Lapping the competition in the office
I have found one nice, easy way to get some exercise during the day is to do a lap of our office.
If I start at my desk and do a figure-eight, it’s about 100 steps. I usually do about 50 of those in a day (sometimes more, if I’m felling antsy about something), so that’s about half the 10,000 steps you’re supposed to get every day.
The only problem is that I may have to start carrying a notepad or a tape recorder with me. I will get halfway through the lap, come up with a great idea for a column or a lead for the story I’m trying to write, and by the time I get back to my desk 30 seconds later, it’s gone again.
You have no idea how many prize-winning stories and columns I’ve lost over the last couple of years that way.
The inspiration for this column, in fact, came from that very thing happening to me when I was trying to come up with an idea for a column.
I started my walk, had an idea, and lost it again, all in 100 steps.
The good news is I’m not the only one that happens to. At one paper I worked at years ago (before I started having memory issues), the editor would quite frequently come out to the reporters’ area, obviously brimming with information on something – then stop, frown, and walk back to his office. I have no idea whether he had a Pulitzer Prize-winning lead for a story or just a prediction on the hockey game that night.
Neither did he, I suspect.
The thing I find strange about it in my case (not that there aren’t other things people find strange about me) is that while my memory is apparently fading on items like that, it’s still razor-sharp in other areas.
I was talking to a couple of friends recently, the fellows I go to Seattle with to watch baseball each year, and they said they couldn’t remember the name of the Cincinnati Reds second baseman after Joe Morgan.
Almost immediately, I said, “Ron Oester.”
I have no idea why I knew that or why it was taking up space in the memory banks that could be used for award-winning story ideas, but there it was.
I’m also still pretty good with older music, movies and some TV shows.
Just don’t ask me about something I thought of 50 steps ago.