And sometimes I get nervous
When I see an open door
Close your eyes
Clear your heart
Cut the cord
— The Killers “Human”
The other day I was listening to the newest release by my latest, favorite band and something about this verse really got under my skin. On the ride from Trumbull to Stamford, I played the song no less than ten times. I loved everything about it and had I been without any commitments that day, I could easily have listened to it ten more times.
As always with The Killers, the song is incredibly well-produced. It goes places that make you prick your ears up but still retain a sense of familiarity. In this case, the drums have kind of an Eighties feel to them and the vocals smack of the best days of the The Cure.
But the lyrics were what really drew me in because they speak to what I want to experience with my running. I want to run in a way, to race in such a way that I completely let go of what I know to be possible and hurl myself into such a complete effort that I land on a new frontier. For just once in my life, I want to run with my body and leave my head behind. To get to the point where I’m so focused on the moment that judgment, self-analysis, criticism, even competitiveness do not take up a single ounce of my energy.
This is the opportunity I’ll be looking for in 2009. I’ve run well and plenty the old way, my head screaming at me to “go faster,” “Beat that mother fucker” “C’mon, you pussy,” “Don’t quit,” “You can’t hold this pace” “My God, where’s the finish line?” etc etc.
All of this, I want to be done with it.
Going forward, I’m making a commitment to run mindfully but without comment from the peanut gallery in my cerebral cortex. For years, my training runs have served as my meditation. But when I get on the track or in a race, serenity mostly gets in the backseat and a steamer trunk full of pettiness, character defects and fears explode into the forefront. Again, it’s gotten me to some good places with racing but it’s time for a better way of doing things. I’m ready to cut the cord.