Thursday, August 29, 2013

Let the Music Play

I ran both cross country and track in college.  On race days I would always listen to music while we warmed up.  Most of us did.  We all ran together carrying our huge, yellow Sony Walkman Personal Stereos and listening to our mix tapes.  It drove my coach nuts.  She would be trying to talk to us about our upcoming race; maybe giving us advice or information about our competition and none of us could hear her because we were zoning out to our tunes.   Every meet she would get annoyed and tell us to lose the headphones and every meet we'd do it again.  And then, one day, she made us leave them behind.  For good.  That was a huge bummer.  Huge.  Now that I am a high school cross country coach, I completely understand where she was coming from.  I also feel a little guilty, but there's not much I can do about that.  Today, my runners listen to music; most of them on their iPods or phones.  They listen as they walk to practice.  They listen on the bus to meets.  They listen while they are warming up.  They listen as they stretch.  They listen.  A lot.  And I get it.  In running, it is often music that inspires us. That calms our nerves.  That gets us fired up.  That helps us focus.  That is part of our ritual.  All that said, it is very hard to get large group of girls to pay attention when their music is on.  To some degree, I now see what my own coach was up against.  Are there times when I expect my runners to un-plug?  You bet.  Whether it be so I can talk with them or just so they can have a quiet moment to themselves; as I both understand and appreciate the subtle impact of silence.  I do, however, think there is room for music as long as there is a solid understanding of when it works to plug back in.  And if listening to a "go-to" song helps my runners get to the starting line feeling confident and ready to fly then, by all means, they should turn it up.  And, they do.


Obey Your Guns - Matrimony  
Jump On My Shoulders - AWOLNATION 
Can't Hold Us - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (feat. Ray Dalton)  
Spaceman - Hardwell  
Lose Yourself - Eminem  
Hungry Hearts - Nause  
Classic - MKTO  
Mammoth - Dimitri Vegas, Moguai, & Like Mike  
300 Violin Orchestra - Jorge Quintero  
Brave - Sara Bareilles  
I Will Wait - Mumford & Sons  
San Francisco - The Mowglis  
Radioactive - Imagine Dragons  
A Flat - Black Violin  
The Pheonix - Fall Out Boy  
The Show Goes On - Lupe Fiasco  
Daylight - Matt & Kim  
Anything Could Happen - Ellie Goulding  
We'll be Coming Back - Calvin Harris (Killsonik Remix)  
Eye On It - Toby Mac  
Cassiopeia - Sara Bareilles  
Lonely Boy - The Black Keys  
Pompeii - Bastille  
The Middle - Jimmy Eat World  
You Need Me, I Don't Need You - Ed Sheeran  
Fighter - Christina Aguilera  
I'll Make A Man Out of You - From Disney's Mulan  

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