For a while now, I have wanted to to a blog on how running without music is sooooo much better than running with music. I had my argument all ready to post, and was quite sure that I would be able to convince others to drop their ipods. But, being the (wannabe) journalist that I am, I thought that only a “real” journalist would test out both sides of an argument before coming to a complete conclusion as to which side was better.
So…yesterday, on my way out the door, I spotted my 7-year old daughter’s pink ipod shuffle on the counter, and grabbed it. Thankfully she was on the front porch, and I was able to ask her for instructions on how to clip it on. I new how to work it, but allowed her to give me a brief tutorial before I went out. (I’m really not that old, just old-fashioned 😉 )
Now, before I tell you exactly how it went, I want to give you a bit of a background as to why I have never before run with music:
First off, I love music! I am a sucker for that mid/late 90’s Grunge/Alternative music. I like bands like “Live,” “The Cranberries,” “No Doubt,” “Blues Traveler,” “Counting Crows,” and “Collective Soul” to name a few. Although I have found these music groups to be great company in the car or blasting throughout my house, I have never thought of them as good running company.
Running has always been my solace–my time to be at one with my own thoughts and with nature. I never wanted someone else’s thoughts and words to be in my mind when I was trying to think. I love hearing the sounds of birds singing and rustling in the trees, wind blowing, water running. I also like setting my own pace by timing my legs and arms with the rhythm of my breathing. The thought of closing off my ears to these things, just didn’t seem right.
Then there is the safety issue. As we all know, there are things and people out there who are not so kind. I have been chased by terrible dogs before, and had I had earphones on, I would have never heard the dog come up on me, and would not have turned around in time to defend myself. There was also a time when a friend and I were being stalked by a man, and again, if earphones were in our ears, things could have ended badly. I feel safer when all of my senses are aware and awake…this is also why I carry mace :/. Here is a link to a great handheld mace for running, by the way.
These are my reasons for not running with music….pretty good reasons, I think.
You can imagine, now, what an undertaking this was for me to put in those ear phones. I made sure to pick a run that I was very familiar with, and that I knew was really pretty safe. At first it was a little weird, but I quickly got into a groove with Amberlin’s song A Whisper and a Clammor (one of my son, Anderson’s favorite songs). I was feeling pretty good.
Once I got on the dirt trail, there were a couple of songs in a row that I wasn’t all too familiar with, but that had a good beat. This is where I suggest that you are familiar with the songs on your playlist, because when a strange man’s voice starts talking in the background, and you hear sirens, loud helicopters, and even loud booms, you get a little jumpy. There was also the fact that in between songs, the earphones being in my ears magnified the sound of my breathing, which was also kid on eery.
I lucked out, though when I got to the hill, The All American Rejects’, Move Along came on, and helped me right through it. As I was on the home stretch, U2’s”I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” came on, which was fitting, because I was really ready to get home and end the experiment…no joke!
All-in-all not a terrible experience, although I still prefer being able to think, breathe and be aware of the sounds around me. I may do it again. We’ll see.
I want to know what my readers think. Music? No music? Why?