think that once I got back in boring ol' Provo, it would be easier to focus while running.

Wrong again.

Because it turns out, Provo's a pretty interesting place in its own right. Yesterday  was running, and I found myself constantly having to stop to look at the interesting roof of one house, the beautiful picket fence covered in hollyhocks on another, the cardboard Dalek on one front lawn...

And then my mind itself won't stay still for more than a second. Turns out when I'm running, I do some of my best thinking. I don't have anything else I need to think about, so the ideas just drift into my brain though. The only problem is, I can't hold onto those thoughts while running because I get so distracted by the rhythm of my feet, or my breathing, or the muscles in my legs contracting and expanding. So once my brain catches hold of a cool thought, I have to slow down to a walk in order to keep it, and I can't start running again until I've thought it through.

All in all, this means that I don't get a whole lot of actually running done on my runs. But that's not usually the point anyway.


  1. no way! i lived there too! i can't believe we didn't put this together before. did you sleep in the little alcove bed, or the other one? the other one was my bed.

    1. Really? I swear I remember talking to you about this before...maybe I'm imaging it. :) I was in the alcove bed with the cool little curtain. It was awesome. Also...I may have broken her shower and never told her about it...