Running and Music

Yesterday, The Tragically Hip saw me through the last hill (and it’s a helluva hill) of my run.  As the song built in intensity, I was inspired to push harder when I could have easily quit and walked.  Today, as I got to the top of that same hill, Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah finished and my run ended up feeling like some deeply inspired religious experience.

I know that some runners can’t do the music thing.  I totally respect their focus–listening to breathing, being “in” the running and all.  But I can’t do that.  I need to be as distracted as possible.  And my tiny little iPod shuffle, on “shuffle,” magically provides a soundtrack that makes me feel thoughtful, nostalgic, worldly, or powerful, all at the right moments.

Now, we can go into the whole “which came first” q & a:  Do I think I need the song because the song happens to come up?  Or does the iPod know what I need?  But I’d rather think of this as some divinely serendipitous culmination of universal forces feeding my body and soul (how’s that for reaching?) just when I need them.

And while the iPod is predisposed to provide me with music I love (I loaded it, after all) sometimes the order of the songs is so perfect that it really feels like it’s sensing my mood and needs.

Regardless of how or why it all works, I’m grateful for that tiny miracle of music that in all my wildest dreams I couldn’t have dreamed.  Who from the Sony Walkman days could have thought that something as tiny as an iPod Shuffle could provide something so necessary?  I can’t even imagine running without it.  Running without an iPod would be like starting my day without coffee.  I just wouldn’t.  Running changed my life and my iPod made it first tolerable and eventually something I can’t do without.

And so, to the music that fuels me and the tiny device that brings it to me, thank you.


2 responses to this post.

  1. I’m with you, Lori! I’ll never forget how the first song that came up on my iPod when I ran the Philly Marathon was “The Distance” by Cake. That was one of my best races ever and I think a large part of that was because my iPod offered up the perfect song to get me started. =)


  2. Posted by Joel on June 21, 2010 at 12:41 am

    I second that! I have a cycling mix of approximately 50-60 songs and, while I created it, it provides the right mix depending on how the legs feel. Serendipity? Seren-iPod-ipity? Perhaps


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