Monday, August 31, 2009

Katrina Remembered

Journal Entry, August 31, 2009: Weight = 169.8, Coinage = $3.29, 129 pennies, 8 nickels, 6 dimes, 4 quarters; Glass bottles retrieved = 8, 2 broken; Ground scores = 8, one recyclable shirt; Best money find = 29 cents including 1 nickel and 24 pennies. Recycled a box full of baby clothes discarded after a week-end garage sale in the neighborhood. Also, the MoneyWalker has finally dropped below the 170 lb threshold.

Journal Entry, August 30, 2009: Weight = 170.8; Coinage = $ 1.55, 15 pennies, 3 nickels, 5 dimes, 3 quarters.

Journal Entry, August 29, 2009: Weight = 171.6; Coinage = $ 3.67, 150 pennies, 7 nickels, 9 dimes, 6 quarters. Note, the high coinage on Aug. 29 and Aug 31 is a direct result of refining how a local car wash vacuum is searched. Received a letter from the New Orleans Friendship House for battered women and their children acknowledging $210.89 donation from the MoneyWalker, all from change and a few bills found during money walks.

Feature Entry: During Saturday’s morning walk, a large contingency of police, firefighters, and media representatives were spotted preparing for a 9 a.m. 4th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina commemorative. To memorialize the loss of lives, a commemorative park has been created in Paupers Field, the final resting home of 108 unidentified bodies left in Katrina’s wake. More than 1000 New Orleans people drown in the flood.

The service was filled with moving prayers, lively music, and stirring speeches by our city, state, and federal leaders. It was a moving experience and tears flowed unashamedly from the MoneyWalkers. It is interesting to note that these homeless troubled souls provided a great contribution to the rich culture of our historic city as a result of their death—a must see commemorative park at the foot of Canal Street. The park, designed in the shape of the massive storm, will remind the world of the fragileness of our great treasures including the fragileness of the greatest of treasures, the person human.

The MoneyWalker

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sugar, Sugar--Remembering the Archies

Journal Entry Wednesday, August 26, 2009: Weight = 171.6; Coinage = $1.45, 30 pennies, 1 nickel, 1 dime, 4 quarters; Glass bottles = 11; Ground Score = 3; Recycled shirts = 2.
Jounral Entry Friday, August 28, 2009: Coinage = $1.55; 15 pennies, 3 nickels, 5 dimes, 3 quarters; Glass bottles = 8; Ground Scoes = 3; Best coinage find = 2 quarters and one penny found in a discarded travel case. There is was on the curb, a partially unzipped suitcase, obviously discarded. A quick peek inside revealed the change.

Feature Entry: Remembering the Archies:
Ah sugar, ah honey honey
you are my candy girl
and you got me wanting you
Oh honey honey, sugar sugar..............
You are my candy girl

While checking the drive through at McDonalds, the loudspeaker asked, “How many sugars and cremes with your coffee? I wanted to answer for the driver, “None thank you!” The American Heart Association (AHA) are social marketing experts and they have helped us avoid over consuming the two bad fats: Saturated fat found in fatty meat, ice cream, and butter; and, Trans fat, those immoral fats found in cookies, crackers, French fries, and donuts. Concurrently, they have taught us to eat the good fats like olive oil, legumes, and nuts. These champions help keep our arteries pliable and elastic while the Trans fats harden them.

Now they have added another mantra. In addition to “keep it fat-free,” they now remind us that “It’s the sugar stupid!” It was time AHA, until now you folks have been noticeably timid regarding sugar intake. About your only advice has been to “minimize” our intake of beverages and foods with added sugars.

The MoneyWalker is happy to report the change. Yes, the AHA has declared war on sugar. They now recommend that women should not consume more than 100 calories, about six teaspoons a day, men no more than 8 or 9 packs. To put that number in perspective, 2004 data indicate that Americans consumed 22 teaspoons of sugar daily, essentially 350 calories from sugar along. Most think that we have increased the intake in 2009.

Sugar is everywhere, not just in our coffee. Soft drinks and other sugar sweetened drinks are the main sources. Many whole grain breakfast cereals are high in sugar. Fat-free frozen yogurt is an enemy. Cereal bars are the enemy. Low-fat cookies are the enemy. And watch out for these Trojan horses: honey, brown sugar, raw sugar, tubinado, molasses, corn syrup, and high fructose corn syrup.

