It must've been all the walking

History and science are clear (google it), so here’s some anecdotal evidence supporting the fact that walking—or running—may make you more creative.

Between 2018 and 2020, Marilena and I visited over fifteen countries, rarely spending more than a week in the same place. Workdays were short because there was a lot to see—and a lot to walk—but clients never noticed, and my freelance practice kept growing steadily. How did I pull that off? I have a hunch it had to do with all the walking.

When Covid hit, we figured it would be wise to go back to our family. A few months later, stuck in the house for the lockdown, my productivity hit an all-time low. Even this time, clients didn’t notice but only because I was putting in twelve hours workdays. I just blamed it on the lockdown and kept on grinding away at my desk.

One year ago, we moved to this beautiful corner of Portugal which motivated me to pick up running at the beginning of last spring. And I did! I went from not being able to run for three minutes straight to 5K in a few weeks, then to 10K in just over two months. One month into my new habit, I felt so creative I needed an outlet, so I sent out the first issue of this newsletter.

On August 6th, I go out for my usual run but feel something’s wrong with my right foot. I decide not to force it and head back home. The day after, I can barely walk. I self-diagnose a metatarsal stress fracture due to too much running. I had to rest if I wanted to recover—running too much; self-diagnosing, what’s dumber? Let’s not digress.

You know how it is; it takes months to build a habit, but one glitch in the routine and it’s gone forever. Though I had a full recovery within a couple of weeks, I haven’t been running since the day of the injury, almost four months ago. This time I was better aware of the slow and constant decline in my creativity and productivity. Workdays were inexorably getting longer again; I confess to having pulled a few all-nighters—more than I like to admit—just to keep this newsletter “running.”

This time I subconsciously knew what the solution was. It’s a while I have been feeling like going out for a run. Today I made time for it. I think it worked.