Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Podcast - My new inner-voice

I've been wondering if there has been a psychological study of the effects of listening to podcasts. Do they effect our psyche? Can they change your thinking?

For the last 3 months, I have been listening to a variety of fitness podcasts. I stumbled on the ability to "subscribe" to these podcasts through my google e-mail reader and listen to them at work. Since it was three weeks before Christmas, and I had gained 6 pounds - I naturally gravitated towards the weight loss and fitness podcasts.

I started listening to Pheddippidations, a podcast by a middle-aged, middle of the pack marathoner. I have always wanted to be able to run. I watched a half-dozen marathons - and dreamed that I could run. In actuality, I could not run. I never ran more than 100 yards! However, listening to Steve Runner babble about his distance long runs and telling his followers to "run long" I began to think - "hey I could do this."

Then, I found Robert Ullrey's "Podcasts for running." These 9 podcasts follow coolrunnings "Couch to 5k" running plan. Robert put together 9 podcasts with music, voice cues that tell when you are supposed to run and walk. I'm in week 5 - can you believe it! I ran a mile on my 29th birthday - pretty good for a gal that could only run 100 yards a year ago. Now, Steve Runner says I should sign up for a 5k, and my inner voice says, "yeah, I should sign up for a 5k." A week into my running program, I was browsing the fitness section of itunes and found Motivation to Move. Scott Smith, puts out a daily podcast (60 sec to 30 min) trying to get you to movemore. He motivates his listeners by telling them, "move now, so you can move more later; life begins when you move; and take a step and repeat." I listen to Scott daily, and find that when I am running, I hear Scott in my head - speaking over my inner voice, "take a step and repeat," "life begins when you move." I sometimes get a sting of voices:

* "move now, so you can move more later" - Scott Smith
* "I am fit, thin, and healthy" - Shane and Scott of "Weight Loss and the Mind"
* "Run long" - Steve Runner

My true inner voice is hushed. If the inner voice does get loud enough for me to hear it, it whispers, "please stop running...sit down...go home." In the past, these voices would be yelling at me while I exercised, and eventually, I would give in. Now, Steve Runner, Scott Smith, and Shane and Scott are in my head - talking louder.