About 6 months ago I decided to spend some time getting into shape. For the past few years, like a lot of people, I’d eaten too much and worked out way too little.
I do get out and photowalk quite a bit (which is great exercise) but I needed something a little more strenuous to get into the shape that I wanted. So I started spending some time in the pool.
The good news is that after swimming a little over a mile a day, four days a week, for 6 months I’ve lost about 25 pounds. I also feel like I’m in the best health of my life. I like swimming because I find that I get a great resistance based cardiovascular work out that is not too jarring on my body that most importantly gives me some great alone time to decompress and think. Mostly when I swim I think about my life and my photography. I think about things I need to shoot. Places I need to go. Ways that I need to better organize my library, etc.
And then there are the tunes. I’m something of a digital music fanatic. With over 100,000 mp3s in my library I’m pretty much constantly listening to music. Listening to music at home on my Media Center PC and XBox 360 extenders. Listening to music on the way to and from work and while photowalking on my iPhone. Listening to music pretty much anyplace I can.
So I was very interested in trying out the Finis Underwater MP3 Player. My wife bought me the player for my birthday last year and all I can say is that it rocks. I’ve been using the player for about the past 6 months and having my tunes underwater with me makes the work out that much more enjoyable.
Listening to music underwater takes some getting used to at first. There are no ear buds to stick in your ears and the sound quality overall isn’t anywhere near as good as my iPhone, but… it still is super cool to be able to hear my music underwater.
The Finis model that I have is last year’s model which has 128 MB of storage. Not a lot, but certainly enough room to fit an entire work out on the unit. The new model has double the memory so you can fit about 2 hours worth of high quality mp3s on it. The unit doesn’t take batteries, but rather charges via a USB cable connected to your computer. I’ve used it with both my Mac and my PC. I find that if I charge the unit for about 2 hours on my computer I can get maybe 3 days worth of work out from it. It uses these pads to actually vibrate the music into your bone. My unit came with a nice pair of goggles and is pretty easy to use. Simply strap the goggles on your head and the player’s controls are at the back of your head while you wear it. There is a volume up and down button, a skip forward and back button, and an on and off button.
Sometimes I listen to podcasts on my Finis, but mostly I listen to tunes. I’ve come to appreciate bands and artists in a whole new way when listening to them underwater. Some of my favorite underwater music? Sigur Ros, Feist, Tom Petty, Ween, X, The Wallflowers have a hidden track on one of their CDs called “Baby Bird,” that sounds *amazing* underwater. I find that having the music on underwater helps my workout go faster and helps keep my mind in a thinking zone. Overall I’m happy with this player and thought I’d pass my experience along for any of you swimmers out there.