One thing to know about me. I don’t listen to music when I run. Not even for the marathon. I don’t listen to it when I drive the 12 hours back to my boyhood hometown. Both for the same reason: I have a lot of mind-clearing to do. For me running is a conversation between personal aims and physical limits. I think those two adversaries should have the floor rather than Lil John, JZ, Katy Perry or Beyonce. But I know it isn’t that way for many, and for others, running is intolerable altogether without tunes. Different strokes for different folks; live and let live; run and let run. This is just my own eccentric view, one no doubt in the minority. Make no mistake, though, I do love music. Anyone who truly knows me, knows this to be true. Even if you don’t know me well, I think it soon becomes self-evident. I like this song EZ chose. The rock-n-roll instrumentation is light-hearted and playful in spite of its plaintive lyrics. Ironically, I think it would be a great running song (if I ran with music), especially coming on during the last half-mile of the run.
I guess with me running has led to a reversal in the so-called “the traditional roles.” Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad? Why, huh? “That’s alright,” I say to the notion of running…”I can *change* you.” Well, it’s no surprise that, as in most other cases when those words are uttered, it’s soon proven untrue. You don’t have to flip to the back of the book to figure out it was *me* that got changed. Laugh if you want.
After the most recent Bull City run I completed, I said, “This atmosphere is awesome!” as I took part in some rather juvenile humor with my buddy Wayne on that brisk fall morning (let’s just say all those rolling hills of Durham move more than a runner’s spirit.) The atmosphere, the weather and being done were awesome. But those hills…ooooh-wee, man. Oooh-wee! Don’t get me wrong: I think I ran a solid race. Aww, but Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad? There were giggles at the end, for sure. But wouldn’t it be great if there were some in the middle, too. If I could literally, not figuratively (that’s no fun) shut out the pain and tap into comedy gold at 6 minutes per mile. Giggles, man. And guffaws. In reality, eeking out that last 10 percent of effort in sports and in life endeavors is more like the lyrics here…what’s wrong with my broken heart, Baby? I can do it no better… As for me, that’s what I tell myself anyway. Until the next time. “I can *change* you.”
Truth is, sometimes like many other folks I know, I’m a bit modest about how hard it actually is to achieve my fitness goals. I never go with the hard-sell, and prefer the light touch and light-hearted approach. I’ve never been one to tell people what to do. I can only tell what I’ve been through. Like or no like, reciprocity, no reciprocity. I put in that work(out) to get those dividends. I put in that sweat to get those results. On and on. So you know next time you hear me kidding, and saying I ran this past weekend, if I say I took a beating, just know that however it actually went down, I did push through. Jokesters gonna joke… I Play the Fool When We’re Together. I Cry When We’re Apart. Putting in that work. BUT if I ever break character and come off sounding as if attaining that runner’s spirit is easy, just know that in that last half-mile I surely and many times have thought, Why You Wanna Do This to Me? I’m trying to love ya.