It’s funny how ‘the right song’ comes on at a time when you need it most.
I recently set out on a six-mile course which I knew would have two big hills more than half way thru. With a good three miles behind me, I looked ahead at the first one and thought “Whoa, Newport all over again.” But the night before I’d downloaded a few new tunes, and so when ‘Lose Yourself’ popped up randomly, I had just what I needed in my head to make my legs do the work. A year ago, I probably would have walked the hill, sure that it would be too hard. Instead, I let the song be my guide while my stronger legs [courtesy of eight months of personal training!] pushed me up over the top. And the good thing about running up hills is that you come down the other easier side.
In the summer of 2007, my emotions swung wildly between continuing hope and positivity to growing fear and negativity. Me being me, I struggled to push the latter away, although there were times alone with myself that I came close to losing it. I recall one time driving alone in the car, and ‘Move Along’ by All American Rejects popped up:
“When all you got to keep is strong…Move along, move along like I know you do… And even when your hope is gone…Move along, move along just to make it through.”
If that song wasn’t me then, I don’t know what was. Through the ensuing weeks as Mark got sicker, I would always find a way to stay strong and dig deep like a hill challenge, pushing on for him.
Starting my training for his first 5k the next winter, I was working out one Friday night on the gym treadmill, trying to build up endurance before hitting the open road. After some [boring] time on the treadmill, as I was convincing myself to pack it in [because it’s boring!], I looked across the cardio deck floor towards the row of TVs. One of the Gilda’s Club promotional spots was running, so I wondered whose face I would be seeing. And it was Mark’s 60-seconds of fame thru cancer.
At that moment, The Violent Femmes’ ‘Prove My Love’ came up on my ipod: “What do I have to do to prove my love to you? I’d do anything, I’d do it all , I’d do it all for you , I’d climb a mountain, I’d cross the ocean, I’d do it all to prove my love to you.” Rather than quit, I pounded that treadmill, spooked just a little from that ‘Instant Karma’ moment.
Three years later, I still love running with a good song pounding in my head. Much of my song mix is simply good workout tuneage, while some of it connects me to people and places. Sometimes I smile, sometimes I cry…it’s all good.