On days when I run by myself, it’s not at all uncommon for me to hear music while I’m out there on the roads. Now, when I say ‘hear’ in this particular context, the word is used in a relative sense, as I don’t actually hear anything in my auditory canals. But if there’s a song that for whatever reason is stuck in my head before the run begins, it may carry with me for a while as I traverse the miles. Heck, sometimes I may play it over and over again for the entire run! At other times, a song may strike me along the way, and I’ll find myself playing it quietly in my mind – through the middle portions of a long run, perhaps – and then I will let it go.
But more often than not, it isn’t a song by Chris Daughtry or Maroon 5 or Queen or Moby that presents itself to me when I run (although this would all be great stuff to run to!). Rather, it is the song that plays along gently and naturally amid the metronomic footfalls and purposeful breathing that is part of the running experience itself.
As we run, we can hear the percussionist bang out his beat on the pavement, using our feet as drumsticks for his tom tom or conga. The breath from our lungs provides the sonic tempo with which the oboe player constructs her soft but critical accompaniment. The trilling of birds are the flutes and piccolos of the orchestra, playing their parts of the symphony upon the cue they get from the morning sunlight. At times, the traffic we encounter along the way portrays the brass (and sometimes the violins), as they honk their horns at one another in the delightful key of F. And the harp plays sweetly for us by way of the wind which blows through the highest part of the trees on a warm, breezy afternoon.
And all this happens as the arms pump confidently and meaningfully back and forth, to and fro, as if conducting this grand symphony from the center of the stage, with the whole world as their audience.
Yes indeed my friends, whether you realize it or not, there is a song that plays for us every time we lace up our shoes and head out the door. It matters not whether your run is urban or rural in nature, on a treadmill or in the great outdoors. In each case, the song will be a different one, but the music plays nonetheless. The name of the band you’re listening to is called Running, and the repertoire of this amazing group of musicians knows no bounds.
So the next time you run, don’t forget to listen to the song. It’ll be one you’ve never heard before, but I can promise you this: It’s a good one.