Saturday, August 1, 2009

Performance Anxiety

Journal Entry, July 31, 2009: Coinage = $1.31, 36 pennies, 2 dimes, 3 quarters; Bottles retrieved = 6; Best coinage find = 11 cent scatter in a curb heavily mined in past walks.

Journal Entry, August 1, 2009: Weight = 171.2 (Yippee, although it must be water loss); Coinage = $1.16, six pennies, 1 nickel, 3 dimes, 3 quarters; Glass bottles = 11; Best coinage find = 2 quarters in a USA vending machine, after finding one coin, I pushed the coin return and a 2nd popped out. Of all my attempts with coin return devices, this is the first time the action of pushing the coin return lever has resulted in a coin find.

Feature Entry: Performance Anxiety, or stage fright, can have negative repercussions for novice and experienced walkers alike. J. Barrell, D. Medeiros, J. Barrell, and D. Price have found that one of the causes of performance anxiety is that an individual tends to “feel uncertain as to whether I will do well.”

In some respects, beginning a daily walking program is the beginning of a performance. For the beginner, the audience is created in the imagination of the walker. What will the people on the street think when they see me huffing and puffing along in my strange walking attire? Or, what will my friends and family think if I am unsuccessful with these ambitious goals to be accomplished by a walking program?

Moreover, it could be that those reading about the MoneyWalker’s exploits might feel intimidated with his constant references to high performance walking by the use of such words as “Zooming” and “walking highs.”

For the experienced walker that incorporates finding money with the daily walk, performance anxiety is a completely different phenomenon. For the MoneyWalker, every walk begins with this pessimistic thought, “What if I don’t find any money today?” Or, “When will my luck run out?” Or, “If I quit finding money, will I be able to sustain my motivation for walking?” Although the MoneyWalker averages more than a dollar per walk in found change, every walk begins with these negative thoughts and is not hushed until the first coin is found.

What can be done to avoid or conquer performance anxiety? The MoneyWalker’s Seven Steps to conquering performance anxiety follow:

Step One: Prepare for walking by equipping yourself with knowledge of best walking practices.
Step Two: Purchase a quality pair of well fitting running/walking shoes.
Step Three: Do not consider the people in your lives including the strangers on the street to be your judges.
Step Four: Enjoy the walk.
Step Five: Concentrate on the process of that day’s walk rather than some future weight loss result.
Step Six: Focus on “positive approach goals” rather than “negative avoidance goals.”
Step Seven: Embrace self-acceptance rather than self doubt.

The MoneyWalker


  1. Hey, I hadn't thought about pushing the coin return levers!

    If my pockets are still empty after hitting a few money spots I tend to get a little discouraged. That's when I have to hit "step six" and remember that coinage is not the ultimate goal but rather a bonus!

    Over the jet lag?

    Are those adorable children yours?

  2. Child one is Jackson Lee Thompson, or General Jackson to his best friends and Uncle Ben. The General is in obvious "performance anxiety" mode. He is 14 months and the only male grandchild.

    The three girls are in New Orleans and busy preparing a meal for their grandparents. It was delicious--grilled pork loin rubbed with a cumin spice and served with a plum salsa, all created by Savannah, our 14 year old. For hor d'overs, Amanda, age 11, prepared deviled eggs, and Bethany, aged 8 with Gran's assistance created a lovely banana pudding. All experienced performance anxiety which disappeared with the smashing success of the meal.

    Thanks for asking about the grandchildren. As for jetlag, we made it all the way to 5 p.m. this morning before waking.