How bad is just one 20-ounce non-diet soft drink? A = 100 calories, B = 150 calories, C = 200 calories, D = 250 calories. The answer D, 250 calories in just one innocent soft drink; that is 21 packs of sugar. One Big Gulp wipes out an entire one hour fitness walk.

Folks it’s time to join the MoneyWalker and declare war on sugar. Say no to the Archies and all that sugar.

"More coffee?"
"Yes please!"
"Sugar? Creme?"
"No thank you!"


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Consumer Reports on the Best of Health

Journal Entry: Weight = 172.0; Coinage = $.80, 20 pennies, 3 nickels, 2 dimes, 1 quarter; Glass bottles retrieved = 8; Ground scores = 3; Best coinage find = a dime in a graveled street parking area, one without a curb. Coins in these types of terrain are very hard to spot.

Feature Entry: I like Consumer Reports. Because they do not accept advertising, I trust their recommendations. Today I receive an invitation to receive two free reports: an issue of “Consumer Reports on Health” and a special report, “The Best of Health.” I must subscribe to receive the free material, but I can cancel after one month and owe nothing.

In the promotion materials were several interesting snippets from their health reports. One feature article was titled, “Should I Eat This?” and followed with this interesting promotion blurb:

It's not easy to know what you should and shouldn't eat. This exclusive guide from Consumer Reports brings you unbiased facts about foods that can help you lose weight, reduce stress, sleep better and still enjoy many of the foods you love. Learn how to put yourself on the track to good, healthy eating!

Stay tuned! After receiving the two issues, I will provide a review.


Monday, August 24, 2009

A Katrina Walk

Journal Entry: Weight = 172.4; Coinage = $1.45, 30 pennies, 1 nickel, 1 dime, 4 quarters; Glass bottles = 11; Ground scores = 8; Best coinage find = 2 quarters and one penny scatter on a find that should not have happened. While tooling down the right side of the street, first the sound and then the sight of a speeding car coming toward the intersection of my current position drew my attention. To avoid breaking stride and to avoid being run down, the MoneyWalker crossed to the left side of the street and out of harm’s way. Thus, I was walking in the same direction as the hurried speedster. And there they were two quarters and a penny.

Feature Entry: It is near the 4-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Is New Orleans back? Far from it! On my block along, construction companies are working on four damaged buildings. But some things are cheerful. School children are bustled to bus stops by their proud parents. A cool front lowered the humidity and many retirees were out on their stoop enjoying the early morning low temperatures. Sometimes the past reluctant hellos of folks during hotter mornings were substituted with robust greetings of welcome. So it is not just buildings that are being repaired, so are the human spirits of Katrina’s citizens.

New Orleans has many months and years before recovery will seem to approach normalcy. And change is uphill, steady if not rapid. This morning, walking with Katrina was a good walk.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Unintentional Learning

Journal Entry: Coinage = $2.05, 45 pennies, 5 nickels, 7 dimes, 3 quarters; Glass bottles = 6; Ground scores = 11; Best Coinage find = a hunch dime found along a curb that required a few steps detour from regular path.

Feature Entry: Much is written about the secrets of learning. One type of learning is unintentional learning, when we learn by simply observing what others are doing. More about this later.

Actually, learning is simple, if we practice we learn. The difficulty is in creating a desire to practice. Good teachers learn how to excite their students by structuring practice in a way that motivates students to want to practice.

Motivating students is not easy. Motivation techniques should enable students to become intrinsically motivated, to not need external rewards for practice. Intrinsically motivated students practice because they want to get better. In terms of moneywalkers, intrinsic motivation is the awareness that walking is necessary to superimpose physical work into the everyday lifestyle for good health and fitness.

However, we humans seem to be hardwired to need external motivation. Good teachers combine external motivation with internal motivation to reinforce positive practice. For the MoneyWalker, the intrinsic motivation for a sustained daily walking routine is the management of weight control and the other health benefits derived from walking. The external motivation comes from finding lost coins and ground scores, defined as objects of value other than money.

