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No iPod Required March 13, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Happiness, Life Balance, Nature.

Have you ever noticed that bikers, walkers and runners wearing headsets look decidedly less relaxed and happy than those without cords sticking out of their ears?

On more than one occasion, I’ve noticed that those sprouting ear buds feature frowns on their faces as they move through their paces.

In contrast, those without a techno-gadget clipped to their belt, or held in their hand, seem more inclined to radiate happiness as they commune with sky, trees, water, birds, flowers, and the occasional splash of flying fish.

Connecting with nature connects us with the moment.  As we tune in to the here and now, our inner bliss surfaces suffusing us with joy.

No iPod required.

Aah . . . that’s better!



1. joyroses13 - March 13, 2019

I so agree! There is something about the gift of silence when in nature that is so refreshing. Silence in everything except for the sound of birds or perhaps a running stream. AS Tippy’ s quote said, “Silence is golden!” 🙂

nrhatch - March 13, 2019

This does tie in well with TG’s stolen quote re silence! And yes, rustling leaves and rushing streams are music to my ears.

joyroses13 - March 13, 2019

🙂 🙂 The Greatest Symphony !

nrhatch - March 13, 2019

With a wave of his baton, the unseen conductor creates an insistent breeze which teases the trees and tickles the leaves causing shadows and sun to coalesce and part.

And the stream races by, tripping over stones in its way. 😀

2. Jill Weatherholt - March 13, 2019

They’re probably looking less relaxed because they’re afraid they’ll get hit by a car. It happens all of the time around here. Get rid of the buds! Not only can it save your life, but it might lower your BP too just listening to nature.

nrhatch - March 13, 2019

Good point, Jill. If there’s a car sneaking up on me, I want to hear it in time to take evasive action!

Even in the preserves, where cyclists and walkers don’t have to share the pathway with cars, I like to hear what’s going on around me even if the only sound is the sound of silence . . .

Jill Weatherholt - March 13, 2019

I think the years of working for the police department have made always on guard! 🙂

nrhatch - March 13, 2019

No doubt.

L. Marie - March 14, 2019

Great point, Jill!

3. anotherday2paradise - March 13, 2019

I agree with you, Nancy. I don’t know how anyone riding on the road can be safe if they can’t hear what’s going on around them. Walking out in nature, I wouldn’t dream of trying to listen to my music and bird calls at the same time. Now, the gym is a different kettle of fish entirely for me. My AirPods keep me happy on the treadmill and drown out the sound of chatter around me as well as the gym’s choice of music which isn’t great. 😃

nrhatch - March 13, 2019

Inside, music inspires me to keep moving! Outside, there is ample inspiration all around.

4. rivergirl1211 - March 13, 2019

As much as I love listening to music, I can’t abide walking with earbuds. As for running with them? I think we all know I don’t run!

nrhatch - March 13, 2019

Running is not for me . . . no more! 😆

5. colonialist - March 13, 2019

Running like that reminds me of attending the theatre with a blindfold. You are there, but you miss most of the action.

nrhatch - March 13, 2019

Good analogy, Col. Multi-tasking is often at odds with “being present.”

6. Tippy Gnu - March 13, 2019

I don’t know how people can concentrate with those things on. I tried them at work once. It just added to my stress and distracted me into screwing up. I’ll take the sounds of nature, or a supervisor cussing someone out in the background, any day.

nrhatch - March 13, 2019

I’m with you, TG. Instrumental music playing in the background doesn’t kill my concentration, but wearing headphones of any kind is too intrusive for me if I want to do my “best” thinking.

7. Perpetua - March 14, 2019

It would wear out my eardrums and missed the sound of the wind. No thanks.

nrhatch - March 14, 2019


8. L. Marie - March 14, 2019

Yes, I have noticed. But what I also have noticed is that people have walked in front of cars because they were so engrossed in their rhythm or their music or whatever, that they paid no attention to their environment. A woman with earbuds who was so in the zone that she dashed in front of my moving vehicle narrowly escaped, thanks to the braking system of my car. She was not at a crosswalk. Also she never checked for cars. She just ran out into the street.

nrhatch - March 14, 2019

That’s it. You’re not really focused on WHERE you are and WHAT you are doing because you’re listening to something removed from the moment unfolding in front of you.

Glad that your brakes worked!!!

9. Debra - March 14, 2019

What an interesting observation, Nancy. I do like to be outdoors without any listening devices to distract me. I learned the hard way. Talking on the phone while walking, with ear bud in place, I took a misstep and landed in the emergency room requiring stitches. I learned a valuable lesson, however, and now when I take a lovely walk or enjoy the outdoors I don’t bother trying to multitask. I’m not very good at it. LOL!

nrhatch - March 15, 2019

Ouch! Did that happen as an ambulance was driving by . . . or am I thinking of someone else?

Thanks for the gentle reminder from your school of “hard knocks”, Debra. No More Tumbles Please!

10. Val Boyko - March 15, 2019

So true. Keep tuning into nature and the moment instead. Thanks Nancy 💛 around here, the birds are singing their hearts out with the coming of Spring!

nrhatch - March 15, 2019

Being outside is a great place to practice mindfulness ~> being present, remaining awake and aware, tuning in to our senses . . . and listening to the birds!

11. roughwighting - March 15, 2019

I’ve definitely noticed that! When I walk/run/half-hobble, I do so sans accoutrements. I love listening to the wind whistle through the trees, the whistle of the birds, and when I’m lucky enough to be near the ocean, the sigh of the waves. Any (artificial) sound is non-productive!

nrhatch - March 15, 2019

Yes! Most mornings I walk in our neighborhood; your comment reminds me that we’e overdue for an early morning beach walk ~> we go early so we don’t trip over a profusion of spring breakers and snowbirds. 😆

roughwighting - March 15, 2019

Okay, I’m green…..with envy. ;-0

nrhatch - March 15, 2019

This is a good place to be . . . right now. In the summer, it’s a bit “sticky.” 🙄

12. Ally Bean - March 15, 2019

I feel sorry for the babies in the strollers who are being pushed along while their mothers talk on the phone to someone who is not the baby. It seems so wrong to me. Pay attention to that which is immediately around you, not to that which is far away. This would formerly be known as common sense.

nrhatch - March 15, 2019


Your last sentence shows that YOU and common sense have not parted ways. 😀

13. Nowhere Tribune - March 15, 2019

Yeah, any kind of gadget ruins it for me. And I hate it when I’m going to run with a friend, and we have to stand around for 5 minutes waiting for their GPS watch to find our location before we can start. Also, the headphones make you a more likely kidnapping victim!

nrhatch - March 16, 2019

I have yet to have the GPS situation arise ~> thanks for the heads up! And you may be right about the kidnapping (or robbery) ~ criminals are more likely to target someone who seems less aware of his/her surroundings.

14. Behind the Story - March 16, 2019

Every once in a while I think about trying out earbuds when I walk. And then, nope, I immediately nix the idea. I spend enough time reading or watching a screen. It’s better to be quiet and experience where I am.

nrhatch - March 16, 2019

I’m with you 100%, Nicki.

I don’t have a smart phone for the same reason ~ when I step away from my desk, I am “Off Line” (although I do take a tablet when we travel overnight.)

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