Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Running and Music and Music and Running

Day 2 of the Oklahoma Women Blogger's challenge.
Today's marching orders?
Happy National Stress Awareness Day! Today, we want you to think about what stresses you out and what you do to keep yourself from being stressed out.

What stresses me? Let's try to keep this list short and sweet:
  1. Deadlines.
  2. My inability to say no to things.
  3. Feeling misunderstood.
  4. An overload of information.
  5. My inability to communicate my needs effectively.
Please note that this is my list for today. My list for yesterday or tomorrow might be much different. Yes, other things like housework (ugh), fear of bugs (like deadly spiders), tornadoes (eek), earthquakes (like the five that happened last night--what the what!?), losing my loved ones, other people's kids (can't control them), people who won't listen to reason ... these things also stress me out, but it's that big list of five (and many in this paragraph fit nicely into that list) covers them all.

How do I keep myself from being stressed out?

Well, as a younger person, I had a wide, unchecked self-destructive streak (see yesterday's post); I've learned to control that, and that self-destructive tendencies aren't effective in dealing with problems. You can't just run away.

But you can run.

I run to burn stress because it feeds my need. For speed? No, that self-destructive part of me. Because running can be painful--physically, emotionally and mentally. Physically because I'm old & running is hard on an old girl. It pushes me to my limits. Emotionally and mentally because it unties my knots; this is a great thing but sometimes it can be painful as well. Sometimes that answers that you're hiding aren't the answers you want to hear.

Running gives me something that nothing else gives to me, an open and clear headspace where I can work out ways to meet my deadlines, how to manage projects or say no when I need to, how to communicate my needs, how to process all the information flung at me like so much monkey poop and how to communicate to people what I need.

Running has become the thing I reach for when I feel myself becoming overstressed. That and some nice music to push me around the laps. I cannot run to the sound of my own breath, I much prefer to run to inspirational music. And by inspirational music, I mean rock or punk. I prefer this aggressive music to sand down my rough edges. Five songs that always put a little pep in my step?
  1. Army of Zombies (Lars Fredericksen & the Bastards)
  2. I Predict a Riot (Kaiser Chiefs)
  3. Lump (The Presidents of the United States of America)
  4. Sleep Now in the Fire (Rage Against the Machine)
  5. That's Not My Name (The Ting Tings)
Aah ... just typing that list took a little edge off.

Last year, I posted a list of running "must-haves" here. I downsized my iPod to a clip-style, got rid of the Nike+, got a new pair of shoes and use the Evernote app instead of a notebook, but not much else has changed. Meaning that I still run not very far, not very long and not very gracefully. But it works for me!


  1. I also love/hate running for these very same reasons! To punish myself even more(a relieve more stress), I signed up for the Mud Factor 5K...I hate getting dirty.

    1. I've considered a mud run ... but I take it indoors if there is a threat of sprinkles, so not sure if that would be right for me! lol :)

  2. Music? Is that the secret? I must try.

    1. It's all about the music for me! And I run alone, or else I get very whiney and complainy. I need to not have anyone to complain to!

  3. You lost me at run. ;)