Thursday, April 24, 2008

Stairway to creative heaven

I'm pretty sure that if you asked the students which Spice Girl I would be, many of them would say Sporty Spice. Not because I'm often found singing and dancing wearing a track suit but because I have a past in the fitness industry.

I've mainly been working with project management and web programming, but back in 2003 I took a time out and did something different: I started working as a gym instructor and personal trainer at a gym. Although I quit in 2006, I still haven't left fitness behind totally. I still work as a group fitness instructor, teaching classes like Bodypump, Bodycombat and Bodyjam. And I still think about stuff like daily exercise.

Aside from instructing people in the use of dumbbells, leg curl machines and treadmills, I also lectured about motivation. One thing I remember was reading about how exercise boosts creativity. I thought to myself "This exercise thing is really neat. Not only does it make us age slower, prevent or delay outbreaks of diseases like Cancer and Alzheimer's, but it also makes us more creative".

I make a point about avoiding elevators and escalators whenever I can. That's why I know that there are exactly 88 steps from the ground floor up to the fourth floor where Hyper Island Stockholm is situated. When walking up those stairs, it hit me that this is a great thing to encourage creative people to do: daily exercise.

So we came up with a competition. We created a pot with 47 movie tickets, one ticket per student and co-worker in Stockholm. Then we challenged ourselves and the students: everyone who avoids the elevators for two months gets a share of the pot. Everyone caught using the elevator forfeits their share. Right now we have about a month left, and about half of the students are still in the competition.

This is the reason I'd be Sporty Spice: I'm actually happy whenever I see a student coming up the stairs.

Another thing that boosts creativity is seeing the Apple logo. Question: Is exercising while watching the Apple logo the equivalent of doping in creative contests?

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