Rocking the Road

Running has a wonderful way of clearing the mind, washing away the debris and cobwebs of the day. For me, it takes a couple miles to shake the stickier thoughts loose. Music — only that without lyrics — seems to help get me in the groove. I used to have an MP3 player that held Jimmy Buffet’s greatest hits, but realized it made me slower, because all I could think about was laying in a hammock drinking a margarita. I’ve found the right music now, but the delivery method is lacking. So while I struggle down the road, looking for my zone and fighting with my phone, these are the thoughts I’ve been trying to dislodge:

1. Pandora and Slacker and Blackberry all suck. I’m wishing I never got hooked on listening to music when I run, because now I spend more time messing with my Blackberry than actually running. Pandora, which is truer to the station I choose (more on that below) cuts out after every other song. So I tried Slacker, which sends me dozens of those stoopid permission pop-ups, also interrupting the music. And, Slacker cuts out frequently. It does a lousy job of sticking with the “station” or genre of music that I want to hear. Don’t get me started on Blackberry, which is flooded with unnecessary apps that I didn’t want, overloads, then requires me to pull the battery to restart it (which, amazingly, I’m now able to do without stopping because I’m so practiced at it). Messing with a runner’s music is bad juju.

2. Rodrigo y Gabriela is the only thing worth listening to when running. I could do a 100-mile ultra race if I could get a continuous loop of their version of Stairway to Heaven. They are my zone. 

3. Why can’t I stop thinking about that mediocre mountain bike ride I had along the tracks in Dover a few weeks ago? I may be haunted by the hillbilly shack I found (complete with multiple junked cars in the woods), or this backbone that was laying in a field. What was that thing, anyway? Not enough left for me to figure it out, and I was too creeped out to spend time examining it. As a friend said, “Pedal faster, I hear banjos!”

well...? mastodon? woolly mammoth?

4. The opinion of renown scientist Stephen Hawking that ET would not be friendly if he actually did visit us deserves some thought. Is this just the mad rantings of a man stuck inside his own mind (Hawking has ALS and is confined to a wheelchair)? It’s been in the news this week that Hawking believes other forms of life exist in the universe but we should not be friendly to them or we may become the equivalent of intergalactic beef jerky. Makes me wonder if he was misquoted, or was influenced by watching Mars Attacks, one of my absolute favorite movies. Now I can tease my intolerant teenagers with MORE country music (which they are forced to endure if they change my radio station in the car without asking).

country music could become part of national defense (see the movie)

That’s it, all my brain could hold when I’m running. Impressive, huh?

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