Ray and I decided, about a month ago, to start going to a gym. It isn't one of those fancy gyms with all the young hard bodies. It is a gym at our neighborhood recreation center and it has a bunch of machines and big windows that look out over a playground and a neighborhood and, right now, a fading flower bed and glorious red and gold trees. It is never very busy and you can always get a treadmill. Most of the people there look about like us and we nearly always see a very old man in a stocking cap who comes in and lifts weights furiously and then peddles a stationary bike like a demon out of hell, then shuffles out the door and down the sidewalk. He is amazing. My main thing is the treadmill. I walk for about 30 minutes, then I might try the rowing machine or one of the ab crunchy machines for a bit. But mostly it is the treadmill. And it is boring. Really boring.
In an effort to make it less boring I tried reading as I walked. I have seen others reading, but it just didn't work for me. My head bobs up and down too much and turning the pages is awkward and it's really hard to find and keep the sweet spot in my glasses that brings the print into focus while doing all this. So I turned to my phone. You know there is going to be an app for boring, right? Podcasts. That's the app. I found podcasts of The Moth Radio Hour and now I walk on the treadmill, with my earphones plugged into my phone and I listen to the Moth as I walk. The 30 minutes is like nothing. It flies.
If you are not familiar with The Moth, it is a public radio show of live storytelling events. The stories tend to be around 20 minutes long, give or take, and they are told by all kinds of people about all kinds of things. Some are extremely funny, some thought-provoking and some are sad. Many are both funny and sad. You can find episodes on The Moth web site here or you can download podcasts to your phone or other device. They are great. I sometimes find myself laughing out loud, or smiling a lot. The other day I must admit I felt a tear slip down my cheek as I listened to the one called "Perfect Moments" found here. I pretended it was sweat.
I never understood, and probably never will understand how people become addicted to exercise, or even claim to love it. I know it is good for me and I will do, but I will never really enjoy it. But a good story is, for me, pure enjoyment. I can bear the one if I can have the other at the same time.
I, too, hate working out, but I tell myself it's for my heart and blood pressure. I'm not vain enough anymore to care about my weight. If you run out of stories on the Moth, you can try Freakonomics and Radio Lab, my two favorites. I have become a podcast junkie. I listen to them at night when there is nothing on TV, which is almost every night.ReplyDelete
Audio books are my secret! I totally agree with you about trying to read on a treadmill.ReplyDelete
I love The Moth, and another one, Snap Judgement. Don't care for the host, but love the stories. Thank you for taking care of yourselves, we joined as well, and I've even recently completed the C25K App.ReplyDelete
I have always hated every form of exercise but around the time I turned 45 I had to start to help deal with some health problems. I started with 15 minutes a day and it was pure torture. For 4 months. After that I really started to feel the benefits. It's been 8 years and now I do yoga and ride a recumbent bike (and read blogs) for an hour every morning. If I have to skip a day I feel it. It was directly responsible for me being able to cut down on the asthma and allergy medicine I take. Keep at it. I promise that it gets better! It will first become routine and eventually necessary.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the share! I listen to books on tape so this is a good alternative!ReplyDelete
I started listening to TED talks and although they are often very short I really find them interesting and I am amazed at all the interesting little things I am learning about.ReplyDelete
Podcasts and audiobooks are my favourite thing about the technology we have today. And I've listened to and enjoyed The Moth too. I work night shifts sometimes and they can be very long and tedious with my audio companions.ReplyDelete
I enjoy the part of exercise where I feel strong or accomplish a goal or it lets me do something easily in real life that would be hard otherwise. Like running up a flight of stairs and not getting winded. The actual doing of the exercise is just meh, though I have actually gotten that 'runner's high" they talk about. Twice. In 48 years. Big woop. It was cool, but not THAT cool. Must be doing something wrong.ReplyDelete
I love Moth, and TED talks. I need to remember to look them up and listen more often.
I belong to the same "club" - a life long exercise hater. But I have enjoyed PT in a highly heated pool - great for arthritic aches and pains. I used to love hiking in the Sierra, but not for the exercise - for the bird watching opportunities.ReplyDelete
Public radio in Australia also have a story telling segment, "NowHear This".ReplyDelete
I love The Moth. It's my go-to podcast, as is This American Life. I just quit my gym. Too expensive for the amount of times I visit. I miss the exercise though. Gonna have to tear myself away from the sewing machine and go for walks now.ReplyDelete