Recently the MoneyWalker has noticed that money spots such as car wash vacuum stations, fast food drive throughs, and newspaper vending machines are producing less coinage than in months past. One reason may be unintentional learning. Over and over, the MoneyWalker can be seen in the neighborhood with his more than obvious shinning reflector vest and orange billed visor checking these spots on a regular basis. Without intention, he is modeling so that others may learn from his example.

One explanation for the loss of coinage finds by the MoneyWalker is that observant customers, fast food workers, school children, and others have observed this gentleman’s behaviors and have concluded that he is finding money by searching in the moneyspots. So now the MoneyWalker may be facing unexpected competition from those that have learned, although not intentionally, to check the money spots for themselves.

As a result, to maintain a high average daily find of coins, the MoneyWalker must walk longer and use advanced techniques for finding money. These advanced techniques are not “unintentional,” rather they are intentional and are themselves a sophisticated form of learning that require extraordinary powers of concentration and focus.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Readers Digest not Bankrupt on Ideas for Losing Weight

Journal Entry: Weight = 172.8; Coinage = $1.05, 35 pennies, 3 nickels, 2 quarters; Glass bottles retrieved = 6; Ground scores = 4 (3 recyclable shirts, the last shirt as referenced earlier lasted less than an hour on the recycle pole); Best coinage find = a nickel and penny scatter on a stingy discount service station/convenience store parking lot.

Feature Entry: The On-line Readers Digest magazine features a healthy living section. This week the editors present 50+ easy ideas for losing weight. The MoneyWalker will summarize four of them with a brief critique.

Number 8 is to walk for 45 minutes a day. This is 15 minutes more than recommended from the often quoted Duke University study which found that 30 minutes of daily walking is enough to prevent weight gain in most relatively sedentary people, exercise beyond 30 minutes results in weight and fat lost. Readers Digest suggest that by walking briskly for 45 minutes a day will help relatively sedentary people lose 30 a pounds in a year without changing how much you’re eating. The Moneywalker does not place much faith in this conclusion. He is all for brisk walking and the overweight sedentary person will lose several lbs rather quickly. But as the first several lbs drop off and as the walker begins to approach the ideal body weight, those last several lbs are dropped much more slowly. I recommend an hour walk and a reduced consumption of food, especially white food and sweet food.

Speaking of white foods, number 18 on their list was “avoid white foods.” They cite scientific studies that have found that large amounts of simple carbohydrates from white flour and added sugar negatively effects our blood sugar and leads to weight gain. However, while avoiding sugar, white rice, and white flour, walkers will want to eat ample amounts of whole grain breads and brown rice. RD reported findings from a “..Harvard study of 74,000 women found that those who ate more than two daily servings of whole grains were 49 percent less likely to be overweight than those who ate the white stuff.” But be careful with correlation findings, correlation is not the same as cause and effect. It could be that the nutritious prudent were also prudent in other facets of their life including not overeating. Still the data are clear, overeating white starchy and sweet foods leads to overweight.

Another healthy habit of people that lose weight is to eat cereal for breakfast five days a week (#21.). Again, be careful with correlation studies, but the RD authors quoted studies that concluded that people who eat cereal for breakfast every day are significantly less likely to be obese and have diabetes than those who don't. Also, these breakfast diets lead to the consumption of more fiber and calcium -- and less fat -- than those who eat other breakfast foods. Ms. MoneyWalker mixes Fiber One (Bran) with Shredded Wheat (Wheat’n Bran) while I prefer Cheerios mixed with Crispex. We both use .02 milk without sugar.

Number 22 is to “pare your portions.” We totally agree with their concept, but not their method. They state at home or in a restaurant, “immediately remove one-third of the food on your plate.” We go further, eat only one-half at a restaurant and take the remainder home for another meal. For home, we like their idea of the restaurant serving, that is fill the plate from the containers before the meal reaches the table. While filling the plate, serve small portions. Mrs. MoneyWalker fills my plate and do I get mad, but smaller portions mean smaller clothes sizes.

Again, the MoneyWalker’s big four behaviors to take off weight and keep it off:
Weight each day at the same time each day and record in a journal.
Walk a brisk walk each day for one hour utilizing an external reward device.
Eat a whole grain breakfast each morning using 2% or lower milk.
Practice portion control and radically reduce white flour, sugary foods, white carbohydrates from your meals.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Black Pennies

Journal Entry: Weight = 172.4; Coinage = $.84, 29 pennies, 3 dimes, 1 quarter; Glass bottles = 4; Ground Scores = 2; Best coinage find = several black pennies near various curbs.

