The event will be forever etched in my memory. I was a sophomore in high school and had just stepped into early morning band practice. I played in the percussion section and on this particular day was placed in a bass drum role that I had not prepared for. Playing the bass drum is relatively simple … just keep the beat. Our band teacher was a short bald man who when he became angry his face turned 7 shades of crimson. Halfway through this new song he began the transition from Caucasian to the color of a red Christmas stocking. At the same time he cocked his arm back, and proceeded to hurl his orchestra baton forward with a pitch any big leaguer would have been proud of. Somewhere mid-flight I realized the projectile was traveling directly for my head. Fortunately my reaction time was slightly ahead of the object and I was able to duck. He missed. I had a sneaking suspicion that my days in high school band were numbered. Confirmation came the next day as I sat in study hall while my peers played their musical instruments in the band room. Sheesh, all because I missed a simple timing change in the middle of a new song!
I am glad I didn’t let the trauma of this single event dampen my enthusiasm for music. I like music. I like playing (picked up some rhythm guitar) and singing.
Racing 6 races this summer I have noticed more people running with ear phones. Not me. Tried it once. Once was enough. I lost the auditory sensory cues created while running. As the music played through my mini music machine I missed the pat, pat, pat of my feet hitting the ground. I missed the sound of my breathing. I missed the birds singing. I missed the dogs barking. I missed the cows mooing. I missed the whisper of the wind passing through the pine trees. Guess I am like Steve Prefontaine who said; “Some people create with words or with music or with a brush and paints. I like to make something beautiful when I run…”
So when I run I create songs. Sometimes depending on where I am running, a little rock and roll. An easy run? Probably a waltz. Working hard running hill repeats? Something with a strong marching beat. If I am gutting through a tough workout something with dissonance. Wherever I run I want to create my own music. My time. My run. My world. Just for a little while… created by me.
Three quarter time? Can I have this dance?
(Photo by the author: kayak trip, Bowman Lake, Glacier National Park)
Until next time – enjoy the run!