A TED Talk a Day to Keep the Doctor At Bay

I’ve been doing this thing lately—trying to find a new way to work daily exercise into my routine. I’ve had to give up running, at least for the time being, due to some heel and nerve issues (not plantar fasciitis—why does everyone want to diagnose me with PF?). I’ve had to come up with an exercise routine that won’t aggravate my heels and also work in the exercises my physical therapist has been giving me. It’s a damn good thing I don’t work outside of the home these days because all of this physical activity takes some serious time. And now that there’s more darkness during the day than light, and more rain than dry, I’ve been doing all this exercise indoors.
So, I’ve been riding my bicycle. Last Christmas The Little Woman gave me a bicycle trainer—it was the only thing I had asked for. All last year I used it exactly once, though the bicycle sat on it for the better part of the year, all dusty and neglected in a corner of the West Wing (that’s what we call our family room here at Casa Durberg). I preferred to slip into my running shoes and strap on my headlamp and go outside, rain or shine, for a run around the ‘hood. I did not care for sitting stationary on that bicycle seat.
But, my runner’s wings have been clipped, and I’d rather pedal fast going nowhere than give up my unhealthy eating habits. Since I don’t have an income and am relying on the generosity of TLW for the time being, I can’t afford bigger pants. To keep striving toward that elusive girlish figure, I’ve been riding my bike every morning for the past couple of weeks (hey, I know, not exactly a trend but it’s a start).
Last winter when we set up the trainer, we also mounted a smallish television to the wall so I’d have something to look at while I pedaled. But the thought of watching the inane morning talk shows during my workout made my skin crawl. I am not a big tv fan (ok, Breaking Bad, Scandal, Orange is the New Black—I’ll cop to loving these shows, but I’m all caught up on them and the tv in the WW doesn’t have On Demand anyway—nor does it have a DVD player). And the thought of pedaling through countless advertisements seemed counter productive. Nothing makes time slow down more than a series of ads for drugs to take care of erectile dysfunction, GERD, or that new pharma darling, Low T.
I wanted my 45 minutes to fly by, ad-free. I wanted to be enraptured rather than disgusted by what I was watching. I wanted to be so carried away in my viewing that I would not even notice the clock or the miles, or how freaking boring it is to pedal in one place. (On the upside, I never have to turn around and ride back.) 
I decided I’d watch TED Talks as I pedaled. I love TED Talks (yes, I know, I know, it’s recently become fashionable to dis them. Still.) I have been riveted by Brene Brown and Esther Perel in the past. It’s a win-win—I can exercise and learn something. I can sweat and be inspired. 
My plan required a small reconfiguration of the WW—the purchase of a new media cabinet so I could bring together the TV, the PC, the speakers, and the receiver (and our Sirius Radio). And I’m very proud of myself for hooking it all up and making it all work together without having to spend more than $3.00 on any new technology.
So that’s what I’ve been doing–pulling on my padded bike shorts and riding gloves each morning, firing up a new TED Talk, and hopping on my bicycle trainer while being regaled with all sorts of fascinating information.  I started with Elizabeth Gilbert and her talk on elusive genius. Then I watched Amy Tan on creativity. I’ve been riding my way through a TED playlist called Spoken Word Fireworks
This morning I tuned in to catch up on the local Bellingham TEDx talks that I wasn’t able to see live streamed last Tuesday. I was floored by Naseem Rakha’s inspirational talk about living with our arms wide open and by Robbyn Peters Bennett’s impassioned discussion on ending childhood spanking (find the Bellingham TEDx talks here—Robynn begins around 3:20 and Naseem’s talk begins at about the 3:40 mark).
The single most amazing thing about TED talks is that no matter what I watch, I’m always inspired. I did not think I would love a talk about ending spanking, but I did. Who among us wasn’t spanked as a child? There is always something to learn—about our world, our lives, our dreams, our fears, our successes, and our failures.
Dear Reader, what TED talks should I watch next? Which ones will keep me riveted to my bicycle seat and make the minutes fly by? Which ones will make my jaw drop and teach me something new? What TED talks have changed your life or given you new perspective?

2 thoughts on “A TED Talk a Day to Keep the Doctor At Bay

  1. We are on a similar plane lately… I have gotten on my tread mill every day for a 9 days now!! So proud of myself. In addition, I am taking a KILLER spin class on Mon and Wed. mornings. I've got my bike on a trainer too, but haven't enjoyed it as much as the spin class or treadmill. I watch crap tv to keep going and it's amazing how really stupid things keep me pumped up. I love this post and I feel totally inspired to add TED to my list. I'm addicted to This American Life, but I'm not sure I could keep going without a visual… so maybe, TED is the new thing.

    You MUST try Jill Bolte Taylor's TED talks on her stroke… My Stroke of Insight. She's so inspiring and seriously brilliant. I think you'd love it.

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