- an audiocassette or CD recording of a reading of a book, typically a novel.
No, I haven’t just discovered audiobooks per se. I’ve been listening to them for years; small children, road trips, concussions – plenty of times when listening to someone else reading a story is just the best.
What I have recently figured out is just how perfect they are for running.
I have actually struggled a bit with the idea of listening to music while running. I always thought myself to be more “pure” than that – believing that listening to the wind in the ponderosa placed me on an elevated spiritual and intellectual level.
Then I got an iPod because I am weak (on every level) and have had moments during which listening to Pearl Jam Ten sends me blasting through the trees at the speed of light, oblivious of the pain in my foot, knee, hip, back, shoulder, hand, and neck.
But it’s short-lived – the change in tempo from one song to the next brings me crashing back to reality and allows me the mental space to realize that I can barely breathe.
Recently, I’ve been mixing it up – some days with music, some without. My feelings about it have been mixed also.
And then, yesterday, I had this flash of brilliance…
What about listening to a book while I run?
Left the office, raced to the library, picked out a few books, including one that I always wanted to read but couldn’t get past trying to mentally pronounce the dialect.
Raced back to work, burned all of the books into my Library, synched it all with my iPod, and at the end of the day, raced out to the trailhead.
It was fucking divine.
Of course I chose the challenging one. Read by the author. He know how to pronounce everything. When he calls his girlfriend “Mammi” it sounds bario-cool. When I said it in my mind, the character had an oedipal complex.
I ran. I remained evenly paced. I got (mentally) lost. I was completely absorbed in the story.
But not so lost that I couldn’t appreciate the sunlight through the trees.
A book and nature seem aesthetically compatible in ways that any music beyond classical violin and nature doesn’t.
I run to give myself a break from reality. I read as an escape. The two together brought so much peace and quiet to my brain.
For a little while afterwards, I felt that I was still stuck somewhere in Santo Domingo. I had a little bit of trouble grounding back in MT.
It was absolutely delicious.
I am going to get online this weekend and start downloading books and run myself right around the world.
Run, Darlin’, Run.