Playing while I’m Waiting for a Train
4th November 2015

The video shows me playing while I’m waiting for a train. Below are some thoughts about it.

It’s a fairly pure video: I put my phone camera on a tripod and filmed myself waiting for a train for twelve minutes. Filming something corrupts its purity (when you know you are filming, at least), but I’m happy that what I did is representative of what I did when waiting for a train the previous time at that bench.

What do you do when you wait for a train (or bus, plane, etc)? I like to make use of my time – to point in having it as dead time. This also protects you against delays or having to wait: if I use the time productively, it doesn’t matter if a train is an hour late, that just means I have an hour more of something. Actually, more likely (and happened once) that I missed a train that was once per hour, which was plenty of time to do a full stretching routine. Sometimes I read a book, but more often than not I will do some sort of movement: stretching, parkour, whatever. If I’m with other similar people, then I could dance or practise fighting or something. With parkour people, I’ve had actual ‘training sessions’ at stations. Same goes for on the train – I often go to the space between carriages to stretch, as sitting down for long periods is both uncomfortable and bad for the body. On rare occasions, if it’s empty enough, it’s possible to do a couple of climbs – inside the tube I can hang and swing too.

There should be more of this. If you only exercise at a gym, you are missing out on the rest of the time you could do something – I discuss this further in my post Take the Stairs. Most people stare at their phone screen, and this is clearly better for both the body and the mind.

On some occasions I get told off for this, though thankfully not on this day. I had a station employee shout at me to “get down off there” because “it’s not a playground”, on one occasion. Another occasion a conductor told me to “get down” (but didn’t really explain why), and then objected when I carried on on the flat ground with a cartwheel. I’m careful, as always, not to be around other people who I could get in the way of (or worse, hurt). People don’t often seem to be polite about it.