Back in the day, 9 out of 10 human beings that found out I was a runner, asked me if I listen to music when I run.
9 out of 9 times, I answered, No, hell no.
For some reason, this always seemed to surprise them. I always gave the explanation – Listening to music alters my breathing and I like to pick up my own rhythm.
Today, I listen to music about 2 out of 5 runs. What happened? How did I go from No, hell no to bumping my favorite playlist almost half my runs?
Let me take you back to 2016, when I was training for my marathons. My training plans required me to run longer and longer routes, reaching 13, 15, 18, and all the way to 20 miles.
Up til then, I held my phone in my hand to track my mileage, no earphones, no nothing. But I reached a threshold. I couldn’t run any more without wanting to quit out of boredom and eventually, tiredness.
I had reached my limit. And I had a choice.
Choice #1: I could continue to avoid music for its breath-modifying quality. After all, I had already told everyone my adamant stance on it and I didn’t want to seem wishy washy. Plus, I thought not listening to music as a runner made me seem a little hardcore. Hahaha. Yeah, I really thought that.
Choice #2: Or, I could “break” and use exactly that quality that brings up my heart rate and engages me in the moment to combat boredom and slowing down.
I can’t remember the exact moment I made the choice, but I know it required me to shift paradigms and see it from a different point of view. I was required to let something go that once served me i.e. not listening to music let me run and set my own pace, so I could pursue something greater i.e. being able to enjoy and finish my runs at a consistent pace.
It’s not like this is a huge life-altering decision hahah. But it’s one of those things – how you do anything is how you do everything.
It’s about getting real with my ideas and thoughts. Reevaluating their worth and relevance in my life. It’s about understanding that my strength isn’t from the habits or perspectives themselves. My strength comes from being able to evolve and release what doesn’t serve me, to engage in what does – even if it seems to contradict something I said before.
I understand now that I have to consume each moment for what it is. That was then, this is now. What served me then, may not serve me now. And the interesting thing is, I think what served me then and does not serve me now isn’t a zero-sum habit, idea, process.
I think it’s actually detrimental. Adhering to something because it once worked is engaging in something that not only does not work today, but prevents us from moving forward to experience higher, greater, deeper capacities for whatever it is we were meant for. It calcifies our hearts and spirits that simply want to flow to higher equilibriums, more fulfilling purposes and glory.
Our hearts and spirits do not judge the temporary value and attachments we create. They simply want to flourish, thrive, and prosper. They want to steamroll everything in its way, and consume everything that ignites, inspires, compels, and awakens.
And sometimes – in our human idiocy, we don’t let it. We think, for some odd reason, our purpose lies in the things that serve us. And ironically, we lose our purpose when we serve the things that exist to serve us, by keeping them around longer than they should be kept around. This is not just about habits or processes. This is about people as well.
We need to stop bullshitting ourselves. Let go. Stop trying to act like your reasoning knows what’s best for yourself. Not everything has to make sense.
Things change. What got you here might not get you there. Let go. Stop fearing that you will lose yourself, stop being the person you’ve professed yourself to be. You are not a static image. You are an evolution that is. happening. right. now.
Jump in. Fear not. Shake off the dust. Brush off the cobwebs. Cleanse yourself of unworthy useless things. You have greater things to pursue, greater things to accomplish and contribute. You are movement, energy, and pure intention. Let yourself be.
You don’t have time to waste. You don’t have enough fucks to give. This is one of the reasons why you’re so tired, exhausted, hungry, and frustrated. Give yourself some credit – you’re not a fossilized thing. You are the pinnacle of all creation, the full and complete expression of the love of the universe and God. What thing could contain that?
What is one thing, then, that you are afraid to let go of? One thing – a habit, a routine, a process, a thought, a person / relationship – that you know in your heart of hearts doesn’t serve you any more? What do you want to own and not the other way around?