Happy Anniversary!…& a few random thoughts

So, I’ve been working on this blog for a year. This weekend, WordPress sent me a cute little Happy Anniversary notification (which I loved…it’s the little things, right?)

My mind has been scattered all over the place since my little walk/run early this morning. The air was cool, so I pulled a stocking cap down over my ears to discourage the frosty air from creeping into my personal space. I tucked my ear buds into their accustomed spaces–L and R, stretched, kissed goodbye, and was on my way. I found a new compilation album on my iPod that I purchased on a sale from iTunes several weeks ago, picked a familiar song, and lengthened my stride along the sidewalk stripe en route to a familiar walking path.

As I hummed along to the tune, echoing intimately in my tender ear drums, keeping breath and step in line with the beat of the music, I began to mourn over the content of the lyrics. The singer, certainly popular in our society, and young, and whose voice I have heard over and over through my children’s Spotify playlists, iPod favorites, and even on exercise/dance video games, sang a tune of so-called empowerment, while speaking words that rang falsely to my heart.

I puzzled through the remaining steps, up a hill, and leveled out as the song changed…and my app announced my time and distance stats over another familiar voice. This song, too, disturbed my soul. On and on, around the path, listening and skipping songs, I was somewhat upset by what I heard. I wondered–exhaustedly–if I could find something to uplift and inspire as I continued to walk through this experience. I got to another song, one with a catchy beat, and began to run, and run, and run.

Then I stopped.

The song couldn’t be talking about what I thought it was talking about (oral sex), could it?

I think maybe it was. And I was even more disturbed that children–even my own–had listened to it and invariably sang along with it from time to time.

Pressing the skip button once again, I found myself in the throws of another relationship break-up song (I had already heard at least two in my twenty-minute walk), where the singer said that he couldn’t control himself around his lover…that he was a victim of sorts…and that he didn’t have the strength or resolve to get himself out of a (potentially dangerous or self-deprecating) situation.

I finally skipped that one, too.

As I continued to skip more songs as I walked and ran, I decided with a renewed determination not to let the words slip by me again. These messages that I sing along with and share with my children can be destructive to their tender hearts.  I want them to be empowered through kindness, love, and socially responsible and upright behavior.

In closing, I am posting a link to this article, which cites some of the dangers of exposing our younger generations to porn. Though I have yet to finish reading it, the pages I have read thus far were enlightening as well as disturbing. What prompted this article was work on a documentary, part of the UK’s “Campaign for Real Sex” (part of which appears to be a call for better sex ed in the UK along with exposing the dangers of pornography). Here is the trailer for the documentary.

I post them as a voice of warning (and a conversation starter) if you find yourself in the company of children, teens, or even young adults.  I encourage you to talk to another generation about the dangers of porn and the power of music/lyrics.  If someone doesn’t talk to them, the loud voice of popular media–or even the detached version of communication found in social media–will teach them…and I’m not certain parents, societies, or future generations be happy with what they are taught.

I learned that difficult lesson on a short walk this morning.

photo credit

Hit the Pavement!

So…last week I took a break from the wide world of exercise.  Prior to that week, I was getting in about 3 workouts/week (to help maintain muscle tone, lower stress levels, and keep up with the massive amounts of carbs I’ve been eating…and to claim all the happy heart benefits of exercising….).  Anyway, by Saturday, my stress level was…shall we say HIGH…and I was missing the fresh air and pavement under my feet.  So, I decided that I was–come what may–going to run.

I found my workout gear, running jacket, iPod headphones, and shoes.  I laced up both shoes, then sat for a moment to add some recently acquired music to my “a good run” playlist.  As I did, I felt something poking the inside of my right ankle.  I unlaced my shoes (have I mentioned that I abhor tying shoes and avoid this action whenever possible?) to investigate.  I pushed around my sock and flicked at the spot in my shoe until I was satisfied that the sharp object digging into my skin had exited.

I started a load of (long overdue) laundry.

I stretched.

I added a few more songs.

I took a sip of water.

Then, I popped the ear buds into my ears and searched for a song that would pump up my energy level and inspire me to keep moving muscles in a way I hadn’t done for…well, let’s just say it’s been awhile…. 🙂

Rob Bass started chanting in my ear (thank heavens my dear friend edited the song for me so I could listen to it in peace), and my feet were keeping up with the rhythm, pounding with the force of weekly frustrations and newfound strength.  I didn’t even care about keeping pace or running far; I just needed the boost of pavement beneath my feet and the spirit of the earth flowing around me.  I felt renewed, refreshed, and amazing.  The wind hit my face like a wall, but I kept moving.  A few more songs, and I was back home to lift, do push ups and abs.

The next morning, I got out of bed with shin splints.  Oops!  I guess I forgot to stretch those muscles!  Still, with every step I took, I was reminded of the rush of energy of my run and of the work I am doing to live healthy and to be strong.  The shin splints were practically a gift…and I was grateful for them.  🙂

What do you do to combat stress and to increase your personal health and strength?

P.S.  Did you know that Brooks (awesome running shoes) has a Wear Tester Program for their products?  You can fill out a profile, and you become eligible to try out their new gear for FREE…pretty sweet, eh?  🙂

Adrenaline GTS 13