I think a big part of a person’s strengths is knowing how to properly handle his/her weaknesses. In my case, I hate to be bored. This is particularly devestating to the prospect of getting regular excercise, as the majority of tasks such as running, biking, etc. are all somewhat boring to me when done by themselves.
The thing is, when I am doing something else — something engaging — while participating in an othewise boring activity, e.g. driving, walking, biking, it’s not bad at all. This isn’t a new concept; people have been using Walkmans while running for decades. The spin I’m going to put on it is real-time intellectual benefit via Podcasting.
The thing that got me thinking about this is the fact that I’ve been talking on the phone a lot lately. When I do this, I do it from my cell phone while out walking around my neighborhood. Well, if I were to tell myself that I need to go walking 3 nights a week for at least 20 minutes, it’d never happen. I don’t like excercise for the sake of it; it’s not within me. When I’m discussing some interesting topic or even just listening to a friend’s opinion, however, the time disapears at break-neck speed.
I frequently spend well over an hour pacing at quite a high rate of speed while engrossed in these conversations, and the key is that I never even notice I’m excercising. Of course I enjoy the fact that I am; it’s a great feeling to get out and get some air and elevate the heartrate some, but the key is that I would not be able to do those things unless there was some benefit involved — in this case sharing ideas with friends.
So that’s where Podcasting comes in.
My thought is that I will find a program or three that has the right sort of content for daily consumption. I’m thinking technology, politics, philosophy, some combination of all of them, etc. I find content that fits this bill that fits within say a 30 minute period, and I pull it down daily via Podcast. Then, every night, every other night, or as time permits during hectic periods, I take my iPod and go for my nightly walk.
What this does for me is absolutely essential — it gives me the assurance that I’m not wasting my time. I feel completely unable to go out and walk or ride my bike when I know I could be doing something online that will improve me in some way. Of course I know that the excercise will help me more in the long-run, but that matters not because of my horrible distaste for being bored.
This way, using Podcasting, I can catch up on all the stuff I’ve been wanting to soak in but been unable to because I don’t have a commute. I have XM radio and would love to be able to get consistent news via it or iPod while commuting. Unfortunately I haven’t had that time every day to spend soaking something in during idle time — until now.
My excercise time will be my commute.
Essentially, I have two things that I want desperately to do daily but can’t do individually — excercise and soaking in a daily, intellectual input. This hybrid between the two will enable me to kill the proverbial two birds with one stone. In fact, the hybrid is what facilitates me doing either.
Ok, so where’s the good content? I have a few ideas:
- NPR’s All Things Considered
- Some sort of tech commentary ala Chris Pirillo
- Old 2600 episodes
- BR Magazine episodes
- Philosophy content?
- Foreign language osmosis?
- SANS Training
Thoughts? Ideas? Comments?
[ Apr 20, 2005 ]