My humble running ipod is approaching its tenth anniversary. Before I had it for musical accompaniment, I made do with whatever songs I could huff and puff to*, invariably resorting to music from films from a misspent youth.
I was on an away-mission recently and I forgot to pack it for my travels. I still went for a run, and I noticed how loud my breathing was. It was loud enough that random citizens ahead of me would turn suddenly: they would visibly connect my appearance with whatever alarming noise they’d heard behind them, and relax. “It feels worse than it sounds,” I joked to one shell suit as I wheezed past. “I’m too tired to make trouble,” I gasped to an elderly couple holding onto each other.
When I write, I like to have some music playing. It’s a conduit away from the distractions of RealLife™, or a way of staying in the mood of the piece I’m working on. Over the years, I’ve pooh-poohed The Lovely Wife‘s occasional remarks about noises coming from the writing cave. But now that I think about it, it’s possible the music I’ve been cranking up might also have been a way to drown out my own noises of creation.
Not unlike how the ipod drowns out my wheezing when I’m out there trying to burn calories. It may be a little unnerving for those around me, whether at home or on the running trail, but it works for me, and I need all the help I can get.
* Yes: I’d be that wheezing bedraggled runner whose choked yet continuous breathless mumbling was supposed to be singing rather than the running commentary of a mental health system consumer.