The fundamentals of listening: part 1

So, I am the first to admit that I am obsessed with listening to podcasts. I mean recently it has been difficult to balance listening to Ed Sheeran's new album with my incessant need to fill my head with stories but frankly I am in-between jobs, so I am coping. 

I mean, I would say that I am the same as most people when it comes to listening. When I am mega stressed out I can rarely focus on anything other than zombie-like staring at the poor soul sitting opposite me on the tube but sometimes I thrive on podcasts. 

Thanks to Timbre and Instagram I have found so many wonderful things to listen to recently, stories that are truly engaging, emotive and (usually) fun! Last week I was listening to my favourite and most outrageous podcast, RISK! - who's tagline is "true stories they never thought they would dare to share" when the host, Kevin Allison recommended "Missing Richard Simmons". A new podcast about the public disappearance of Richard Simmons, a much loved fitness guru. Honestly, I binged all the available episodes in a day. It is just so damn fascinating, pardon my language. 

The story follows filmmaker Dan Taberski, who was a friend of Richard's and who seems to be genuinely baffled about the disappearance of his friend. But the essence of the podcast is about a man who was vivacious, bubbly and fun suddenly, and without telling anyone he was close to, just decided to be a recluse and to not come out of his Beverly Hills mansion. Isn't that just nuts?! 

Also please, I urge everyone to watch this video of Richard because he is 

a) insane

b) amazing 

c) my spirit animal 

d) "i don't know where i am"

And also because 

"number one love yourself and have a lot of self worth"

I mean who is this guy? I hadn't ever heard of him until this podcast. But I love his energy, he is captivating me. I know he could help me lose ten pounds. But apparently, after forty years of being this fun loving, seemingly happy man - he just disappeared. 

I am also enjoying the new podcast by Alec Baldwin called "Here's the Thing", as he interviews Sarah Jessica Parker, Amy Schumer, Ira Glass, Jerry Seinfeld and other people popular in popular culture at the moment. 

But honestly, it isn't the same as "Missing Richard Simmons" - which is chalk-full of INTRIGUE. Richard was determined to help people, he could transform people through fitness into a healthy mental state. He would show his own vulnerability to his fans, they loved him and emotionally connected with him. As Jonathan Bernstein wrote in his article on Richard in the The Telegraph this month;

"Simmons knew his audience. He’d waddled in their shoes. He told his students his miserable origin story, freeing them to sob their way through their own  dreams of being liberated from their blubbery prisons."

But despite this connection that he had with his fans and followers, something (or perhaps someone) has driven that man to hide himself away, to completely withdraw from any connection with the outside world. 

It's seriously woth a download and a listen. Available right here - let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


Written by Florence Kemp