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Listen up!

Music while working out used to be a KEY factor while I did a workout. I needed the distraction. I always had a discman in my gym bag. Yes, a discman! The discman was/is a portable CD player. (This post is delayed because I have been looking for that discman to include in my photo above, but no luck) It got its name probably from the "walkman" which was a portable cassette tape player. But I am getting way off topic...I remember the gym near my office back in the early 2000's had CD players installed into their cardio equipment. I was thrilled so I didn't have to worry about leaving my discan behind by accident. Although, I once accidentally left a Britney Spears CD in one of the machines but I was too embarrassed to go back and ask for it. Ha! I wouldn't be today, I would be proud. And yes, some discmans (discmen?) had clips so you could attach to your pants. Oh my, I look back at how silly I probably looked...

In 2004 by husband bought me an iPod for Christmas. That was THE gift that year. This was the beginning of the change of how people listening to music, but I will focus just on my experience. I could load all the songs I had on CDs and put them on this device MUCH smaller than my discman. And I could create my own "mixtapes", oh wait, playlists that was suited for the particular workout I had planned. What? This was amazing!!!! I didn't particularly like doing cardio workouts that weren't part of a class, so ANYTHING to distract me was a plus for me. It also drowned out the horrible music (in my opinion) that the gym was playing.

When I decided to make running a regular activity about 12 years ago, I remember listening to "Pon de Replay" by Rihanna on my old classic ipod on repeat. There was something about that song that kept my feet moving and my energy up. I remember running at my local track after work (because it was too dark to run outside by myself) holding on to that ipod. Ahh yes, being able to create "playlists" was huge! Plus just put a song on repeat? Golden! Something clicked for me. Especially when I started running longer distances. I knew when during those long races when I would particularly need motivation (for me this is mile 10 in a half marathon. My husband says "But you only have 3 miles left", yeah, he has never run a half marathon...) and I would be sure I would have a few songs right around that time in the race to be sure my legs would be picking up speed. The cheering crowds are great, don't get me wrong, but some races don't have crowds, especially at mile 10 and if they are at mile 10 they are yelling "You're almost there!". BTW- don't yell that at a runner during the a race unless there is only about a foot left. Mkay? (Remember this is all my opinions)

When I started teaching pilates I LOVED making playlists for my classes. Still do. I can combine calm soothing music with some more upbeat songs in the middle...but not usually "Pon de Replay". In the beginning I would make the playlist on itunes and then burn it to a CD because the gyms/studios didn't usually have an input for an ipod. Usually. Heck, I was lucky if they had a speaker. Then when I became a cycle instructor, my playlist creation skyrocketed. Soon I was making theme playlists for summer, Halloween, tributes, etc. There was no end to my categories. My playlist themes can be an entire blog post on their own. (note to self)

So, yeah, music played a HUGE impact in my fitness career and home practice. I've had several people come up to me and say "great playlist", which makes me wonder if my teaching is just as good....hmmmmm

Ok, so music was/is my thing. But my audio motivation has changed through the years. I actually don't listen to music while running outside because I am afraid of being too distracted and falling. (Well, it looked like the tree did that for me).

I have recently discovered podcasts! I started listening to podcasts while walking my dog Jackson or just doing strength training at home. I know, I am probably the last person to discover these. I am not sure what got me started. I think it started after I got into audiobooks. I never thought I would be interested in audio books. I tried one once when I had a long commute to work and borrowed one on CD from the library. It didn't take. I guess I need music while I am driving too. I started with audio books because I thought it would be fun to listen to a book while I was knitting or cleaning the house. Turns out I did! Somewhere along that I started listening to podcasts. Right now it has been knitting podcasts but I am looking to expand my podcast listening library.

Please share what you listen to while working out. Maybe you just like to be alone with your thoughts? I should say going back to the running, that I do listen to music when I am on the treadmill or during a race (and the volume is turned way down). My training runs outside have become my meditation. I have solved organization problems in my home while running. No joke. So yeah, sometimes I just enjoy the silence. OOOOOH, another good song for a playlsit theme...

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