Treadmill Tales

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Yesterday morning, I did the treadmill for 30 minutes. The bad news: I felt sore and worn out for the rest of the day. The good news: Hmm, where should I begin? I finally started exercising again after being too lazy to do so for awhile (and experiencing the results), I found a way to do more running and less walking while on the treadmill, and I managed to do 30 minutes on the treadmill for the first time in awhile. Before, all I could do was 20.
My trick for doing more running and less walking was this: make the treadmill go just fast enough to do a slow jog instead of a walk, but no faster than that. Then, quite simply, jog for as long as I can before I have to slow down the treadmill and walk for a little bit. My jogging speed is 4.0, and my walking speed is 3.4.
Now let me talk a little bit about what motivated me to do the treadmill yesterday. I will start with a little story about myself. If you have seen my “About” page, you will know it says, among other things, that I have been making up stories since I could talk. That is basically true; I have memories of making up simple stories when I was two, and since I was an early talker, I am sure I was making up stories before then, possibly ever since I could speak in coherent sentences.
Two was when I started making up and telling stories. Starting when I was four or five, I would run around in circles, making up stories in my head. I called this “thinking.” My “thinking” went on well past the age when I started typing my stories up: eight years old. One of the first stories I started typing up was “Dot the Orphan Cub.” It was about a little cheetah cub named Dot, who looses her mother to a poacher and then befriends a hyena cub, a vulture, and a wildlife biologist who takes her under her wing. What follows is many adventures as well as misadventures, especially when dealing with the evil poacher.
What I remember most about writing that story is that I had practically the whole story planned out in my head, but didn’t get very far when typing it on the computer. I don’t think I even got to the part where Dot’s mother gets shot, though I played that and its subsequent events in my head many times while running around. I think the reason I didn’t get very far in typing it up was this: Playing the exciting parts in my head was much more fun than typing the story from beginning to end on the computer.
The keyword here is “fun.” I ran around as a child, making up stories in my head, because it was fun. Lately, though, as an adult, I have not been having much fun writing my stories. I have adopted much of the discipline needed for writing, and I have been working on the middle grade novel which is currently my main project almost every day, but I haven’t been having that much fun. I have started brainstorming ways I can have fun with my writing again. Does anyone have one or more suggestions? If so, please post them below in the comments.
This is why I have started doing the treadmill: I thought maybe the act of running could help me make up stories in my head again, specifically in a way that is fun. Yesterday morning I did the treadmill while listening to songs from a favorite musical, the new “Matilda the Musical,” based on Roald Dahl’s beloved book.Β  I hoped both that and the running would spark my creativity, helping me come up with ideas for new and existing stories. This time around, all I got were pep talks from Miss Trunchbull and other Roald Dahl villains (I communicate with favorite characters, especially villains, a lot), but no actual stories. This could change, but if it doesn’t, I will need to find new ways of sparking my creativity in a way that is fun. That is why I am looking for ideas from my fellow bloggers.
As an after thought, I’d like to share that growing up hasn’t been easy for me. As I mention on my “About” page, I am in my late twenties, but always a child at heart. Becoming a teenager and then an adult were not easy tasks for me, especially since I had to give up playing make believe. Sometimes I want more than anything to pretend to be a character from a favorite book or movie and have someone else pretend along with me, but I’m pretty sure that’s not an option anymore. That’s why in addition to finding fun sparkers for story ideas, I am looking for activities that can take the place of make believe play. I’m sure there will be much overlap between the two. Once again, if you have any ideas for either of those, please post them below. I would greatly appreciate it.
Take care, everyone! Until next time! πŸ™‚

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6 responses »

  1. I know exactly what you mean πŸ™‚ I was just like you when I was little, and even I have to keep reminding myself sometimes that I am an adult now, and is no longer supposed take a ride on the carts in the supermarket or hug the teddy bears in the toy section, well, I do those things anyway though πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ When it comes to stories, I have found that a couple of things help. Firstly, even I strongly dislike typing, so I always write my stories by hand in a notebook first, I feel more free then, and less formal. Secondly, most of my stories are inspired by something, like a request for a story from a child (maybe you know some children you can write to? ), a question from someone about spirituality or just something I want to say that works better if I say it in a stroy, it is also a way for me to take out frustration (this happens a lot with my fairy tales!), or a way to bring back my childhood by writing stories inspired from all the funny things I did as a child πŸ™‚ I find being around children (if it is children i am writing for) also helps. They say such lovely things, and they love my ability to play make-believe and invent games. When I lived in norway I worked with children, and one of my favorite things to do was to organize fairy tale workshops for them, if you are interested I can share more about this with you πŸ™‚ I also find that having all kind of things to spark the imagination in my house works, like troll figurines, lots of children’s books and books of fairy tales, fairy figurines, toys I loved as a child etc. Sometimes I also get inspired by watching some very creative children’s movies with lots of little detalis to notice, like for example the old moomin films, or the silly symphony cartoons. (I’ll email you a link). Sometimes even baking can help spark my imagination as it is something creative, like invent a new cupcake recipe or something like that. Sometimes even just dreaming helps, like listening to some imaginative music while closing my eyes and just letting my self go to explore my imagination. ( I can send you a link to a very good dream-song!) But I have to say that mostly, what is the key for me, is to not try to write anything good. I mean, to not think that now I am going to write a story and maybe even publish it! That is a trap for me. Then, like you say, it is not fun anymore. One last thing I can say is that if you are really stuck, I find that copying the first 2-3 sentences from my favorite book and then just let my imagination take over afterwards also helps! You can always go back afterwards and change those first sentences. I have used Astrid Lindgren’s books like that. And if I get stuck in between I just go back to her book and start searching for good sentences to spark my imagination again πŸ™‚ When I was little I got lots and lots of inspiration from the books I read πŸ™‚ Just see here:
    http://pathsofthespirit.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/picture-storybooks/ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    I hope I have inspired you a little now. πŸ™‚
    Have a lovely lovely time!! πŸ™‚

    • Thank you so much, Marcia! And thank you for following my blog! Would you mind telling me how you found it?
      I will definitely follow your blog, too. It looks awesome! πŸ™‚

      • I’m not sure how I landed on your blog. The only term I remember searching recently was ‘children’s books’ but I don’t see that in your tags, so I’m not sure… Thanks to you, too!

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