Ryan Thomason

Geek Dad Report: I Heard a Bird

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Ok, yes, that may sound rather insignificant but let me explain.

I know I’ve already done a review of the Aftershokz headphones, but I had another experience while wearing them that I felt warranted another posting about it. As I keep saying about myself here on this site, I’m going Deaf and Blind from a degenerative disease called Usher Syndrome. Read previous articles for details.

Something that always had me on edge about running outside is a couple of factors. One, I don’t like my hearing aids getting sweaty, it used to make my old ones get clicky (resulting in so many times growing up with kid, paranoia that I broke expensive devices that mom and dad were going to shun/disown me for breaking). Generally speaking, breaking $6000 dollars worth of critical hearing devices isn’t at the top of my list of things I want to do now. Two, I don’t like running on sidewalks, I’m a side of the road/grass/path type. That means, if my hearing aids are out, or ear buds in (canceling all noise everywhere but the music) I won’t hear the noise and will most likely get in some form of accident.

It...wasn't QUITE like this, maybe I just wanted to use a 'The Birds' image.

It…wasn’t QUITE like this, maybe I just wanted to use a The Birds image.

So, I’ve been running outside with the Open Ear headphones from Aftershokz. Damn, it’s a whole new experience. For the first time I can think, during a run, and listening to some The Protomen ‘Act II’ I heard the tweeting of a bird that made me cock my head and look up in the tree. I stopped. That had never happened to me before that I could think of. Granted, I’ve seen a bird startle me in the my path (yeah, my vision is just as bad). Then, a little bit later into my run I heard a car coming up behind me, without even having to look back or shoot to the side from seeing a car come out of nowhere behind me, I slid to the shoulder far in advance. Stopped, and watched the car go by. That had never happened before either. Twice in the same run, I had completely new experiences in my hearing during an outside run because my hearing aids were in (thankfully the headphones arms keep them from getting sweaty) AND I was blasting some music to boot.

Yes, you may think this is a weird thing to write about as a Thirty-One year old adult, but this geek is just getting into running and especially running outside. It’s a big ass world out there and I’ve got more listening to do as I run through it. You all should be joining me.

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