“She’s A Yellow Pair of Running Shoes, A Holey Pair of Jeans….”
|What will it be today….|
It’s that time in the training process: That point where I find myself questioning what I was thinking. I now drive places an hour or more away and think to myself, “Hmmm…I ran twice as long this morning as it took me to get here. How is that healthy!?!”
The miles are piling up! This last week, I ran out a sub-marathon pace 13.1 miles (or half marathon) as a training run on my trek to completing the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon in May. 13 miles…And I know people say, “I run half marathons because I’m only half crazy.” But, you know what?!?!
But then again, like most things we enjoy in life, (For me the Top 5 would be: My family, running, a well-timed joke, music, & sweatpants….watching HGTV runs a close 6th…)
Case in point: #1 on my list: My Family. Or simply, CHILDREN.
Please don’t tell me no one else has walked out of their room with strong “let’s get this day going” intentions at 5am, found both your children (who operate in stealth mode only when doing things they are NOT supposed to do – like getting up at 5am on a Saturday during “Mom get s@#t done time”) fighting over who has more blanket, and promptly said to yourself, “Nope,” then turned right back around and shut the door?
You know you’ve been there, and if you haven’t…well, this blog about motivation isn’t for you. And I hate you. (Totally kidding, we don’t just the h-word in this house unless it’s in relation to running in winter….)
But like any mediocre parent would, I then give myself this pep talk:
Do I love my children? Yes!
Do they need me to provide them with nourishment in the form of some pre-made breakfast item that takes me 3 seconds to unwrap or put in a bowl? I guess so!?!
(Maybe we need to rethink this part…or just pretend I said made from scratch, blah, blah organic blah, blah something here instead.)
Do I want to love my children and make breakfast at 5am rather than stay in bed secretly scrolling Pinterest for the next 2 hours? Ehhhh……..I mean, WANT or SHOULD?
And 10 seconds later I’m out the door to make myself an excessive amount of coffee armed with a second blanket to stop
“Blanket War III” and get the day started.
Yes, running is a part of my life that I have dedicated myself to. And just like you don’t become a parent overnight, becoming a runner takes A LOT of work too.
So 17+ years into this runner thing, how do I get out the door when I just don’t want to??
A race entry (Ahem…if you have NOT yet signed up to join me at the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon in one way or another (5k, 13.1, 26.2..volunteer…) here’s your link: http://www.cellcomgreenbaymarathon.com/). Other things that might motivate me: a friend, and/or perhaps a new fitness goal.
Or money. (If someone wants to PAY me money to run some miles, I mean, I’m not going to say no…)
But of all these, my MOST powerful motivator in many walks of life is…MUSIC.
Outside of my running and mom life, I’m a musician. I play harp and piano professionally, and I freakin’ LOVE IT!!
I love the art of music. The incredibly complex way it is created, yet how a simplistic melody can be so catchy (think “Jaws” theme song…two notes, friends…two…). I also love the message that a good song or a moving melody offers to the listener.
I love watching an artist perform or sitting with my eyes closed(and yes, I’m a weirdo and I do this at concerts too) listening to all the parts, instrumental and vocal, as they come together to form the magic that is a beautiful piece.
Music, much like running, is my happy place.
Music can provoke these deep feelings you maybe didn’t even know were there, and a well-placed lyric at a certain time in your life can engrave it’s place in your heart forever.
Easy Example: The “Rocky” movies. Who would Rocky Balboa be without his “theme song” playing as he runs up the stairs, fist pumping?!? Or when Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” plays as he’s getting all jacked?!?! All I know is, when I hear “Eye of the Tiger” I channel my inner Rocky and punch the person closest to me.
(Not the punching, the song. Should you choose to test the punching aspect of it to see if that’s invigorating, that’s on you….)
I could go on and on because it’s true….
The birth of my first child? “I Like You” by SJ.
In our house, we make sure we end each day with a song; one that’s special for each child. For my son, JD, it’s “Sweet Baby James” by James Taylor. For Julianna, often times I’m singing the theme song from “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”, but otherwise, we favor, “The Boat Song” by JJ Heller. (If you’ve never heard a 3-year old sing this song, I encourage you to do so. It’s so incredibly sweet it’s almost nauseating.)
You may have a personal mantra, inspirational quote, or other words to live by. But if you’re like me and you love the sound of a great guitar solo, or a funky horn counter-melody to a dance beat (yeah, I’m talking about James Brown, Bruno Mars, Prince…just the best of of the best here…) then find something to dance along to!
I have found “my jam” over and over again throughout the years. But back to the name of this blog post, there’s one song that I can say has been mentally motivating for me during difficult running times.
As I mentioned in my first blog post, back when I was training after having my daughter, I had a hard time running. Physically, mentally – It was just a bitter struggle between wanting to love the sport again, and wanting to give it up because it wasn’t as easy to love as it was before.
It was during this same time that I discovered the song by Brad Paisley called, “She’s Everything”. Actually, I played it as a recessional selection for a wedding I performed at, and like most songs I don’t know (I’m not a big country music person), I had to listen to it a few times to get a “feel” for it before I was performance ready. In doing so, I listened much to what the song was saying. The lyrics are what stuck with me, and really resonated with me during that time.
The opening line of the song being, “She’s a yellow pair or running shoes, a holey pair of jeans. She looks great in cheap sunglasses, she looks great in anything…”
But what I really found in the lyrics was somebody saying to their partner, “You are not perfect, but I love that about you, and you should love that about you too. The simple things about you: your running shoes, indecisiveness, moodiness are what make you YOU. Things aren’t always going to be easy, including the miles in that “yellow pair or running shoes….
I added this song to my playlist and I love when it comes on during a run. It reminds me of all these things I struggled with and really all those imperfections that I have learned to appreciate about myself; runner me included. The lyrics give me the motivation to keep trying, keep going when I don’t feel like it’s possible anymore.
Make today the best day yet!