Every. damn. time.
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.