My children are Philistines to my cultured 80s musical ears. They care little for my playlists when they see the album covers that include really high hair, men wearing lipstick and strange arm dancing.
I don't really listen to what they listen to. I do monitor it, and I know it's not "bootylicious." There's no bumping and grinding going on. I mean I hear it and I know they like it but it all sounds the same to this old lady. Autotune and really obnoxious harmony and a lot of fluff. But whatever. They can like what they like. I remember teasing my parents for their out of the closet love for Roberta Flack. Yeah.
So, when I run, I celebrate, because I can listen to whatever I want. If I want to play one song on loop gosh darnit, I will. Sometimes, when I run, I sing a few words. Out loud. Imagine!
Saturday I went for a nice long run and I had it all set up.The perfect running playlist. All my favorites, hand pecked to cheer me on and distract my mind. Started out with a little Adele, because her voice is smooth and rich and makes me feel invincible. Next up, "Desire" by U2. This is the perfect song. For anything.
I won't bore you with the entire playlist but in my little head, I connect with these songs. They make the miles pass by unimpeded by thoughts of how flipping hard it is. My head goes into the music and Freddie Mercury is suddenly reminding me that I'm the champion. The champion! Bono, in his gorgeous rasp of a voice tells me we're one. He says we have to carry each other. This alone is enough for my mind to focus not on running.
Matt and Kim, well, they kind of get on my nerves because they come on at the end of the run, and they tell me "don't slow down." This causes two reactions. One, it pumps me up. Two it makes me want to slow down. I don't like people telling me what to do. Then, and I'm a tiny bit embarrassed to admit this, I simply must hear Christina' Aguilerra's "Fighter." Talk about invincible. That song is like a kick in the teeth to all the junk we carry around. Listening to that song at the end of my run makes me feel faster, lighter, and stronger.
When I arrive back at my front step, stretching out the old calves, I've done something important. Something good for myself. Something no one can take from me. Something I gave myself, and will give again. And the music I take with me is like another part of that treat. Isn't that what art is supposed to do? To call us out of ourselves and into the world. To be enjoyed once and again. To be plumbed for depths, to skate along the surface.
At some point I will need to make a new playlist. For now, I'm rocking and running with this one and loving every mile.