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Monday, November 5, 2012

The 'No TV Experiment'

When I moved to my new place last April,  I made the decision to not to have a TV. It would be the first time ever that I would live in a place without a television....weird. Not that I was a huge TV junkie anyways, but I did enjoy having something on in the background while I was working on the computer (usually Sports Centre) and there was a brief period when I was somewhat addicted to reality shows (specifically and shamefully, the Bachelorette).

Given the fact that during the summer I spend most of my time at the golf course, I figured I wouldn't miss the TV too much. I also decided that any down time I did happen to have could be put to productive use by chipping away at the pile of books that had accumulated on my nightstand over the past two years. I enjoy reading and by eliminating TV from my life, I would have just the time I needed to get back into it. And, just like that, the 'No TV Experiment' was born....

Well, the first thing that happened was that I suffered minor withdrawals from not watching Sports Centre on TSN. I especially missed my dose of Jay Onrait in the mornings - he is one of my favourite sportscasters. I even got to meet him last year and he is just as funny and adorable in person as he is on TV!
What I've been doing
when I have spare time

Just when I was starting to get accustomed to my 'no TV' life, it was time for the Summer Olympic Games. That was tough...I am normally glued to the television night and day during the Olympics but not this time...Instead, I watched highlights now and then on my tiny iPhone screen. Go Canada.

Once the Olympics were over, however, my plan began to work and when I was home with a bit of spare time, I began to read. And read some more. Just like magic, it didn't take long for me to finish reading that large stack of books on the nightstand.

I have mostly been reading nerdy books about sport science and how to deal with people. Here is a list of some not-so-nerdy books I've also recently read that the average person might also enjoy:

Open - the autobiography of pro tennis player Andre Agassi (one of the best books I have ever read)
Cornered - Hockey Analyst Ron McLean's book
Making Contact by John Hindle
The Business of Being an Athlete by Australian Olympic Gold Medallist, Kerri Pottharst
Waking Up to Your Habits by Deri Latimer
When Enlightening Strikes by Stephanie Staples

Ideal location for new TV
if hockey season ever starts!
Not surprisingly, I have learned something from each of the books I have read which, in itself, means that the 'No TV' Experiment has been a successful endeavour. I'm not sure how much I would have learned if I had followed another season of the Bachelorette instead!

It has now been 6 months for me with no TV and this is where the experiment has taken an interesting twist...I made a deal with myself that if I could last the whole summer without a television and finish all my books, that I could invest in a nice new flat screen in time for the NHL season (it was bad enough I missed the Olympics - there was no way I was missing hockey season too!).

Unfortunately, the early portion of the NHL hockey season has already been cancelled as the players and owners cannot seem to agree on contract terms and remain in a stubborn state of negotiation.

So here I sit, with no TV, waiting for the NHL strike to end...I guess I had better head to the library!