Monday, July 13, 2020

A Cure for my Runner's Blues

I’ve discovered a cure for my runner’s blues, when I really don’t want to lace up and hit the pavement.

It’s found on Keith and Kristin Getty’s album, Facing a Task Unfinished, and the title of the number is “Beyond These Shores.” 

Now, I’m not a music critic, being quite challenged to play the footnotes on a shoe horn. Notes are things I leave on my bathroom mirror, half-measures are how I approach running, and rests are what I do when done running. Movements are what I do to get from my chair to the cookie jar. I cannot make heads or tails out of a musical score.

But I love music—it moves me, frequently transforming my mood. And it often cures my runner’s blues (the wimpy pity-party I indulge in when I really don’t want to run—which is most of the time). Music takes my imagination on flights of fancy, transporting me to far-away places.

Now, for those poor benighted souls reading this, for whom imagination is a superfluous luxury you left behind in grade school, you might as well stop reading now, because you really won’t get what follows.

Here we go: in the first movement of Beyond these Shores, I imagine someone giving me a pointed, sarcastic rebuke. He’s playing a violin, and saying something like, “Aw, poor little Chris. Feeling sorry for ourself this morning, are we? Don’t want to lace up the running shoes?At this point I’m usually slogging along, wondering why I ever started running to begin with.

But the music makes a sharp (but smooth) transition into the second movement. The self-pity violins morph into a fast-paced Italian sort of celebration, something you might hear in Momma Mia’s Pizzeria. Before long, in my imagination, I can see Snoopy dancing for joy on top of his doghouse—self-pity transformed into jubilation. My running pace picks up, I can’t help it.

The third movement is like a free-wheeling jam session with strings, banjo, bass, keyboard, and percussion—almost a jazz feel to it. Not only am I running faster, but I’m smiling while I run.

And by the time you get to the fourth movement the violins are more accurately described as fiddles, and it’s a high-energy Nashville hoedown. I am running with a big grin on my face, sometimes clapping in time with the music, woes forgotten, enjoying the blue sky, the clouds, the sunshine, the farmers’ fields, and just celebrating life as I run, thanking my Creator and Redeemer for such a beautiful day.

Try it. If you enjoy music and have an active imagination, you’ll probably love it. You can listen to it on youtube here: