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After I stop recording: The conversations after the podcast recording is switched off

It feels a bit odd to talk about ‘what you could have heard’. I wish I could have shared it.

I tell my guests on the Resilience Rising Podcast that I aim for 45 minutes. I didn’t do any market research for the optimum length of a podcast, but I decided that after a bit of faff to get the microphones sorted, and to say bye to the guest, it would mean I would only be asking then for an hour of their time. Even that feels very impudent at times. Thinking of an hourly rate some of my guests would charge, I often feel tentative even asking for that much of their time and approaching them.

For example, when I was interviewing Becca Harvey about her swimming and complex PTSD, I looked down and saw the recording time was well over an hour. I had wanted to ask more, especially about how she had coped with her months of injury, but she said a beautiful piece about us all having good days and bad days that it seemed a perfect place to finish the recording.

It feels an awkward pause after I thank my guest and say bye for the recording. It’s a bye but they are still there. Sometimes my guests understandably must rush off, sometimes it turns to a longer goodbye after I stop recording, with maybe an idea when I will publish an episode. But sometimes guests, particularly those I know, linger and we can talk further. Some have wanted to know the practicalities of starting a podcast, others we talk about personal projects and plans, sometimes something that couldn’t be said on the recording.

I wish I could share ALL of the conversations that happen after I have stopped recording, they can reveal more than the interview. From the confident guest that doesn’t have the confidence to start their own podcast, the books unwritten, the dreams not yet realised.

I have occasionally actually left the desk recording, not intentionally, but in the earlier days I used to record the Zoom video too, as a back up and only switched that one off. I would never use any of recording after we had ‘finished’ the episode as it would seem immoral to me, and in any event, I accidentally wiped my memory card (a story for another time) so I don’t have all those full raw recordings anymore.

I wanted to share a little bit about the conversation I had with Becca Harvey after her episode but really from my side.

We got on to talking about swimming and social media. I really love the community of swimming, but while I tend to swim alone or with one other, I found myself sharing a photo or video from EVERY swim on my Instagram… why was I doing this? I wasn’t sure. I love the idea of encouraging or empowering others to safety get outside and swim. On the other hand, I found setting my GoPro camera up distracting for me. It took something away from the swim. I would often get back into the water without a camera for a second swim and enjoy it more, no worrying about what I looked like, who was around, being much more present.

Cold water became a part of my recovery post knee replacement. I would ice my knee too, but in those early spring days, after my wound had healed enough, immersion in the water would help both the physical symptoms of my knee swelling, but also be such a boost mentally too. I didn’t take photos or videos or share on social media.

It brought me to think about what and why I post at all. I have made some amazing deep connections via social media, and been inspired myself by some of the people I follow. However, there have also been so many times it hasn’t served me. It’s been the reminder of everyone out healthy and running, while I was bedbound or in pain. It’s been comparing my life with the highlight reel of everyone else, who seemed to be travelling more, having more time off, a shiny life than the one I had. After my osteoarthritis diagnosis, when I knew I wouldn’t be running any more, I unfollowed all the runners on social media that I found posting about how good their runs were. It helped so much. I filled the space with non-runners, showing me their allotments, or pottery, or anything else that inspired me.

I found a balance in my own posting. No pressure to post anything, but especially not every swim. I found myself sharing fewer activities like that.

That was one of the conversations that lingered with me after I had stopped recording. The podcast came about because of the story I told myself that everyone was coping better with adversity than me. I thought I would get a plan of what I should be doing differently. Instead I come away with a different story, that resilience isn’t about not feeling the adversity, and I am doing better than I gave myself credit for. The bigger takeaway, that I wasn’t expecting, was that by sharing out vulnerability, our tough times, I have come away with connections and friends and conversations that last well beyond the moment I press record.

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