When I was younger I LOVED music. I’d get sent CD’s from PR agencies to review for websites (back before blogs were even a thing) and make time for two or three gigs a week. Music constantly filled my bedroom at home and my headphones when on the move. The inside of CD booklets were treasure chests. I’d read all of the thank you’s, write down the bands I hadn’t heard of then spend my days searching for their CD’s. If I found something brilliant, it truly made my day. I’d yearn to be on a long bus journey or walking somewhere so I could put my new discovery on repeat and let my mind wander into a place where anything was possible.
I wasn’t just a music lover, I was a music supporter. I did my research, studying a band’s history and when they were touring. I’d listen to demo discs from record companies and familiarise myself with every opening act before going to see them. I’d go to gigs where only three people attended (seriously) and be just as excited as a sold out show at The Barrowlands. I bought merchandise. Lots of it. I understood how much stuff like that supported the people I loved do what they loved. It felt great.
Then it stopped. Just stopped. Out of nowhere. I don’t know when, all I know is that life was a little quieter.
Maybe it’s because ‘real life’ got in the way. Always having plans, never taking time out. Or, maybe I got stuck in a rut. Eat, sleep, work, repeat. I remember either listening to nothing, or defaulting back to songs of my teenage years, retreating into the safety of the old stuff. When you stick on an old song, you know you’ll love it. You know exactly how it makes you feel, so there’s little risk of vulnerability. It’s easy and requires minimum engagement with the music itself. It can feel like background noise.
As much as I truly love the songs of my twenties, always listening to stuff from the past makes me fell, well, stuck in the past. There’s so much music out there, but I wasn’t putting any effort into finding it because to explore new music is to spend time researching, listening and feeling something new. It’s taking a chance and knowing that you won’t always like what you hear. In short, I became lazy and lost the love for something that was once my whole world.
Thank goodness running came along and showed me what I’ve been missing.
Running and music go hand in hand. Planning my playlists and exploring something I’ve not heard before has reignited the spark I felt for it all those years ago. When I’m listening to music on a run, it gives me headspace to really listen to it. I’ll stick stuff on repeat so I can pick apart lyrics and study intricacies I would miss if I’m rushing around the house or driving. I pay attention to how it makes my mind and my body feel. Dreams and thoughts about all sorts of things I want to do race though my head. It’s the ultimate motivator. There’s been so many times where I’ve felt defeated at mile 9 or 10 and an absolute belter of a song comes on, pushing me into the final stretch, giving new life to my mind and my legs.
It makes me feel alive again.
What’s exciting is my list is stacking up with new music as well as stuff I’ve missed over my years of laziness. I’ve been making playlists both to run and cook to. I’ll keep adding to them and share whenever something new goes on there.
Got something you think I should take a listen to? Let me know and maybe it’ll feature on my next long run review.