The lululemon lab recently featured the art work of local Vancouver runner and artist Mark "Sparky" Wickstead. Sparky has been a fixture around the lululemon community for years; from teaching circuit training classes at our Store Support Centre, leading run clubs and finishing 4th overall at our SeaWheeze half marathon last year, Sparky's incredible energy and curiosity has inspired many of us for years.
One day I was walking past the lab and took a peek at the store window. The lab is a bit different than our regular lululemon stores - all the product is conceptualized and designed in the store space and they are constantly innovating on new product and ideas, including store displays and design. They often feature cool art in their front window and this one day was no exception.
At the entrance of the store, decals read "i love you more than you can imagine." The words in the window hung in the still and airy space, in stark contrast to the cold grey Vancouver afternoon blowing outside. Behind these words was a huge canvas filled with hundreds of squares in intensely-pigmented colours. It was visually arresting: precisely-painted hues in perfect squares contrasted with a soft human message. I read the artist's name at the bottom of the window. "Mark Wickstead."
Mark Wickstead. This seemed familiar....but I couldn't place it. Then it dawned on me: it was Sparky, the amazing runner and trainer I have worked with on and off for years! Sparky is always filled with random information and has an incredible zeal for life: one day he is salsa dancing, the next learning how to juggle, and always is filled with amazing music suggestions. The guy is like a walking rolodex of random awesomeness - he used to ask me movie trivia while I was doing burpees (anyone who knows him knows what I'm talking about). Still, I was blown away by my pal the extreme athlete creating something that seemed like such a departure from his life in sport. For more on Sparky's story, check out the lululemonlab blog here.
It got me thinking: sometimes we think we are pushing ourselves, but are we really going outside of our comfort zone, out of the "category" we put ourselves and others in? Sparky isn't "Mark Wickstead, Ultra Marathoner"; Sparky is an artist, Sparky is a runner, Sparky is a new-wave fan, Sparky is a dancer. As humans we like to put ourselves into "roles" because it feels comfortable, and as animals we are conditioned to do so.
My challenge to you all this weekend: what if we all put our "roles" aside and actually just did something for the hell of it? Something we are scared of? Something "out of character"? We might just discover that we have a whole other side we didn't know about.
What are you going to wake up and do tomorrow?