Whenever I first started running, music was what helped my feet keep up with my brain. I was addicted to the same soundtrack on my iPod, and would listen to it EVERY TIME I RAN! (13 going on 30) If I made it to a certain song, then I would always know how far I had run. Anything past that song was bonus points!! ( "I wanna dance with somebody" by Whitney Houston. I don't know what it was about that song, but it definitely made me want to dance while I was running...and I DID dance while I was running! I am sure I looked absolutely ridiculous running in my parents' neighborhood, LSU lakes, and Town lake in ATX just flailing my arms around like a dummy while jamming out to the song.)
My First Capitol 10K (Yes, we are going back there again! I have a good reason... really)
I was so proud that I made it to the start line of my very first 10K and did not even think about what kept these big skis of mine moving: my iPod! I had completely forgotten my iPod and did not think I could run the race without it! How was I going to keep my drive and determination without my precious music?? This was the first day that I realized what my body really sounded like while I was running... I'm not going to lie, it was a little scary! Heart beating at unknown speeds, air pumping through my lungs with my mind thinking I just couldn't get enough of that oh-so-precious Oxygen to keep myself going, body throbbing from my blood flowing through my body, and my mind in a new world of reality that I was not sure I wanted to be in. Things get a lot more realistic when you don't have music! ...I was not ready for that!
From then on, I have tried to make 50% of my runs without music. I did not want to be in that state of shock again, and I wanted to learn to listen to my body. It is amazing how much more "in-tune" you can be with your body without music and just observing your surroundings. Another reason I make myself run without music sometimes is due to the fact that some races forbid you to wear headphones for your own safety!
Okay, but lets be even more realistic: There is nothing like that feeling of running to your favorite jams, letting your mind go absolutely mindless and just let your body run with the wind... taking in the air, pushing yourself past your limits, and not freaking out because you can't really hear your body! Music is the center of my world. Without it, I think I would not have feelings. Seriously, there is so much passion, love, and meaning to music.
I recently read a poem by Gregory J. P. Godek who put it best: