By: Coach Jimmie Vaughan
… Mileage Log Update: 32 -days without logged miles …
In the beginning, we all have that “thing” which keeps us going in terms of running. For me, it was a song. The Song “Lose Yourself” by Eminem contained lyrics that hit very close to home. Considering the place I was at when my running career began, several of the lines made me believe it was now or never, and I had no choice but to succeed. I actually became dependent on music when I ran, and felt without it I would fail. A necessary crutch, if you will.
Flash Forward to Rogue Running.
When I first began running with Rogue oh how dependent I was on my iPod. I couldn’t imagine running without it, and felt those who could were just far more disciplined. As small as Rogue Cedar Park was in the beginning, and the fact that I didn’t know what running slow meant, I had to have something to take my mind off of what I was doing. I had to “Lose” myself in the music. Looking back, I imagine friendships could have been built that much sooner had I just unplugged.
I’ll never forget that hot summer evening when, as the group started to head back to the shop, Coach Wrinkle informed us (well me) to lose the music and be social. I couldn’t imagine being able to hold a conversation while running (regardless of my fitness level), but decided to make a conscious effort to lose the music and get to know my fellow runners. Well that and, my iPod conveniently died the next day. Hmm, maybe a coincidence or maybe Coach Wrinkle sabotaged my equipment when my attention was diverted while conducting foot drills. Either way, I honestly believe it’s made me a better runner as well as community member.
Why this particular topic if it’s been a couple of years now that I’ve been unplugged? More on that later.
What I found was I’ve gotten to know several people much better than just in passing, while meeting the group before the workout, during stretching, coaching, or making small conversation. I found that you can really learn a lot about someone by spending an hour or more running with them. I also realized that without the crutch, I became more approachable as a teammate, and most recently a coach. Heck, I’ve actually gained some really good friends because of it!
Essentially, I learned to not “lose” myself in music, and find all the benefits of running without it.A few weeks back, I got to spend some time running with a group of ladies whom I coached, and I also got to go on a couple of trail runs with some coaches here in the Metropolis known asCedar Park. Okay, maybe more of a growing city. In each of the instances, I got to slow down and get to know my counterparts that much better. Thinking back, none of these valuable experiences could have happened had I replaced my iPod and kept on jammin’ (okay, given the type music I listen to it might not be considered “jammin”). And yes Aussie Scott, I did have a little “Men at Work” music in my playlist! “Livin’ in a Land Down Under, Yeah – Yeah…..” Oops, playlist flashback there – deep breath, and okay I’m good. For coaches, we are always asking our runners to step out of their comfort zones on many different levels. Especially those courageous new to running runners. Personally I feel that dropping the iPod can be seen as one of the most difficult.
As a runner and coach I highly encourage runners to make an effort to lose the music. Who knows, you might get to know some of your fellow community members that much better.
I chose this topic at this particular time because I’m currently going through another “Unplugged” movement. I’ve unplugged myself from my GPS and have been trying not to let distance and pace rule my running career.
Hopefully this time next year I’ll be able to share how I’ve become an even better runner because I chose to walk away from another leash … I’ll be making soup, if you will … Or, I’ll be writing how not only did the GPS come back, but a new iPod showed up and me and Aussie Scott are back to listening to a little “Midnight Oil”!