Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Adele Rule and a Plea for Help!

The intro of Adele's "Cold Shoulder" played through my phone and I cringed. I felt that all hope was lost, and I thought to myself, "Good lord, woman, must you always drive me into the ground?" You see, I have a love/hate relationship with Adele, which of course makes me sound like a lunatic. 99 percent of the time I am pleased when I hear her songs; that pesky other one percent is always when I am jogging and one of her songs (I only put in a couple of her fast ones) comes up on my random playlist. My stated, self-imposed rule is, "Thou must not stop running when Adele is singing." Of course, "Cold Shoulder" began when I was less than a block from my distance goal, so on I trudged well past the lamp-post. I reciprocated the lyrics back to her the whole time though: "You shower me with words made of knives..."

Adele, appearing as though she is in the same pain she puts on me

The Adele Rule is interesting to me because it proves to me that I am capable of some degree of mental fortitude when I am jogging. Typically I feel like a jogging weenie, giving up easily and whining incessantly it seems. When the Adele Rule comes into play though, somehow something kicks into gear and I talk myself into going the distance when I thought I surely couldn't only one minute before...including that one awful time that "Rumour Has It" pushed me beyond my goal and I finally believed I could stop...until "Rolling in the Deep" came on right after that. If you had asked me if I could have plugged on for another three minutes and 48 seconds, I would have flipped you the bird and said no. But the second of back-to-back Adele songs came on and I really did run another 3:48, despite what I thought possible.

My running partner Chanda is kind enough to abide by the Adele Rule too, even though her affinity for Adele's music stops well short of mine. (Chanda and I play the music aloud through my phone speaker so we can both hear, and also talk at the same time.) We have found over time that the Adele Rule pushes us to new heights even when it doesn't come into play. As we near the end of our route, we find ourselves pushing harder and running faster, doing all we can to finish before the next song comes on, lest it be hers. Just yesterday we finished our jog in an all-out sprint for the last hundred yards or so, touching the lamp-post with only two seconds left of Kanye's "Stronger"...only to hear that the next song would have been Florence and the Machine anyway.

This jog today was extremely hard for me. I am by no means a natural runner and I become easily discouraged. Today the problem was that I couldn't keep my left earphone secured in my ear; it requires a twisting motion that I can't manage with my robotic arm, so the earphone kept repeatedly popping out. The motion of it swinging about wildly as I jogged caused the right one to come out too, and I became so frustrated over this very small and simple setback. It was ridiculous! I finally snapped the earphones out and just listened to the music via my phone speaker like I do when I run with Chanda, but the damage was done and my mentality could just not recover. I trudged on, only going past my goal because Adele made me today. What is this about? Fellow runners, please share: how in the world do you instill a good attitude and overcome obstacles? I really need some help! I just ordered this book, which got really good reviews, and I am hoping it can help me. I would love to hear the experiences of friends here though!

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