I have been sent a number of emails since this Blog began in October last year, asking me one question. Actually, I lie. I say “a number of emails” only to give the impression that I have a big following in the blogsphere. In fact, I have had just three emails in all that time asking me to explain or elaborate one aspect of my life. The question is actually quite mundane and merely reflects the curiosity that these three much-valued readers (a rather material percentage of my readership) has about this strange person called The Jogging Dad.
However, before I address this question (which will take just a couple of sentences), I just want to ramble a bit on another mundane aspect of my life – something that I sporadically talk about but in no way does justice to how much of an integral and personal part of my running life it is, namely, music.
Many runners much more experienced than I have advised me to ditch the iPod and go with the flow on my runs. They urge me to liberate myself from unnecessary distractions and focus on listening to my breathing, my thoughts and my surroundings during runs. The funny thing is, I have no trouble whatsoever doing all this, even with earphones in my ears, emitting songs from my playlists. I certainly don’t turn on the volume so high that I can’t hear the birds chirping, my heart pounding or the occasional passer-bys imploring me to put my running shirt back on.
I run with music because, without it, there would be no running life for me. It is my one constant companion who is always there come rain, shine or hail – a comfort blanket for an at-times weary 39 year-old who has experienced many significant changes in recent years.
Unlike my mind, it never doubts me during tortuous races with negative thoughts. Unlike my body, it never bitches and moans about some little pain here and there that are just natural consequences of pounding many kilometres of pavement. And unlike myself, it is never judgemental about my ability, comparing my weaknesses against others’ strengths.
It is simply just there … providing inspiration at times with uplifting tunes, retrieving memories at times with nostalgic songs and keeping me company at ALL times with a reassuring presence.
Don’t get me wrong, there are occasions when I ungratefully get sick of the songs and actually switch the iPod off during a run. There are also instances where the little gadget gets a little temperamental (low battery, earphones keep on falling out, one earphone not working, etc), so much at times that it can wholly ruin the enjoyment of a run.
But these problems never last and the next time I go out the door with a pair of joggers on, the music (in the form of an iPod) is there, ready to help me through another run, with no grudges and certainly no ill-feelings, but Just an incomparable companion who has travelled with me through many miles of trials and tribulations.
Enough of this digression. Coming back to the one aspect of my life that the three kind readers of this Blog wanted to know, and it was: how come I never write much about my better half, aka my wife?
Well, take the importance of music in my running life, multiply it by the most ludicrously big number that you think of, and that will give you an idea of the importance of my wife in my general life. And if that is the fact, then is there any point sentimentalising it in this Blog?
Keep on pounding.