A year ago, if you asked me what I listen to on the radio when I’m in my car or streaming online while I workout or running errands, I would have told you SPORTS talk, hands down. No brainer, Sports are my thing, that is me!
If I must be honest, I have probably listened to a total of an hour of sports talk radio in the past 2 weeks.
So what changed?
Well, discovering Theology of the Body was the first. But the second was a strong desire to learn more about my faith. And I found listening to sports talk wasn’t really doing much for me.
Was it entertaining? Sure! Was it fun to listen to? You bet. But clearly, I was yearning for something with a little more substance. I was hungry, starving really, for spiritual radio chatter.
You’re one of those Christian Rock fans?!
Let me first say, before you stop reading, that I was NEVER a fan of Christian music. I couldn’t even name one Christian singer, except maybe Amy Grant.(She still counts right? El Shaddai…El Shaddai…)
I definitely had a bad attitude when it came to “those cheesy and silly songs.”
Take a wild guess as to what I listen to now more than anything else?
Yep, I have crossed over to the dark side of Christian rock. And in it’s defense, it’s not ALL that cheesy. A lot of it is really quite catchy.
One day I was listening to the main Christian station in town and it ran a promo that went something like this:
“People who listen to our station for 30 days in a row report that they have a more positive outlook and are happier.” (I’m paraphrasing).
I didn’t listen to this station religiously (too easy) but I swear, after a month or two I noticed I was in a GREAT mood, especially in the morning on the way to work. I found myself singing along to the best songs and realized I was this happier person than before. And most people who know me really well never associated me with “HAPPY!”
I wasn’t miserable, but I was quite reserved. (This will come as quite a shock to the people I have met this past year. Yes, it’s true, I swear. I was the quiet one for most of my life!)
While the songs were awesome, I still needed more chatter. It wasn’t enough just to hear a few good songs on the way to work. I was craving more than that.
Evangelize thru the Airwaves
Back in the summer while I was in deep with TOB, an AM station called The Rock here in Cleveland had begun. This was an EWTN station meaning they broadcast programming that can be seen on EWTN. This came in handy for me as the Pope made his visit to the US last summer. I couldn’t find any unbiased resource that was covering this as much as EWTN. It was pretty awesome to hear all of his speeches and commentary as he made his way through Philly, DC and NYC.
I quickly discovered that when The Rock wasn’t broadcasting Pope Francis, they had some awesome quality programming from folks that were popular in Catholic media like Teresa Tomeo, Johnnette Benkovic, Fr. John Riccardo and the always fiery Fr. Larry Richards.
And then, one night, I tuned in and heard this interesting show called Catholic Answers Live.
It sounds just like the title. You got questions about the faith? They have the answers. Many times, the host will request non-Catholics to call in with their questions about our faith. It’s really interesting to hear them debate and have real, honest conversations about God, about doctrine, about the sacraments, the Pope, etc. You name it, this show has it. Atheists, Protestants, fallen-away Catholics, all of them call in any given show to find the answers to their most difficult questions.
The Pods Have Arrived
Not too many of us can sit and listen to the radio all day, as much as we would love to. To solve this problem, you gotta get down with podcasts. For those that don’t know, podcasts allow you to listen to a radio program any time you want.
These days, if you want to say something, you can have your own show and record your own podcast about virtually any topic. Back in the day I used to listen to fitness shows and of course, sports talk shows.
So here’s where today’s story comes full circle:
Remember that Christian radio station with the “happy in 30 days” promo that I just mentioned? Brooke was one of the hosts on the morning show at that station when I first started listening.
She is now on her own and has her own podcast called Good Things Radio.
Note to all moms (and Dad’s!) This show is fantastic! But let me mention that you don’t have to be a mom or a dad to appreciate it. Brooke manages to discuss a variety of topics with regards to our Catholic faith as well as everyday life.
The best way to listen to these podcasts? Well, finally, if you’ve been waiting for the FITNESS connection to this post, it should be obvious: Go to the gym (or outside) and listen while you work out! I managed to listen to about 3 of Brooke’s shows while I jogged about 3 miles on the treadmill. So you work up a sweat and get a good auditory workout as well.
A Final Thought….
This journey to listen to good radio and good tunes may, on the surface, appear to be just some information that I’m passing along. But what I would like to convey is that as insignificant as it seems, changing what I listened to (and what I watched on TV which is a whole other post for another time) truly affected my behavior and my outlook on life.
If I listen to songs from my past, sometimes it conjures up images and thoughts and memories that I would rather not remember. Sometimes. And that really affects my behavior. I would get depressed, anxious, sad, angry…not a good look.
Other times I have really great memories and thoughts and that’s wonderful of course!
But I noticed that once I changed to more, for lack of a better term, “easy listening,” I was calmer, relaxed, happier and overall a more positive person.
That’s been the best gift.
And I hope I have successfully passed it on to you.