3 Mar

The reason I can get out of bed to go running at 7:45 on a cold, windy Saturday morning in February is motivation. Because, let me tell you, I do not enjoy cold, windy February mornings. Actually, I don’t like mornings in general.

I derive this motivation from many places. First of all, I’m motivated by myself and the power of my own ambition. Ultimately, I am the reason that I work so hard. I don’t want to be better than anyone else. I want to be a better version of me.

The idea of accomplishment motivates me. Often when I’m running and I start to get tired, I think about how it will feel to cross my first real finish line, and that adds a little extra pep in my step. I hope that when it happens, the moment is as great as I think it will be. And since I’d like to know for sure, it motivates me to try a little harder, run a little longer, push myself a little further.

My family and friends have motivated me. Those closest to me are so incredibly enthusiastic, supportive & encouraging about my goals that it makes me even more excited to be doing what I’m doing. Even when I’m out there running alone I can hear all of this positivity in my head and it keeps me going, like my own personal, invisible cheerleading squad.

All of this is fabulously motivating. It’s wonderful. But there’s one huge motivator that is a large part of what truly makes it possible, and to which I owe nearly everything.

And that’s my iPod. Yes, without my iPod, I wouldn’t make it through a single gym workout; my feet wouldn’t move fast enough to break into even a slow jog. I need a beat to run to; a soundtrack to lay behind the sound of my feet pounding on the pavement, the swoosh swoosh sound of the elliptical, the clang of weights being dropped. Without “AwNaw” by the Nappy Roots & POD, for example, I probably would have burned 50% less calories last Tuesday alone. I owe at least 5 pounds of my weight loss solely to “No More Drama” by Mary J. Blige, and the laid-back, accomplished feeling that comes with most of my cool-downs to Janet Jackson‘s “Son of a Gun“. I don’t even want to think about what workouts would be like without “Whine Up” by Kat DeLuna.

Running requires a different soundtrack altogether, for which I need to thank The Killers for “Human”, The B-52s for “Roam” and the Flobots for “Handlebars”. Without these songs, I would surely be whimpering under a tree or small bush somewhere along my running route.

Which is why, as I’m sure you’ll understand, I was very flustered when my iPod battery died 30 minutes into my run on Saturday morning. Once I realized what had happened, I headed straight for my car without hesitation. There would be no point in trying to run any longer without it; it would be worse than trying to run barefoot.

I will run with sneakers that cut my heels. I will run in the cold, and in the wind. I will run when my whole entire body is sore from a run the day before. I will even run in sneakers that do not match the rest of my outfit.

But I will not run without my iPod.

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