rough notes

Gonna Fly Now and other songs

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An odd moment from earlier this morning…. I woke up, eventually dragged myself out of bed and check the temperature. -8, at 7:40AM. I got up so early to hit the road and put some kms on my shoes, which after the horrid month of -30 temperatures we had, were quite restless. Besides, after the quick spurt I had yesterday, I was psyched up for the run. After being sick for a week, I found myself with energy and willpower again, and could have run forever. So, despite my groggy eyes today, I was determined to head out.

So I gear up. Getting ready for winter running is nothing like the summer months. When the weather is warm, you can simply throw on a pair of shorts and you’re ready to go. Getting dressing for winter runs though, reminds me of the early hockey mornings of my youth, where you spent fifteen minutes putting on gear for a fifty-minute skate. The running gear, though not so involved, is still a burden. Special socks. Special pants. Special Underwear. Special Shirts. Special Jacket. Special gloves. Special tuque. And your runners. Take a couple extra second to make sure all that fabric is sitting well, because chafing hurts bad.

Anyway, there I was in my tights, shoes and tuque, ready to head out the door. I’m saying goodbye to the better half, who will have gone to work by the time I return. And there, on the radio, is the theme music to Rocky. I joke that I should run to Halifax’s City Hall and pretend to have steps to climb up and have something to cheer about. She senses my cynical arrogance and tells me it was Rockey’s running music, so I shouldn’t be such an ass about things. I tell her its a movie about boxing, and I’m not a boxer. And then the petty argument has begun. We love our petty arguments – its what keeps us sharp and on our toes. At any rate, we come to a concensus that it was at least Rocky’s **training** music, and he ran a lot while training. Also, that I could very well be training for a race in May anyhow, or at the very least, that I’m training my gut to stop looking so much like a gut, and I’m on my way out the door.

I don’t run with music. I never have. I pick up songs along the way and replay them in my head if I want. But for the most part, I think when I run. I spend the time thinking about recent texts and papers I’ve read, and, where I’m going to run to. A lot of my time is spent on eyeing a destiniation and coaching myself to get that far, sometimes breaking out into fartleks (see that mailbox? let’s run as fast as we can, all out to it, NOW! Okay, now see that traffic light? let’s run as we can all out to it, NOW! etc etc etc) But I digress. Those songs in my head are usually pop songs, as they’re easy to remember, and difficult to let go. They also stream in to one another with ease. Lately, its been Coldplay. Its easy to think about their rhythmic piano or jarring drums for a moment, just to get me past a vicious hill, and its just as easy to drop the music when its over, too. I’ve given quite a bit of thought to MP3 players in the past, and still might buy one in the future, but I think I get a far better workout in my head as things are now.

Except for today. When the petty argument petered out and I headed out the door, I found myself trotting away to Rocky’s theme song. Bah! Come on now, think of the trumpets starting off, followed by the blast from a tuba….. its there, buried in your head somewhere, you know it. Now put yourself in my shoes. You’re running, and you can’t get this song out of your head. Then the empathy sets in. And you find yourself thinking, “I wonder how Rocky felt in Rocky IV when he was training in Alaska, with all that cotton on? He should have known better!” And finally, it plateaus at a pathetic peak of pop culture displacement. You find yourself stopped at a red traffic light, studying the roads and their conditions, which direction has more black ice than the other, which side the sun is on to provide warmth, where the wind is blowing from, etc. And before that light turns green, just as the theme song crescendos in your head, you know, where the strings come in, but before the guitar solo starts, at about the point in Rocky I when he made it to the top of Philly’s City Hall, turns 180 on the spot and throws his arms in the air like two massive pistons, as if he just won the match, right there, a red light turning green, on those cold granite steps in PA, not knowing whether you should head down Robie to SMU or run back through town, and the biggest boxing match in your life surrounding all of your thoughts, you ask yourself, “What would Rocky do?”

Written by mitchellirons

February 5, 2004 at 8:37 pm

Posted in 499869, running

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