I’m anticipating it getting old, but crossing my fingers and hoping on high that it never does.
It’s the chord progression. It’s the drum beat. It’s the lyrical fuzz of the electric guitar buzzing into my ears and coursing through my legs and feet. I think a smile sneaks in there, too. It must.
It’s like being in a game. You’re leaping over tree roots and skidding down rocky, leaf-strewn hills, pumping energy out your legs that can only be coming from one source: Your playlist.
During a recent night run, the glow from my headlamp bobbed a few yards in front of me as I kept pace with Tom Petty telling me about running down a dream. It’s a regular on each of my playlists, for obvious reasons.
You know that famous guitar riff I’m gonna talk about, don’t you?
“Yeah, runnin down a dream (ba-na-na-na-na-na)
That never would come to me (ba-na-na-na-na-na)
Workin’ on a mystery (ba-na-na-na-na-na-na)
Goin’ wherever it leads (ba-na-na-na-na-na)
Yeah, runnin’ down a dream”
(For those un-hip to what I’m talking about, fast forward to :47).
Those three simple chords (A, G, E) strummed to that fine rhythm has gotten me up hills more times than I’ve kept track of; it has a sixth sense of coming on exactly when I need it to. The other night, it pulled me to the front of my non-competitive running club pace group (8:00-8:30), and rendered me the first finisher. Competing or not, winning always feels pretty nice.
This 1989 Petty classic is one of many on my playlist, reserved in a special place of my soul (sole). They have that special kick that pushes me through to the next level (unarguably the best part of any run). I can’t explain how it strikes a certain chord in me (pun intended) but I don’t think there’s a solitary explanation (although, if science wants to step in and do a study, I’m all for free Gatorade, let’s be real).
Instead of tracking down the cause for the ubiquitous spirit shifters, I’ll enjoy the effect, hit repeat, and tempt fate that I get sick of it. And each time I don’t, I will be air-guitaring that A, G, E riff, without shame, running balls-to-the-wall on the questionably-safe trail until the next song starts. Every. damn. time.