There are two things Denise Lewis does better than almost anyone in the UK: athletics… and not looking at her phone all the time.
The Olympian, who won gold in the heptathlon at the Sydney 2000 Games, is the host of a new Google-powered podcast. Tetheredthat explores the benefits and joy of focusing on a sport, task, or challenge—rather than the phone.
And she really is the best person to present it.
A new study by the tech giant found that UK adults’ phone addiction is worse than ever, with 35% of mobile phone owners rarely being more than a few inches from their device and 17% saying they can go no more than 20 minutes without looking at their phone watch. Shockingly, 16% can’t even go half an hour without checking their device.
The stats are just amazing (and certainly familiar to most of us), but Denise has managed to form and maintain a very healthy, no-fuss relationship with her phone, using it sparingly to plan trips, look up recipes, and for small, intentional moments when you check social media. She even goes on regular dog walks without headphones and chooses to hear the sounds of nature and her four-legged friend instead of listening to a playlist.
Denise tells women health: “I think it gives you the headspace to think. I just like to inhale. just go. Listen and don’t speak, except for the dog. i like silence I’m actually wondering if that has anything to do with my being able to have laser focus because I was an athlete. It could be partly generational. It might be partly because I’m an only child, I’m pretty happy in my own space.’
And while it’s certainly impressive that Denise can happily flit around without wanting her phone right next to her, it still poses some challenges.
She laughed, “I keep misplacing it. So I’m usually running around trying to find it, so having a wearable like my Google Pixel watch helps me. Then when I need to check an alarm or the time, I can just look down and quickly move on, as opposed to that ridiculousness I do when I’m fumbling for my phone.
Tethered will see Denise accompanied by five guests who have achieved brilliant things through focus and persistence, and she hopes hearing about her journeys and how “unbound” by other people’s opinions, past self-limiting beliefs, or cultural nuances will make the pod one inspiring listening for people who want to wean themselves from their smartphones and pursue a new challenge or routine.
“I’d like to compare it to a five-premises kind of couch,” she said. “But the end goal is just to get involved in an activity that you like, where you can enjoy listening but still feel free.”
Click here to listen Tethered with Denise Lewis now on Spotify
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