Today, I was trying to explain to someone why I don't listen to music when I run. I could've explained it better, but somehow, it touched a part of my mind that I was a little afraid to share. Not because of the nature of the things I was going to share, just the closeness, the fear I wouldn't be understood. But...I want to share this. Why I run, not just to exercise, not just to lose my belly fat.
When I run...that is when I reunite with myself. I can think my thoughts...not the thoughts of BYU, or of the Provo dating scene, or the music program, or my apartment. I can think my thoughts, about love, religion, God, beauty, truth...or snow, quail, crunchy leaves, old houses, hair and wind. Whatever thoughts I want to think about, day-to-day or eternal, trivial or significant, they are my thoughts. I leave my life behind and surrender to a continual motion, a motion going nowhere particular, but taking me everywhere.
When I run, I reconnect with my body. I feel my heart beat and remember that I have a heart. I feel my lungs expand and contract and thank the Lord for giving me lungs. My muscles' ache reminds me of their presence, and my usually-awkward limbs feel long, strong, and noble. If I'm lucky, I get to that point where "every step is a struggle, but every breath a blessing" and I learn that my body, mind and soul working together can conquer.
Perhaps for some runners, music helps them achieve this state. Maybe it's a focusing mechanism. However, I think most use music as a distraction from the pain, the tedium. But that is to distract myself from the very purpose of the activity. I have music in all parts of my life--in all of my classes, on the way to and from school, while i do my homework, while i do the dishes. Music is my life. And running is a break from my life, from my music, where I can just be me in rare, blessed silence; in still, endless motion.