Sunday, November 2, 2014

Creativity is Overrated! 11/2/14: 2140.8 to 2162.6 Miles (Completed Segment 33)

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This is a fast section of road with a wide shoulder and little traffic. There is a rumble strip which will tend to keep drivers off the shoulder.

The road has good visibility the whole way, and it is a perfect segment to walk before sunrise. 

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The first snows had to come sometime and they are in Virginia now. It's precisely the area a walker on schedule would be. Snows in the south are different as the roads often freeze. It's not safe to walk along them even if it's easy walking.

Snows in the south often break tree limbs, especially when the leaves are still on them. Every branch is a potential widowmaker. It's a good time to find a motel and rest until the roads clear.

Creativity is Overrated


Creativity does not come from chaos -- it comes from conformity. Conformity with actions that have worked for others. Change comes from not meeting daily goals or from seeing a slightly better way of doing things.

Those who start as radical non-conformists cannot build on the successes of others.

Action Plan

The goal of this hike is clear. Hike about 8,750 miles in 12 months. Now that goal is clear, the next step is final action plan.

If I were leading a group of 12 people on this hike, the action plan would be clear and written. Everyone would start with the same gear. Everyone would be expected to walk the same number of miles each day. Everyone would be expected to follow any social rules.

This may sound militaristic, and it is. There is no group better than the military for  turning protoplasm into a functioning organism. There is no group that achieves faster results and there is no group that achieves higher quality results. Do people in the military have creativity? Absolutely! They are a highly creative group because they have the foundation of taking actions that work. Meanwhile, they avoid actions known not to work.

Coach's Job

My job as a coach has been to study the experts, sift through their knowledge, test their knowledge and decide on an action plan that will work.

Anyone wanting to join the team would know the action plan and contractually agree to follow it as long as it was working.

 My job as the Coach would be to encourage adherence to the plan while evaluating rational suggestions to improve the plan if it wasn't working. 

What about creativity? In any group this size that travels for this time, there will be someone who tries to usurp the leader's role. It may even be justified. For this reason, I would allow wiggle room within the plan. The daily mileage is set by the one year requirement. How people walk the daily mileage is up to them. A group of 12 would naturally split into three or four groups. Each group would develop its own personality and style.

The coach's job is to encourage adherence to the original plan because that is what the group would agree to before starting. Yes, there would be flexibility as dictated by the situation, but the general plan should remain intact.

Disbanding the Group

I estimate only 2 or 3 people out of 12 who start would complete this hike. This is based on statistics for the Appalachian Trail. Therefore, there must be a process for amicably splitting the group. I think the Appalachian Trail model would work well. If someone wants to go ahead or lag behind, "See you down the road!" would work well.

In other words, I wouldn't expect the group to remain intact the whole way. My only goal as a coach would be to get people off to a good start and then set them free when they are ready. People could still keep in touch along the way.


In my opinion, the coach must have expertise that comes from personal accomplishment in the activity being coached.  I feel  a coach should start with a strict set of guidelines and loosen these guidelines as long as the player is meeting the goals. Eventually, the player may travel in their own direction, and then it's time to end the relationship.

It was nice to have daylight again for part of the walk.

Today, I went back to using a metronome set at 115 beats per minute. It did take longer, and I didn't notice any effect on the fatigue level. No conclusion -- just playing

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