Today was an experimental walking day. Several new or infrequently traveled streets were exercised. Not much coinage but several pennies had turned black by a lengthy exposure to the elements. It felt good to put them back in circulation. A recycled shirt has been placed on the electric pole near our street sidewalk with this simple explanation, “Washed, please take!” I wonder how long it will last?


Monday, August 17, 2009

Social Engagement Theory and Walking: Just Say Hello

Journal Entry, August 16, 2009
: Weight = 173.2; Coinage = $.67; 23 pennies, 1 nickel, 4 dimes

Journal Entry, August 17, 2009: weight = 173.2; Coinage = $.74, 24 pennies, 1 nickel, 2 dimes, 1 quarter; Glass bottles retrieved and canned = 6; Ground Scores = 2, 1 electric pliers and 1 recyclable sport shirt; Best coinage = old nickel found in curb, a quarter in a newspaper machine.

Feature: The last thing the Monewalker wants to do early in the morning during his zoom walk is to engage with fellow humans. The effort breaks focus, slows the walk, requires social energy, and can lead to lost time as in “Do you know where Canal Street is? Or “Can you change a dollar for four quarters?”

The latter is what happened this past Sunday. Already annoyed that someone was occupying one of my regular newspaper vending machines, out popped the question. I had the quarters, but I didn’t want to spare the time, or as it turned out, the need to engage so that his needed instructions could be rendered. Although a man in his 50’s, I sensed that he might need help with the machine. He thought Sunday daily’s still cost a dollar. But I gave him change and waited while he attempted to retrieve his paper. Of course it didn’t work and he was clueless that his 8 quarters were waiting in the coin return. I coached him to try again, to examine his coins for dirty or foreign coins, and try placing them into the machine more systematically.

The instructions worked, he received his paper and then wanted to tell me a story or two. We participated in what K.M. Bennett of the U. of Liverpool (“Low Level Social Engagement as a precursor of mortality among people in later life”, Age and Ageing 2002 31: 165-168) defines as “low level social engagement.” The researcher has found in a controlled study that accounted for health, age, and gender, elderly people that withdraw from society and social engagement die earlier than their more gregarious counterparts. Thus, social engagement acted as a precursor for mortality.

Therefore, as much as I dislike early morning hellos with their implied social judgments, an added benefit of the morning walk is the opportunity for low level social engagement and the chance that the practice might possibly add a few months or years to my need for a longer healthy life.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Low Hanging Fruit

Journal Entry, August 15, 2009: Weight = 171.2; Coinage = $2.14, 44 pennies, 5 nickels, 7 dimes, 3 quarters; Glass bottles retrieved = 4; Ground Scores = 8; Best coinage find = a dime, quarter scatter in a usually “dry” parking lot. But there were many "low hanging fruit" found on this productive walk.


Friday, August 14, 2009

Ode to the Curb

Journal Entry: Weight = 173.6; Coinage = $.50, 25 pennies, 1 quarter; Glass bottles = 8; Ground Scores = 5; Best Money Find = a quarter along a curb in historic Mid City New Orleans.

Feature Entry: Ode to the Curb by By the MoneyWalker, aka bleason

Only a perusal, but it seems that n’er a verse has been penned
By those masters of rhyme and pentameter, those would be laureates.
Where are the tributes to that great guardian of the greens—the curb?
Please! Do not mention the lowly gutter.
We have heard quite enough of your dark existential chatter
About those that reside in the repository of dirt, filth, and grime.
Both inanimate and as well as the animated—especially that creature of failed hope—mankind.
Too often we must follow your vortex guided journeys to a vacuum of loneliness, boredom and despair.
Be not confused, a gutter is not a curb!
Where is your optimism, your awe of inspired creations?
Can you not see that hope is a mere nine inches away,
But above.
Like most good, in juxtaposition with evil.
Can we not count the goodness of the curb?
Those dropped coins forever lost into the netherworld
Without the rounded but vertical guard.
Can you not at least perform simple rhymes?
See a penny
Suppress a whinny.
See a nickel
Suppress a tickle.
See a dime
Suppress the time.

And the quarter, captain of coins, how often are you saved from the Permanent purgatory of earthly entombment by those nine inches of enlightenment,The curb?
How so? Because the light incidental sand of the street may cover your countenance for a moment,
But only until the ubiquitous yard man comes with his machine and once again
Exposes your brilliance, for his pockets if vigilant, or for the deeper pockets of the always watchful MoneyWalker.
But that is so petty to mention the great outlier as your defense.
There are so many arguments for your watchful containment.
Take away your presence and what of that ribbon of green
That is forever your godchild—the green grass of summer?
Would not the oils of greenhouse warming not smoother you
Into oblivion?
Nay, there are too many examples of your excellence to embrace cynicism.
The poets are once again blinded to the obvious truth of your selfless performance.
Aren't these simple truths not apparent to them?
Are they not worthy of your Eliot-like artfulness?
Oh curbs, without tenure or worldly acknowledgement,
One has stepped out in praise of your brilliance.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Tribute to Brecht's Three Penny Opera

Journal Entry: Weight = 173.0; Coinage = $2.51, 216 pennies, 1 dime, 1 quarter; Bottles = 7; Ground score = 5; Best Coin find = 196 pennies from the 17th street canal.

Photo Explanation, with 218 pennies found, an acknowledgement of the historical significance of the lowly penny is in order and the theater is the mode selected for the tribute. The original poster, as shown, is from a 1928 German film, The Threepenny Opera , in German: Die Dreigroschenoper. The film is a musical by German dramatist Bertolt Brecht and composer Kurt Weill, in collaboration with translator Elisabeth Hauptmann and set designer Caspar Neher. It was adapted from an 18th-century English ballad opera, John Gay's The Beggar's Opera, and offers a Marxist critique of the capitalist world. In the U.S. the 1990 remake was titled Mack the Knife . Google Bobby Darin to hear a verbal rendition of the classic tune.

Thanks Mr/Ms Penny.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Stress Management Solutions

Journal Entry: Weight = 173.0; Coinage = $1.54 ($1.40 from morning walk) 29 pennies, 4 nickels, 4 dimes, 3 quarters; Glass bottles retrieved = 11, Ground Scores = 4 including a perfect designer golf shirt; Best coinage find = a curb quarter from an area that offered a high level of visual distraction, a miracle find.

Feature Entry: The MoneyWalker just returned from his annual pilgrimage visit to Houston, TX to watch the Houston Astros with his long time friend and exercise physiologist Mark Loftin. We will feature him in an interview later. These trips allow Mark and I to totally enjoy 48 hours of stress-free living. The three B’s--baseball, brisket, and a little booze--can do wonders. We also enjoyed Tex-Mex, long walks in Memorial park, and the Houston Museum of Fine Art. What a week-end. Astros won two out of three from the Brewers. Two pennies were the total find, but who cared, we were stress free.

About stress, Elizabeth Scott, M.S. writes for, a New York Times professional blog. has hundreds of topics including Scott’s blog on stress relief. One of her recent blogs was “Stress Relief in 5 Minutes or Less.” She listed several examples, two included “quick burst of exercise,” and “have a good laugh.” Loftin and I had tons of laughs and since he is a master with corny jokes, I will feature one that he might tell, a politically safe bar joke.

A three legged dog walked into a crowded bar in one of our Western states.
Bartender, “What can I do for you?”
Three legged dog, “I’m looking for the man that shot my Paw!”

Didn’t work for you, then consider taking a quick burst of exercise. Find a reason to leave your desk (or wherever) and walk five or ten minutes to conduct business in another location. It could be for any reason—deposit letters, see a colleague, pick up office supplies—anything that takes five or ten minutes. You can also walk up several flights of stairs or conduct a few push-ups. Careful with sweat stains, but these quick burst of exercise can be really great stress busters.

Uh Oh, I’ve just received a subtle reminder that we have company coming for an evening dinner and that chores have been promised to Ms. MoneyWalker. Why do I feel a need for a quick walk?


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Losing Weight in Germany

Journal Entry, August 5, 2009: Weight = 173.2; Coinage = $.52, 48 pennies, 1 nickel; Bottles retrieved = 9; Best coinage find = 17 pennies at a car wash. Finding 48 pennies in one walk is unusual. The pennies must have heard me bragging about the dimes and that one recent walk that produced 8 nickels.

