Friday, December 12, 2008

Doing The Running Man

So I recently began running again, after a semester hiatus. Starting out it felt very unnatural. My feet hit the asphalt as I made loose aligned strides headed to nowhere. I said to myself, "I know you're about to throw up, but don't. The last thing passing motorists want to see, is a jogger fertilizing the beautiful St. Augustine grass that looks like it was manicured by Edward Scissorhands, with pizza and chocolate milk. So I told my stomach not to throw up and it obeyed!

It was nighttime, about 9:35 pm, so many families adorned their houses with Christmas "bling". Behind a massive palm tree, I saw a house that had an inflated Jesus that connected to a wind machine, so it looked like Jesus was doing a wave dance. For some strange reason Jesus' "Step Up" influenced acrobatics reminded remember that I forgot my iPod. For me and many others, listening to music while running is an essential positive influence on the mind. Its like water, we can't run without it--we just can't.

I opened the door to see that my sister and my dad were both watching C-Span.

"Franklin Raines. Franklin Raines! They should feed him to the dogs! All those CEOs, are nothin' but a bunch of low-life crooks!"

Actually, my sister was watching my dad.

I walked into the kitchen and flipped opened my MacBook, opening iTunes. I saw that I had a playlist entitled, "RUNNING." I decided to create a new playlist called, "My feet B Movin'."


Track 1: Tegan and Sara - The Con

I'm all about intensity in running. The music I listen to has to have an intensity that's akin to James Brown's love of fine women, alcohol, and car chases. Tegan and Sara's song "The Con" is a song of intense emotion, the strife one has with a romantic someone. Me I don't care about Tegan and Sara cheating on a girlfriend or vice versa. Unless of course if they are cheating with me, cuz that would be, the SHIT!

I know the song by heart and have been known to sing it to my bathroom tiles on occasion. Running is all about rythm and to sing a song in your head simaltaneously with the singers, really helps me to stay concentrated on keeping my feet inline. Plus the double guitars in the beginning starts off synced then out of nowhere, a bass and some drums! I bet you didn't see that shit coming! Booya Bitch! Lesbian musicianship just punk'd yo' Asics wearing ass!

In addition to this, the simultaneous singing of the two sisters creates a rhythm that's reminiscent of my old high school track chant.

Coach: "We are running, yes we are, we are running to get far. How far?"

Runners (in unison): "REALLY FAR!"

Coach: "How Far?"

Runners (in unison): "ONE MILE!"

Coach: "One mile?"

Runners (in unison) : "TWO MILES!"

Coach: "Two miles?"

Runners (in unison): "THREE MILES!"

Coach: "Three miles? Can you do more than that?"


Track 2: Arcade Fire - Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)

The song is just damn beautiful and, Win Butler's voice accompanying the maniac merriment of the instruments creates the perfect background for a hard foot to asphalt mission. When I listen to the song while running it initially makes me want run as hard as I can--so I do. The lyrics that cause the most reinforcement are:

I went out into the night.
I went out to pick a fight with anyone.
Light a candle for the kids,
Jesus Christ don't keep it hid!

Woohoo! Woohoo! Woohoo!

When you're running competitively, its not just a fight against the 47 year old soccer-mom wearing the Onitsuka Tigers, who's 20 feet in front of you. The true fight is against yourself.

"I have heat heeves, and my shins are splinted like a mutha'. My nose is clogged up like a 7-eleven gas station bathroom. I want to slow down, but I can't."

Track 3: The Chemical Brothers - Galvanize

This track is perfect for running. The strings in collaboration with the drums puts me in the "zone". Q-Tip's rhymes are diabolical as well.

NOTE: Be warned ladies! There is a danger in listening to this song while running. This song's original purpose was to make people dance. There is a high possibility your body will shift from the motion of running to bending down and doing the G5. If this happens don't fret, just continue G5-ing until the song is over.

Track 4: Christopher Cross - Ride Like The Wind

Why am I running? According to Christopher Cross and Michael McDonald I'm running to be free again, and I have a really long time until I get to the border of Mexico. My community college has taught me that Rate x Time = Distance.

Ride Like the Wind x 43.6 minutes = Mexico

Track 5: Booker T & The MG's - Green Onions

I'm sure as many of you all know, there is a point in running when you are at the most placid. You're relaxed and on cruise control. The only thing you're focused on is the path in front of you and possible cars that could hit you. Your arms are striding back in forth in front of you but you don't even notice them. A character in a book I once read said to his grandson, "Remember to always think, never stop thinking."

"Why grandpa?"

"Cuz' when you stop thinking, you stop living."

Its ironic, because what the old man is said is true, but when you're running your hardest, you're not even really conscious, but you feel like you're living life more than you ever have before.

Track 6: Rod Stewart - Young Turks

The song is pretty damn heartbreaking. Hell, life can be heartbreaking. Look at any actor who has appeared in a Uwe Boll film.

In the song these kids have these dreams, so they leave their town to go onto better things. "Young hearts be free tonight". For me and many runners alike, running is a drug, an addiction that is a priority to everyday life. And like many drugs its an escape from all the drudgery and shit that occurred that day. You messed up at work, your girlfriend is a bitch, your parents are fighting--AGAIN, your professor embarrassed you front of the whole class for being late, India and Pakistan are still fighting over Kashmir! Like these kids who left their family in hopes for a better life, running is an escape in which we organize the events in our lives, and at the same discipline out bodies.

Track 7: TV On The Radio - Staring At The Sun

This songs makes me think of my friend Lisa. I had the biggest crush on her back in high school, but she was a lesbian. Of course this gave me unpleasant feelings, but I later on saw Chasing Amy and saw how funny it really was. One of the things I wanted to share with her was running--share something I loved with someone I loved, but she didn't like the idea of water coming out of her pores and getting into her eyes.

"Ew, gross!"

Track 8: Radiohead - Jigsaws Falling in Place

The Radiohead to me is a distant cousin of Miles Davis, both exercise "The Birth of Cool" persona. There is something cool about running. It is a sport in which you rely entirely on yourself. You are your trainer, teammate, and biggest critic. If you make any mistakes, there is no one to blame except yourself. Not your quarterback, or point guard. Well unless some douche bag spits while running and the wind blows it into your face. Fuck!

There is a coolness that comes from a self-governing lifestyle. I guess that's why all those college kids on campus wear Che Guevara shirts.

Track 9: Story of the Year - Until the Day I Die

This song makes me think of Jesus, God, and forgiveness. I'm a Christian, but the older I get it seems that I have less and less time for God. I'm not trying to make a religious statement here, but we all have existentialist thoughts, and this is one of mine. I was taught that Jesus died for our sins.

"Until the day I die
I'll spill my heart for you, for you"

There is something motivating about a man/deity dying for you.

Track 10: Jackson Browne - Runnin on Empty

This is pretty self-explanatory. Oh, and thanks for the recommendation Mr. Gump.

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