Musical Messages

A run can be just a run,
It can also be something more.
The effort to keep breathing,
To keep legs moving
To keep the mind focused,
It’s a lot.
I’m finding a connection
That might be too ethereal for some,
Too new age for others,
But what do I care,
I’m the one running and
I do believe in the independence of a person’s
Soul, no matter where it ultimately resides.

I kind of see running as a “Going Steady” lesson,
One where the girl and the boy
Wrestle with what it means to date.
In the 1950s the video teased with entendre,
“Have their way with you…”
“All the way…”
And as I hobble along with a balking calf muscle
I’m ready to get back to going steady with my runs,
All the way…
Just the way I like it…

So this morning,

As I went once around the block,
No more, no less,
And headed from the wide open love of the road
To the less risky, more laboratory confines
Of a sixteen lap to the mile track,
I fully intended to go slow
With my recovery.

Yeah, right.
My new playlist,
Inspired by American Pickers, the Ralph Stanley episode,
Looked to be the answer to the NASCAR perpetual left turn run
I was preparing to endure.

(Two laps-stretch-repeat for two miles)

Thoughts from some of the songs follow…

Sunshine Reggae (Laid Back)

Not being sure,
Is an absolute way to make a mistake.
Sunshine Reggae, more techno than Jamaican,
Sent an electronic vibe with a message of letting go.
The first few steps to the ganja synth
Were delicate, precise, full of fear,
But all was good,
No tension, no pain.

Leave a Tender Moment Alone (Lee Roy Parnell)

Heading to Nashville, by way of Stephenville, TX,
My old home before the move to the Old Dominion,
Was a reminder to go slow,
Not to push the pace,
Not to abuse my body just for the sake of being tough,
But there was a phantom pain, and
I’ve been burned by the idea
That opening up is good.
Going too fast can hurt,
Leave it alone.

Vertigo (U2)

Uh-oh, when Bono started counting,
My adrenals start pumping
And in that slightly euphoric pre-runners high,
Kind of like that feeling when the first drink or two hits,
Where the inhibitions are lost,
Socializing is easier,
And none of the bad decision making has arrived yet,
I was under extreme musically inspired peer pressure.
Two laps became three, stretching became less persistent
And my commitment to conservatism was gone.
My legs tied into my lungs and off I went
Like a train leaving the shed for the last time
I had resigned myself from the constraints tracks can
Put on a man.

Possession Over Judgment Day (Eric Clapton)

There are artists who inspire,
There are songs that stop me,
In Eric Clapton and his version of this song,
I was in the graces of inspiration and at least today,
Stopped in the pursuit of my cautious and easy jaunt.
The guitars, the gravely voice, the Vertigo inspired high,
All conspired to let me go
Where no injured runner should go,
All out.
The first few laps were a breeze,
I was flying around the track
Feet barely touching the ground,
Ego tempting the gods of remorse.

“You are cured, Effer,” I thought and pushed the pace.

Little did I know, but the Landlord comes calling
To those who do not respect time,

Those who think they can manipulate nature,
Those who get overly enamored with themselves.

Which is where I was
When the rent came due.

There was just a twitch,
A little telegraph sent from my Achilles to my gastroc,
A message saying, “Dumbass, you aren’t ready.”
I played the conductor, slamming on the breaks,
Sliding around the no grade curve above the basketball court
With a panic, I know too well,
It’s one of those feelings like being caught in a conversation
That you have no idea how to get out of,
One that only time can end.

At that point, I judged my run over
And me the idiot
For losing patience,
For too much hubris,
For not listening to my legs.

So endeth the playlist…

And the running for today.

If it’s true
That a run is not just a run,
What have I learned?
I’ve got a long way to go
My ability to be patient,
And evidently a patient,
Is still a weakness.
Better to go slow,
Listen to my body over my plan,
And stay healthy
Because recovery can be it’s own
Marathon.

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