by: Barbara DeMarco-Barrett
Tell me about your show.
Off The Couch is about introducing people to ways of pursuing active lifestyles. I invite guests to be ambassadors of their sport, or activity, to sell it, tell us how to get into it, and offer a few pointers. I’ve been focused a bit on running, but will branch out as my new time slot (Fridays, from 5-5:30PM), allows for more guests to make time for interviews.
What inspired you to start it?
At first, I wanted to do a show in which I shared witty banter with other co-hosts about the day’s events. But the commute to the class took me on the bikeways, where I was among cyclists and runners. Many were elite, some were just starting out. I’d cheer those just huffing and puffing through the first weeks of getting off the couch. Others did, too. They did it for me when I started. It occurred to me that I’m not always witty, but I can’t stop cheering for that lady I see every week on the bikeway going, quite literally, that extra mile.
How were your first weeks behind the board? (Inside joke)
It was um… you know… um….. [30 seconds of dead air]. I’m sorry, I… um… pushed the wrong button… um… It was perfect, and went off without a hitch. All I know is, I wasn’t under the table, in the fetal position, rocking back and forth, mumbling something intelligibly. Anyone that… um… tells you different is… um… lying.
So far, what has been your favorite show?
I had some LARPers, from UCI on the show. They are a married couple, who actually were voted as having the most interesting wedding in Orange County. Talking about the sport of Live Action Role Playing, was fun, but it was how they reacted like an old married couple, that was endearing.
What KUCI shows do you listen to (music/PA)?
Of course, I love Writers on Writing, and Roots and Riddims. I’ll tune into World Without Words. I love the instrumentals. I’m taken aback as to how good the new show Convos at the Counter is. I try to listen to more shows, more often, as I just happened to pick up on the last airing of a really good music show last quarter. I missed out.
What other stations/shows do you like?
Jack FM, KROQ, KLOS. I used to listen to Mark and Brian, a lot. They’re gone. I miss them. I run, listening to Jack FM, or KLOS. Sometimes I hear songs that wouldn’t be my first pick for including in a workout playlists, but end up being just the thing to get moving.
What do you hope listeners get from your show?
I hope they can find an activity for which they are passionate. It doesn’t have to be my favorite, or even one I like a little. I love it when someone picks up on running 5Ks and has to tell me about it. But, it can be LARPing, broomball, cycling, or martial arts. Just considering so much to do in this area that is so much more interesting than sitting on the couch is great. I also hope that they encounter some of the same people as I have doing this show.
Why is it so important to get up off the couch, especially if you're pretty comfy there?
Hey, couches are great when recovering from a workout. But you’re missing out on our great weather, scenery, and people when you sit on the couch.
What if you don't like to exercise?
Never say never. You will grow to like it. I’m bringing on new guest hosts who will help me find activities that have flown under my radar, and which I can’t see myself doing yet will appeal to others. I get in my exercise when I don’t know that I’m exercising. I might be sucking for air, and tired as heck, but I’m also having a lot of fun. That’s why I look for activities that engage a person’s interests, not just exercise for the sake of exercise.
Is exercise a habit you can create, or do you either have it or you don't?
You have to get to a point where you see a payoff to keep going. But you also need other reasons to get you going when you really don’t feel like moving. It can be that your dog really needs to go outside, or you haven’t seen your running buddy in a while, and the track misses you.
What's one thing you've never told anyone?
“Let’s stream Pretty in Pink on Netflix.”
In closing, what's one thing about you that would surprise us listeners (other than you stream Pretty in Pink?
I lost 90 lbs. in about two years. It got to a point where I started looking a little scary, so I put some back on.
Barbara DeMarco-Barrett is host of “Writers and Writing” Wednesdays at 9 a.m. PT. She is founder of the Pen on Fire Writers Salon and author of Pen on Fire. Her story, “Crazy for You,” is anthologized in Orange County Noir (Akashic, 2010). More at penonfire.com. If you’re a KUCI DJ or Public Affairs host, and wish to be featured in this spot, email email Barbara .