Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tuesday Muse-day

Lately I've been thinking about my friend Bill. He's sort of a renaissance man. Mechanic. Distance runner. Father to a rather successful crew of kids, including a couple of doctors. He's endlessly interesting to talk to.

There are probably many more things I don't know about Bill. I only recently learned that he's a dancer in a local modern dance company. Bill has a ponytail and graying mustache. If I had to guess I'd say he is in his 50s. Not what you picture when someone says "dancer". Or even runner. And that's what has me thinking.

What does a runner look like? Or a dancer? Dance is central to most cultures, a part of celebrations and self-expression, but in the West, we strip dance from its humanity.

You must look like a dancer. Behave like a dancer. Be a dancer. Or you aren't a dancer.

We go to ballet lessons. We are told to hold in our tummies in. We plié and relevé to soul-less music.

"I don't dance." We say at parties. "I don't have rhythm." But not kids. Turn music on and they can't help themselves.

And what about running? The way we ran as children? Impromptu foot races.  Barefoot or in sandles. Skirts or jeans. On dirt, sand, road. Only later, does running become an activity that requires $100 shoes, a start and finish line, K-tape, a mileage-tracking app, and many, many Facebook posts.

Runners divide themselves into those who run with music and those who don't. Maybe those of us running with music are looking to tap into something more primal. Running. Dancing. Losing ourselves in the music.

Here are a few songs to lose yourself to:

1. Scream and Shout (Will.I.Am feat. Brittany Spears)
2. Girl on Fire (Alicia Keyes feat. Nicki Minaj) - I made this a power song on my Nike Running app.
3. Body Movin' (Beastie Boys Fatboy Slim Remix)
4. What? (A Tribe Called Quest)
5. Lose Yourself (Eminem) - Great for running hills. Just picture yourself in a hooded sweatshirt, shoulders slightly hunched and you'll instantly feel unstoppable.

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