As I set out to run yesterday, I thought my iPod Shuffle was all set – its battery tends to be pretty remarkable. I wrote about refreshing my playlist for the new season a few days ago, and yesterday I was excited to get out on the gorgeous though slightly chilly Chicago lakefront path to do some more running with Rufus.
But about a mile in, the Shuffle’s battery gave out. This has happened before, of course – I’ve been running for 13 years – but it’s always a grave disappointment. I’m holding these headphones in my ears for one purpose only, and when the music stops I’m just carrying deadweight. Generally I’m able to take it mostly in stride. Yesterday, in fact, I took it as a challenge. I was planning to run 3 miles, but decided the universe needed me to go for four instead.
Prior to beginning to play the violin again, my running accompaniment was really the only music I ever had in my life. But I know that when I don’t run with music, I tend to notice other people more. I see how they are running, what they are wearing, and, being a human animal, I also take note of hotness. I also am more in-tune with my own body – my breath cycles, my stride, trying to maximize the forward trajectory and minimize the upward trajectory of my mass of flesh as it hurtles through space.
I’m going to go up on a soapbox here and say that some people would do well to take the headphones off and engage with other people and themselves more often. Staying in our own heads with our own music all the time is a great way to “other” the rest of humanity. When we “other” humanity, it becomes far easier to do things that only enrich our own narrow perspectives, and those of people similar to ourselves. Stepping off the soapbox now.
For my part, I’ve gone the other direction, living a life with far less musical input than most for the past 20 years, closing myself off to the experiences that many have shared with their fellow humans via their music. Life, at its best, has to be a balancing act! I left the Shuffle charging all last night, so today’s run should provide me with some uninterrupted Rufus and endorphin-fueled bliss. But maybe I need to load it up with Snoop Dogg instead.
Thanks for reading.