When I began running on the streets of San Francisco, I took out my ear buds and hit the pavement free of electronics. It’s not that I don’t like music, I LOVE MUSIC, it’s just that I don’t particularly want to make a wrong step in the middle of Back in Black only to find myself in the hospital and out of the running for becoming America’s Next Top Model. I want to have all my senses available on the road to listen for cars, hear my breath, and be awake to traffic light changes.
I ran around town for hundreds of miles leading up to the marathon. Hours and hours of my life ticked by with my lungs filling and my legs moving and the sweat saturating one bandana after another. Running. And all that time, just my mind to keep me company. It was an incredible way to get to know myself anew, a person in an immersive endeavor, a durational undertaking I have no talent for. It has been some of the best time I’ve ever spent with myself even with all the pain, the sunburns, the failures and the nausea. I had so much time to observe my brain doing all the little dances it does: on a good day I could see the Samba of Support, a kind of cheerleader for me, or a long Waltz of Compassion after I’d run down the grudges of resentment. These things are heavy to carry, literally, and running 50 miles a week is a good way to discover their true weight.
After the race, which I finished gracelessly, slowly, and yet in complete bliss and triumph, I took many months off the road, came back to movement slowly. I now split my time between the gym and the road, right now heavier on the gym. And since there are no cars there, I re-employed beloved music into my exercise practice. I thought maybe we could talk playlists. Great.
He likes Slayer.
Here’s some of my highlights.
1. They played this song at the starting line of the marathon so I think about that every time I hear it. I also think about the San Francisco Giants’ Championship Season. But mostly, I still think about Tony.
2. Beyonce – Check On It
3. M.I.A. – Paper Planes
4. Kyuss – Hurricane
5. Hall and Oates – Rich Girl
6. Wolf Parade – Shine A Light
7. NSync – Bye Bye Bye
8. Wiz Khalifa – Black and Yellow
9. Shirley Ellis – The Clapping Song
10. Public Enemy – Bring the Noise
The playlist goes on and on.
But how does yours go?
Help me change it up some, wouldja?