Getting stuck in traffic is a fact of life when you live in a big city, and usually it’s a giant waste of time. For the last couple of years, though, I’ve been using a secret weapon that makes my time in the car much more enjoyable – downloadable podcasts.
Podcasts and portable mp3 players have totally changed my commute and significantly increased my quality of life. Certain time slots, which used to be mind-numbing and boring, are now interesting and intellectually stimulating.
I listen to a wide variety of podcasts covering topics from MMA to history to science to current events shows.
You can listen to all these shows on your computer, but if you have an iPod or other mp3 player then you can upload these files to it and listen to the the shows at any point.
Here are some podcasts to get you started. You can check out hundreds of thousands of categorized episodes using iTunes or other podcast aggregators.
The head of my marketing division would kill me if I didn’t plug my own podcast first. I don’t get new shows out as often as I’d like, but I’ve still had some really interesting in-depth conversations with some of the top people in the sport. Check it out the Grapplearts Radio Podcast on iTunes by clicking here or listen to the individual episodes on the Grapplearts site by clicking here.
Grapplearts was featured last weekend on the Sherdog Radio Network (which consists of several different shows).
In the MMA Sunday School segment I chatted to Scott Holmes and Rodney Dean about the genesis and inspiration for the Grapplearts iPhone application. If you’re interested, my segment is at about the 31 minute mark.
I also have a soft spot in my heart for the Fightworks Podcast, at least partially because they’ve had me on the show a couple of times.
TVO BIG IDEAS
I don’t only listen to MMA podcasts. In fact, I’d say the majority of what I listen to is only indirectly related to MMA. One of my favorites is TVO’s Big Ideas program, which broadcasts some really good lectures too on a variety of topics.
In a recent Big Ideas podcast, for example, I really learned a lot about the science of stretching, stuff that’s directly applicable to improving my grappling skills and remaining injury-free.
As we’ve discussed before, it turns out that the benefits of stretching aren’t exactly as cut and dried as your High school football coach would’ve liked you to believe.
Stretching probably only improves performance in sports that require flexibility; the classic example being gymnastics or figure skating. However our sport – grappling – also requires a lot of flexibility and thus stretching is probably a very good thing.
I’ve also got to mention Hardcore History by Dan Carlin. This podcast has nothing at all to do with grappling or MMA (other than having a strong focus on military history).
I like it so much that I’ve been trying to think of a clever angle to talk about this show in my newsletter, but I couldn’t come up with a plausible connection. For now I’m just going to tell you that it’s really good.
My favorite episode in that series is Episode 12 – Steppe Stories, which takes a look at the long and bloody history of the Scythians, Mongols, Huns, Turks and other peoples who came rampaging out of the Central Asian steppe
Do yourself a favor and check out some TED Talks on a topic that interests you (they include science, arts and design, politics, education, culture, business, global issues, technology and development, and entertainment).
You can download TED Talks either in video or audio-only format.
I’m interested in finding out what you guys are listening to – maybe I’ll discover something new.
So if you have a favorite MMA, BJJ or submission grappling podcast then send me then link. I’ll post reader favorites in a future newsletter.