In college, I ran with two good buddies of mine three times each week. Those runs were usually pretty short, but we took the 45 minutes together to de-stress, to talk, to rant, to laugh, to celebrate, to catch up, to socialize. Whether we were doing a jog to St. Olaf across the river, a quick run through our small college town, or a hilly stretch of miles through the arboretum, we found peace as we moved with each other.
My friends' incredible personalities and genuine care came on each of our runs. When I broke up with an ex, was noticeably stuffy and puffy from having cried all night, my friends pushed me through the run, smack talking said ex, making it impossible for me to conceal a broad, toothy, nearly painful smile, and encouraging me to "single girl shimmy" immediately.
When I didn't run with my lady friends, I ran alone. And always with music.
Now that I'm beginning to run again, I'm realizing the purpose my music served then and the ever more important purpose it serves now. I look for in my music what I had found in my friends -- a voice that says "you can do this," or shouts "lady power!" or "you don't need him!" or whatever is necessary in that moment. Unashamedly emotional music. Music that encourages and pushes. Music that powers my workout and empowers me.
I never realized how fortunate I was to have my running buddies, until we moved to three different states after graduation. Now, I rely solely on my music.
From not-so-embarrassing to super embarrassing, here is the current list of ladies who run with me:
- Demi Lovato
- Ida Maria
- Marina and the Diamonds
- Taylor Swift
- Tegan and Sara
What powers you through your workouts? Specific artists? Friends? Songs?