Friday, April 09, 2010

What are the odds?

More than my belief in chance and coincidences, I just find it interesting to compute the odds of a seemingly insignificant event or an incident happening everyday.

I got a new pair of running shoes as a gift past Sunday. Considering the nice spring weather and also considering how I hadn't gotten any exercise in winter (except may be the walking to and from the campus) I had been looking forward to resuming my running. Also considering my not-so-old shoes that I usually ran with weren't "running shoes", I decided to take my new shoes for a test drive on Tuesday.

I decided to take Big-Psycho's route (5 miles of steep up and down: going up to campus - back to Ludlow - to Mt Storm park - back home). What I wasn't expecting was for my shoes to meet their twin along the way! I had hardly gotten through the first up-slope to MLK, while passing the couple in front of me, I noticed that the shoes on the guy in front of me seemed familiar. By the time I passed them, I was able to confirm that they were indeed same as the ones I was running with! We exchanged a "Nice shoes" comment and I was on my way but I couldn't help thinking about the odds of that happening.

Here are the list of events all of which had to happen for the two pairs of shoes to meet:
  1. I had to pick that shoe! Now this may not seem like a big deal but I had actually picked one from another store that wasn't available in my size and we came to a different store where my original two choices were different. Add to it that I wasn't really planning on getting a shoe in the first place.
  2. Me deciding to run on Tuesday at that time and deciding to take that route just so that my shoes would bump into the other pair was very spur of the moment! My running decision was surprisingly spontaneous and so was my route selection (I wasn't sure about running 5 miles all at once considering the last time I ran at all was way back in the beginning of Fall!).
  3. The above two reasons for the other person - that guy buying the same shoes and being on my path at that same time on Tuesday when a mere minute or two would have made the difference.  
  4. Me noticing it! With my iPod and a whole lot on my mind, trust me, looking at other people's shoes is the last thing I was planning on doing. When I am running, I rarely glance at others' shoes, let alone notice them closely enough to recognize and remember. And on Tuesday I was quite preoccupied and hardly noticed even the things that I usually do.
Well I can add a whole lot more to that list by just expanding on each point, but the bottom line would still be that the chances of that event happening are really slim! I also wonder if it will happen again. Btw, on a side note, the shoes are Nike and extremely comfortable, but are also probably the most expensive pair I have ever owned.

May be I will start noting down more of such coincidences in future.

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