For many years now I have listened to lectures from The Great Courses on my iPod when taking my walk while I tracked my progress using the fitness app on my iPhone. However, the last time I transferred a new course from iTunes on my computer to my ancient iPod the audio was full of chirps and scratches, even though the sound on my computer was clean. I tried a number of different methods to get clean sound, but without success.
As an alternative I downloaded the Great Course app to my iPhone. With our new and improved data plan, there were no concerns about my streaming the course as did my walks. It has worked out well. I only need to take one device on my walks and the sound quality is great.
Meanwhile I downloaded a music .mp3 file, imported it into iTunes, and transferred it to my iPod. The sound was perfectly clean.
I don’t understand.
My weekday routine since we’ve been here has been to get up at 7:00 am to feed Tasha and then go back to bed for another half hour or 45 minutes. But I realized that in doing so I was probably getting more sleep than I needed and that I could be more productive. So after Labor Day I started something new. Instead of going back to bed I have started staying up and doing my walking.
This is good because I am getting my walking in on a much more regular basis. I can’t use the excuse that I used in the afternoons that it was too hot to go out walking. I’m feeling better and am in fact feeling more productive. Plus, I don’t feel like I have something hanging over my head all day.
It’s all good.
I’ve been really good the last several years when it comes to doing my walking on a regular basis. I have long kept a spreadsheet, which helps to keep me honest. That discipline flagged somewhat over the holidays and into the new year. We had our short encounter with the rain and a number of cold days. That gave me an excuse to get sloppy. If the temperature got below 60° I decided it was too cold to go out. (Don’t ask why I didn’t elect to use the treadmill in the gym at the lodge.)
Then I noticed something. People in the Four Seasons community were out walking when it was much cooler than sixty. I saw men and women much older than me out there when the temperature was in the low fifties. That got me back on track.
So much for excuses.
So here we are.
The house has a serious semblance of order. There are no boxes inside the house. All of our artwork is on the walls. The heavy lifting is done until we can get some cabinets built and move the remainder of our kitchen tools and utensils back inside.
It was February when I last took a walk with my ancient iPod and listened to a lecture from The Great Courses. I know that because that’s what my Excel spreadsheet says. That was when we began packing up for staging and set this whole process into motion. Remember staging? Now part of our past I am delighted to say.
Monday I downloaded a new course. It’s called Great American Bestsellers and covers bestsellers from colonial times to the present. I took my first walk since February.
I missed Tuesday because there were errands to be run and we had a concert to attend at my nephew’s daughter’s middle school. I returned to my walking on Wednesday.
So slowly I’m resurrecting at least one part of my routine.
I like that.
Given my changing circumstances, I was rather restless one morning a couple of weeks ago. After getting out of bed a few minutes before my normal 7:00 a.m. time and feeding Tasha, I threw on my clothes and went for my walk. Turns out I liked doing it.
I’ve been doing it since. It makes a nice start to the day, I don’t have to worry about the heat, and I don’t have to worry about fitting the walk into my day later on.
Terry and I walked the Mushroom Mardi Gras 5k on Saturday. This was no small matter.
Saturday is my one day for sleeping in. And I really love taking advantage of this time. To get to the race location, get parked, and get registered for the 8:05 start (the 10k began at 8:00), we had to get out of bed at 6:15. On a Saturday.
But we had both registered in advance and paid our money. We had both been training, and I had done two walks in excess of 5k over the past month. So we did it. We were near the end of the pack, but that was fine. It was a nice walk along a pleasant trail, and we enjoyed it.
There is something rewarding about making a commitment and following through.
I haven’t written about The Great Courses for quite some time, but I am listening to those courses as much as ever. Since I have shifted my exercise preference from the treadmill to walking outside, it’s been a while since I bought a DVD set, but I continue to listen to audio downloads on my ancient iPod while I’m out walking.
I thought I’d mention a few of the courses I’ve listened to over the past several months.
Most recently, I finished Fall of the Pagans and the Origins of Medieval Christianity. Much of this was material that I knew, but it was nonetheless an excellent review. Kenneth Harl is a great lecturer, and he gave equal treatment to the pagan perspective, which one usually doesn’t find in surveys of the period.
Myth in Human History — This was an enjoyable overview of world mythology. Grant Voth not only discusses the well-known Greek, Roman, and Scandinavian myths, but he brings in stories from North and South America, Africa, and the Pacific. He divides up the course into what he calls units (a good old pedagogical term!) covering such themes as Heroes, Gods and Goddesses, and the Trickster.
The Western Literary Canon in Context — John Bowers takes us through what he admits is his own personal set of selections for the western literary canon. A good set it is, though. He starts with The Epic of Gilgamesh, and takes us up through the The Lord of the Rings. It’s a great survey.
I do love The Great Courses. Really good stuff.