Journal Entry August 6, 2009: Weight = 171.6; Coinage = $.22, 17 pennies, 1 nickel; Glass Bottles = 3; Ground scores = 2; Best Coinage find = an asphalt grouping of 3 pennies buried so deep in the soft asphalt that a back hoe was contemplated. Instead, I dug into my pouch, pulled out a long nail, found a brick for a hammer, and set them free.

Note the man walking in the right side of the Nuremberg, Germany photo, the one in the white shirt. He needs to adopt the MoneyWalker's four point plan for weight loss: Weigh and record daily, eat whole grain breakfast, walk one hour or more five or six days a week, and practice portion control. To lose a lb. a week, he must burn 500 calories a day more than he consumes. So, a little less beer and sausage and a little more fruits and vegetables if you don't mind. I wonder how you say that in Deutch?


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Ever Reliable Dime

Journal Entry, August 4, 2009: Weight = 173.8; Coinage = $.90, ten pennies, 2 nickels, 2 dimes, 2 quarters; Glass bottles = 1; Ground score = 1; Best coinage find = a dime at Dolly's Deli and gas pumps. Gas pumps at service stations often yield a few pennies, but Dollies with her two pump mini station gives up frequent silver. The dime is the MoneyWalker's most reliable coin in terms of value and frequency.

Note: After finishing my walk, my morning chore was to mow and edge the lawn. Found two quarters and one nickel on the sidewalk, a reward for fast initiation of a dreaded chore. Thus, this paragraph is an edit. Walking, finding coins, and writing a blog entry is so much more fun than chores. But duty calls once again, the trim edgings must be blown and raked. Also, the yard duty allowed me to burn an additional 200 calories.


Monday, August 3, 2009

Why Not A Blog Entry About Operant Conditioning And MoneyWalking?

Journal Entry, Aug. 2, 2009: Weight = 171.2 lbs.; Coinage = $.51, 26 pennies, 1 nickel, 2 dimes; Glass bottles = 3.

Journal Entry, Aug. 3, 2009: Weight = 173.2; Coinage = $1.47, 32 pennies, 8 nickels, 3 quarters; Glass bottles = 12; Ground scores = 9; Best money find = .72 in coinage found at McDonalds, .47 in the drive through and a quarter in a newspaper vending machine. Also, finding 8 nickels during one 1.25 hr walk might be a personal record. One of the nickels was an “asphalt” coin, long embedded in a busy crosswalk that was suddenly calm and without traffic.

Feature Entry: Just when I was about to give up on a McDonald’s drive-through lane and their two newspaper vending machines, the MoneyWalker found .47 in change in one of the drive-throughs and a quarter in a newspaper stand. For weeks, it was hardly worthwhile to take the small detour to check their lanes because the lanes are always filled with cars and newspaper vendors seem to never deliver. Now the .72 in change has me hooked for several more weeks, with or without a payoff.

One of the reasons that finding coins works as a motivator for sustaining a walking/health benefit program is operate conditioning theory (OCT). OCT can be varied in many ways to reinforce behavior using contingencies linked to deprivations. First, locked deep in our brain is the notion that we need or want more money than we currently have—the deprivation. Then, if we walk and search, we will find money that will partially satisfy the deprivation. OCT uses reinforcement schedules that are either fixed or variable (also called random) and usually involves a ratio. For example, if a newspaper vending machine produced a quarter after every ten searches, it would condition my behavior using a fixed 1:10 ratio. If the coin was recovered anytime during the ten searches, it would be variable 1/10 ratio.

There are many combinations, but the one that seems to effect the length, distance, and time of the MoneyWalker’s walks is a random schedule of reinforcement with no set ratio. The walker never knows when he/she will be rewarded but it can happen any time after he/she walks the curbs, checks the telephone coin returns, feels for the abandoned money in the newspaper vendor, or checks the pavement around the car wash vacuum station... The reinforcement varies in the amount of money given and in the frequency of the delivery of the money. Hence, one always wants to walk again and again since there is always a chance that coinage reinforcement will occur, just when or where, or how much, one never knows. When I am not finding money, I start searching (pecking) faster and longer.

Dear reader, please excuse me for a second, “Yes dear, I know it is the third time you have asked me to repair the patio floor. Just keep asking and I promise to get around to it soon.”

Gotta run!


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