Running Backward

June 4, 2010

Photo illustration, runner's legs, mirror effect

No, not that kind of running backward. Though, in my previous city, there was a dude you’d see doing that all the time. Seriously.

On a whim today, I reversed my regular running route. The route I’ve jogged dozens of times in all kinds of weather. The route, in the standard direction anyway, I could probably run in my sleep. Boy, let me tell you: It was like running it for the very first time.

Physically and visually, it was a completely different experience. When the start of downhills become the end of uphills, you change how you manage your workout. When the near side of the street becomes the far side of the street, you notice landscaping, architecture, entryways you’ve never noticed before. The best part: I expect today’s experience will help me better manage and better enjoy the route in its regular order.

The novelty won’t be as great next time but I’m sure to reverse the route again. I also will try to make a point to run backward, so to speak, in other areas of life, turning habits, routines, workflows on their collective heads.

I’ve already been doing this vocationally. In fact, one of my favorite parts of the interactive media master’s program I just completed was how telling stories on unfamiliar platforms improved my storytelling across the board — even in traditional print pieces, which I’ve been writing since high school.

Yes, running backward will move you forward.

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