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If All Else Fails, Crank Up Some White Zombie


Music has the power to motivate and get one’s body moving, but I typically don’t run with earbuds stuffed in my ears with music blaring. I have tried it on several occasions and found it to be more of a distraction than anything else.

Each song has a different beat which messes with my pace, and though I have tried to make playlists more upbeat than not, sometimes it can be too upbeat, making me exert myself at a faster pace than I can comfortably sustain, wearing me down quicker and shortening my run.

I prefer to focus on the rhythm of my footfalls and the flow of my breath. Additionally, I may even repeat mantras to myself in sync with my feet or breath, whichever one seems most in need of reigning in. The mantra might be as simple as Keep Moving or it might be a Sanskrit mantra invoking freedom from suffering for all beings everywhere (including myself!) – Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu.

I will no doubt employ these methods to help me through my first half marathon tomorrow. But I am going out there prepared with some backup motivation. I’ll have my iPhone strapped to my arm to track my progress, but this time I’ll pack my headphones in case I need the extra push to the finish line with encouraging music.

My “Last Resort” playlist includes many rawking Michael Franti tunes, selections from the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack, Madonna’s “Die Another Day” (what a great title) and the hardcore, thrashing mantra “More Human Than Human” by White Zombie. If this last screaming anthem can’t get me to the finish line, nothing will. And it is exactly how I will feel when I finish.

NOTE: “Eye of the Tiger” will absolutely NOT be on my playlist, ever.

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