One fine day, I was running by myself. It was a few weeks before Barcamp Bangalore 5. I got an idea that I should talk about a non-techie topic at Barcamp since I've been giving tech talks for the past few years and I wanted a change of pace. I brainstormed many ideas on the reason for the talk, what to say and how to explain, etc. all during that one run.
Unfortunately I couldn't attend BCB5. But I stored the notes in a safe place. And when BCB6 was announced, I wanted to be sure to talk this time around.
A few weeks back, Ramjee called me and asked whether we can talk about running. I smiled and thought to myself "Great minds think alike". Or at least "Runners think alike".
So I made a ppt and we landed at Barcamp on Saturday morning. We had never discussed the presentation. And we were going to give a session on it. Truly unconference style.
Note: The slides below have been modified to make it useful for a web audience. It has a lot more text now.
Barcamp crowds are very inquisitive and so we didn't actually go past half the slides, which is actually a good thing. Instead, we discussed a wide range of things about running right from finding good places to run to trouble with dogs.
In spite of the delays causing us to start at 12:45 (which means almost lunch time) the discussion went on till 1:45 and 90% of the 30-40 odd crowd were present till the end. When we went to grab what was left of lunch, lot of people asked us questions including how to avoid knee pain (tip: it's the shoes). Since questions are always a good sign, I think it was a successful discussion.
We both still consider ourselves amateurs at running but at the end of the day its an activity we like and Barcamp is a perfect platform to talk about our passions.
Oh, and if you're still not a believer, I'll end with a quote:
Games require skill. Running requires endurance, character, pride, physical strength, and mental toughness. Running is a test, not a game. A test of faith, belief, will, and trust in ones self. So hardcore that it needs a category all to itself to define the pain. When game players criticize, it's because they aren't willing to understand, not because they're stronger. Running is more than a sport; it's a lifestyle. If you have to ask us why we run, you'll never understand, so just accept.
-- Jessica Propst
Update: SlideShare decided to make it a Barcamp spotlight presentation:
The online slides has had 1274 views and 116 downloads as of this writing (2008-05-04 Sun 10:04 PM).