While out walking, many people enjoy music via headphones.  I prefer to use the time to stretch some of my creativity muscles in addition to exercising my limbs, so I often play “I Spy” in my head.

It follows the same principles as the version you played as a kid, but the concepts become more abstract and often come in contrasting sets.

Examples — Spy something:
> tended to and something neglected
> modern and something old fashioned
> I love and something I loathe
> innovative
> repurposed
> joyful
> clever
> funny
> with a double meaning (e.g.: piece of hay-like straw and a drinking straw)
> here before I was born
> new since my last walk
> in an off beat color (e.g.: salmon)
Usually I pick one or two categories for my walk and continuously evaluate to find “the best” example to illustrate the category.  This stretches my don’t-settle-for-the-first-right-answer muscle in addition to my creative noodle.

Consider leaving the iPhone at home next time and trying some free mental gymnastics.  I guarantee you’ll see things on your walk that you missed by wearing your blinders, er, I mean headphones.

— beth triplett

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