Gwen’s Playlist: Moods + Marathons
Music makes us feel. Some songs pump us up, other songs calm us down. They bring us back to the sweetest times in our lives and they inspire us through hardships. Whether the hardship is a breakup, a difficult mile or a week of work resembling Mt. Everest, music helps get us through the hurt and appreciate the beauty of the journey.
Relating the work week to a (half) marathon… every day and every mile offers challenges and opportunities. Some miles are fast and others are slow, some feel effortless and others feel downright impossible. But every day and every mile bring you closer to the goal… crossing the finish line, knowing that you gave it absolutely everything that you had, and feeling proud of your accomplishment.
MONDAY: Start line
There are always mixed feelings at the start of a long race. There’s the tiredness from the previous night’s tossing and turning and the jittery nerves about what lies ahead. There’s fast talking, nervous laughter and plenty of sizing up the competition. Some are pumped up and ready to hit the miles hard. Others are wondering what they got themselves into. The countdown starts, people cheer, the gun goes off and it’s a chaotic rush across the start line – people dodging each other and running out of bounds to get an early lead. It’s difficult to set the right pace. Many start out too fast and suffer for it later. The best runners get out of the gate quickly, but keep some in reserves for the difficult miles ahead.
Welcome to the Jungle – Guns n’ Roses
Let’s get it started – The Black Eyed Peas
TUESDAY: Miles 3-5… Get ‘er done
A few miles into the race, you’ve shaken off the nerves. If you started out a little too fast, you’ve settled into your pace and you’re cranking through the miles. The sun is out but there’s a breeze and plenty of shade on the route. Your body is fresh. Life is good.
Come with me now – Kongos
You get what you give – New Radicals
WEDNESDAY: Miles 6-9… halfway to heaven or halfway to hell?
Halfway into the race, you’re starting to count the miles. Hitting the halfway point is a mix of emotion. It’s a relief to know there’s less in front than there is behind, but there’s also doubt. How can you possibly do exactly what you just did… again? Your body is getting tired. Your legs begin to ache. Your pace is slipping. The miles feel longer and longer. Are you going to make it? Only if you put your head down and grind.
Linkin Park has the perfect sound for Wednesday’s miles. Their music has a gritty, hard-edge to it that feels about as rough as I do around these miles. But their music inspires a range of emotions, from hopelessness to stubborn perseverance. Long races… long work-weeks… life in general sometimes feels like a battle. The and the hardest battles are the ones you fight against yourself.
Numb – Linkin Park
What I’ve Done – Linkin Park
Shadow of the Day – Linkin Park
THURSDAY: Miles 10-12… suffering and gratitude
These miles hurt. The only way to make it through is to set your mind right. Stop looking down and start looking up and around. You are tired, but you are strong… and you can – no, you will – make it. Appreciate what you have. Your friends. Your family. Your strength. Your intellect. Your health. Your determination. Appreciate others. Appreciate yourself. Appreciate life. Focus on what truly matters… and somewhere in those hardest miles, you’ll find beauty.
Sound of Silence – Disturbed
Just Breathe – Pearl Jam
The Driver – Charles Kelly
FRIDAY: Finish line
You see the marker for that final mile. The wind brings you the faint sounds of the finish line… the music, the cheering crowd. You are beat up and bruised… but from somewhere deep inside you tap into one final reserve. You pick up your pace and you power through. You don’t jog, or walk, or crawl…. No, you sprint through the final quarter mile, passing as many runners as you can, daring any to race you for the finish. You cross the finish line like a cannonball… lungs bursting, limbs flailing, body barely upright and weaving from side to side. You have nothing left. You have never felt so awful. You have never felt so amazing. It’s time to party.
Feel Again – One Republic
Cruise – Florida Georgia Line
Piensas (Dile La Verdad) – Pitbull
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