I love music. A lot. I’ve never taken to running with earphones on though. When I’m in nature, I like to BE in nature. When I’m running on the sidewalk, I like to BE alert. I want to hear if an out-of-control car comes screeching around the corner in my direction. I want a small chance of getting out of the way in time. Self-preservation is good.

While I’m not for running with music blaring in my ears, I do love blending music into my daily routine. Depending on my mood, what music I listen to changes. My selection for my training might be odd at times: rock while practicing yoga, or strength training to 80’s love songs. Please don’t judge me by my sources of inspiration! I think it was Tori Amos that said she would sooner reveal the people she had slept with than reveal where she draws her inspiration from for her music. Understood.

A while ago I was introduced to The XX while doing a workout at Phoenix Wellness Studio (now called Evolve Studio). Interestingly, the song was called “Intro”. And what a great intro it was. When I was given two of their albums, I put it on repeat on my iPod and listened to it driving, working, doing yoga, washing dishes. My partner took an equal liking to it. So when I wasn’t selecting it, he was.

Then came the day that the only thing I’d not yet done listening to The XX, was run. It was one of those days when I just wasn’t motivated to go outside and exert myself. You know those days, don’t you?

As a last resort, I put on my headset, iPod in my pocket. I started walking down the street as I pushed play on “Intro”. Ah, that beautiful sound echoed at the centre of my being. My mindset changed, and so did my pace. Before I knew it I was charging up my first hill, completely in “the zone”. I got it. All those zoned out runners with their headsets on - completely oblivious of running in front of speeding vehicles - now made sense to me. Who cares if you get knocked over, as long as the soundtrack is good!

It was a good run. No, it was a great run!

Even though I now understand the kamikaze attitude of iPod runners, I haven’t joined them. Well, not completely. I do randomly run around the reservoir with my headphones on when my motivation is low. But this is a relatively safe environment. Here my biggest running risk is being attacked by a protective mother Egyptian Goose. Um, yes, this has actually happened to me…

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