Just fine with my own playlist

I’ve been going to the gym these past couple of weeks—and not for the reason you would think.
It has been incredibly hot here in the Annapolis Valley. The track at Acadia University circles around the ice surface and, as a result, the temperature on the track is deliciously cold and a great place to escape the heat while getting some exercise.
I bring my iPod and headphones, and I’m set for an hour where I forget all about cutting lawn, fixing fence, pulling weeds, vacuuming dog hair, sifting kitty litter, and being a grown-up.
It’s truly an oasis.
I’ve always known I’m not exactly cool and I’m fairly certain I never have been. I’m fine with that. Being cool is a lot of work it seems to me and for what purpose?
The people I admired growing up didn’t fit into any mold or category. Wearing the right clothes, having the right haircut, tipping the scale at the right amount has very little value.
In light of so many important things going on in the world, being cool isn’t even on my list. I think my daughters would confirm that.
As I plugged into my walking/running playlist on my iPod, my lack of “being cool” was confirmed even further. My playlist is odd. There is no other way to describe it other than perhaps being eclectic.
And I love it.
I begin my warm-up walk with Andrea Bocelli belting out “The Lord’s Prayer.” I’m always tempted to join in and if I am the only one on the track, I can hardly keep my arms still; they want to conduct.
I let them every now and then—when I disappear behind a wall.
Every cell in my body is singing along with Mr. Bocelli and I never ever tire of “The Lord’s Prayer.” It speaks to me in a most profound personal manner.
I know it’s not exactly a toe-tapping tune, but the world feels calm and serene and perfect for the four minutes and 25 seconds I spend with Andrea. That’s Song #1!
Then I swing into Song #2 with Susan Boyle singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in her delicate, unaffected voice with pitch perfect splendor. I would close my eyes while she sings but I might careen into a cement wall, so I don’t take the chance.
Susan was judged for her oddness most of her life—and harshly, but look at what happened when she opened her mouth and sang.
I mix it up a bit now with Queen and “We Are The Champions.” That gets my blood pumping and I feel as though I’ve won something.
I lengthen my stride and grit my teeth, and feel as though I can conquer just about anything. Dragons and monsters and bad guys beware.
Then I divert my attention from common sense and reason to listen to Bruno Mars—because nothing says love like the words grenade and bullet through the brain “for ya.”
I always laugh at this point and wonder why.
The crazy list goes on, including Yiruma, the stage name of the South Korean composer who plays almost as well as my Thea. In fact, I pretend it is Thea playing the piano in my ear and that comforts me.
I have Tommy Dorsey from the Big Band sound (I know, I may have been born in the wrong era). Nora Jones. Simon and Garfunkel. Peggy Woods singing “Climb Every Mountain” from “The Sound of Music” (you have to have that).
Jim Nabors and his velvet voice singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” because my mother sang that. The Rankins and “Rise Again.”
The point is it all fits. And it is the only time I can listen to music unencumbered by anything else. My mind stays blank and just absorbs the music and the sound, and I am transported into another dimension.
When other runners jog past me with their own sounds going on in their ears, I’m beyond certain their playlist hasn’t a thing in common with mine—and that’s just fine with me.
What’s on your playlist?
wendistewart@live.ca

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