Saturday, January 8, 2011

Distracting Mind and Body

Distractions come in different forms for different riders. They come in different forms for me almost every day. Some days, especially last year, all I need is music. Whether I can sing along, or it's all new to me, music can almost always be the best distraction for my mind and body. Past that, I think it's a toss-up. I will look for many opportunities to get away.
Riding with a hook-up to distraction.
Sometimes, I will find some show on Hulu or other various sites to watch. Other times, if the Redskins are playing I will find a site that is streaming the live game. That has proved to be a perfect fit for 3+ hour rides of late. I can find almost any show to watch, but I do seem to ride through the episodes and seasons rather quickly. I honestly, don't feel like I need to watch every show there is and having to select the next episode over and over can just get annoying.

I'm not complaining or anything, but I've found a way that I really enjoy distracting myself lately. I have mentioned this distraction before (here), but it is certainly worth another note from me and listen from everyone.
Radiolab! I have become a HUGE fan of the episodes, inquiries, and explorations of this program. Radiolab is produced by NYU and distributed by NPR. The episodes are hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich assisted by a number of other producers and staff. In their own words from their About page: "Radiolab believes your ears are a portal to another world. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience. Big questions are investigated, tinkered with, and encouraged to grow. Bring your curiosity, and we'll feed it with possibility."

For me, they explore so many topics questioning conventional thinking and the limits of our minds. Each episode is 1 hour long (perfect for my rides) and they always have a way of keeping my interest- never sticking to a strict formula for their topics and exploration therein. The episode I have pictured above, "Falling," for example, talks about physically falling according to gravity, falling in love, falling asleep, cats falling, and other interesting concepts in and around the concept of falling. I know I'm not doing a great job of explaining here, but I urge you to take a listen with your free time. You will not be disappointed and, please, there is really no need to thank me.

Here you can find a listing of their episodes through the years. I am too scared too count the number of episodes they have and the number I have yet to listen to. I know that once I do that I will inevitably figure out how many hours that will be for my training and how soon I may run out of episodes. Honestly, this winter training schedule (17 hours this week) has really gotten me counting down the hours, minutes, and seconds of each and every ride I do. I love losing myself in complete mindful interest of these episodes, not worrying about how much time has past or how much discomfort I may be feeling.  When I do run out I think I will listen to them all over again because I know I will have missed some stuff they went through.

I really hope you can take a listen. They have 20 minute "Shorts" that can be enjoyed too! Let me know what you think too!

Oh, and back to my "distractions." Sometimes, I don't need anything, and the enjoyment of riding my bike and anticipation of the coming race season is really enough to keep me going (rare, but true). Thanks for reading.

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