I've mentioned before that I find motivation in Music. I listen to various genres, but mostly classic rock and metal. I recently came across a perfect song for my running playlist: My Curse, by Killswitch Engage.
now, I'm normally picky about my preferred music, and one hard to bypass guideline is I need to understand the words. So listen to the song (link above) while you read on.
Imagine you are running. Determined. Angry. Amped. This song comes on in your headphones. You've been mad at yourself for letting poor health get the best of you. All this pent up energy, waiting to explode. You fall into the beat. The guitar guides you through your thoughts. You don't even realize you are running faster, breathing harder. The more the song picks up, the less focused you are on the lyrics, letting the sounds just wash over you. You fight the urge to stomp you feet into the ground with the line "THIS IS MY CURSE" and as the song goes on you can feel it. You don't feel tired. You only know the energy of the music, and the rhythm of your breathing. By the end of the song, you've run almost a mile. Before the song came on, you were thinking of stopping.
This is what a song can do for me. It's like self-medicating (another popular topic in the ADD/HD sector). Just enough distraction to maintain focus on the task at hand, but at the same time full of the same anger and energy that I am. Whatever soreness I was feeling recedes to the back of my mind, overpowered by the auditory stimulation. I can only process so many things, and my body's movement and the sound of music are the easiest to focus on.
Now take another song.
Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon
The song takes over a minute to fully pick up. At which point, it's ultra soothing. Now if you're hiking in the woods, or going for a light jog, and are completely happy or immensely high, this song is great. I cannot run and listen to this song. At. All. But, I can relax. oh yeah. I can sit in a chair, close my eyes, and experience all the different components of this song. Not afraid to care, just like the 2nd line says. I can imagine the rabbit running, I can imagine the end of work, only to find there's more work to be had. I can essentially reflect on life, and the continuous cycles it contains. This song motivates me... to do absolutely nothing. And the type of auditory stimulation emulates complete relaxation. It's like I'm being programmed to chill out.
Some people might be reading this and think "yeah, that's pretty much what listening to music is like for anyone". I disagree. When I was medicated, music, food, even cigarettes and alcohol, really did nothing for me. Sure I liked listening to music, but didn't need to to run. As I came off Medication, I found the ONLY way I could complete my homework was to have something to snack on or music to listen to. The music fills an empty part of my being, allowing me to focus on what I need to. Depending on the type of music, it can also provide the extra adrenaline or excitement to get things done more quickly or more aggressively. It literally becomes a part of me.
I don't just hear it with my ears, I feel it.
I can't think of an effective way to end this, so:
The bacon song: