Trail running and music have always maintained a peanut butter and jelly style symbiosis in my mind. When I first started running it wasn’t about a love for the sport, it was about venting frustration and stress in a healthy manner. With such a mindset Jay Z and Lupe Fiasco were logical running partners.
My ipod became a part of my standard equipment and has been ever sense. Recently I learned that running with music is a somewhat of a heated topic of debate in the running community (at least it was in 2012). Huh. I guess I’m not surprised. Like any subject folks are passionate about they tend to entrench themselves strongly into a particular school of thought and defend it aggressively. Like, barefoot only or trail running only.
The purest seem to feel there is no room for music in trail running. That it decreases your situational awareness. I can appreciate this purest, anti-music mindset. For you, my fellow purest, I pledge to keep my volume low so that I can hear you call “on your left” as you pass me. In return I simply ask that you leave me to my own electronic devices (or vices as it may be). Run, and let run.
Running is escapism for me, I won’t lie. I hit the trails with the need to find those moments of meditation when my mind is so quiet that I pound out a 500 ft elevation gain before I realize I was climbing. Music has had a longstanding place in meditation through out human history from the Buddhist Om to the Catholic chant. I’ve found that it allows helps me focus my trail running experience. It has a place in my regime.
While we’re on the topic, here’s one of my favorite songs on the trail. Mos Def – Quiet Dog.
And for those that are interested, the gentleman speaking in the beginning of the song is Fela Kuti of Nigeria, seen below. Note the P Funk sound.
1,140.38 miles to go. Hope to see you out there, but don’t take it personally if I don’t hear you.