Let me just say that relearning to do something that you used to do is really hard. Starting from scratch, when you know that a few seasons ago you ran for nearly 3 hours, is not easy. So very much of running is a mental game. It doesn't take long to defeat yourself and give up. The mental game is weak for me right now. I do not have the resolve that I did 2 years ago. I am relearning how hard every run is, yet how much I am capable of, and how good it feels to finish.
As I reenter the running scene there are a few things I had to relearn for me to succeed. First: I need water. A whole lot of water. I am a thirsty runner and can not go without liquids. Second: I need a light meal before and a light one afterwards. Food is key for me to succeed. Too much and I die. Third: I need a plan. Free training app, C25k or C210K, is perfect for me to restart with. Plus later the timers are great for interval training. but eventually I need a race to keep up the training. Lastly: I need to begin with the Marines.
I need ear noise (music, sermons, conversation). I am not picky but do need headphone action to keep me company. When I began again I tried music, but it failed and left me walking in boredom. In the beginning my perspective was short and I needed shorter tunes. After a few runs of trying to get songs to work, I remembered the Marines. I switched to cadence and began running with gusto. I love listening to the Marine PT cadence while I run and here's a few reasons why they inspire me:
- Motivation - One of the main purposes of cadence is to motivate the men. Oh boy is it motivating. As I listen to them downplay exercise it helps propel me onward.
- Training - The cadence reminds the men to train often and train hard. It is just what I need to remind myself. There is a battle and I need to be active and seasoned for my part.
- Historical - The lyrics often contain history about the battles and commanders. It reminds me that I need to review my spiritual and biblical history to keep myself informed.
- Bigger Picture - They sing often of being part of the Corps. I am reminded that I am part of a bigger story. One that goes from the beginning of time and will never end.
- Solider - Can not listen to any one of these tracks and not hear a solider reference. I love this image because it is the same image Paul uses in the Bible to describe us. Every Christian is a solider.
- Weapons - They frequently mention M16's + K-Bars. Frequently. Hearing about their battle weapons reminds me that I am armed and equipped. Not only for life but also for this run.
- War - So many references to being in combat or to an historical event. War is woven throughout the tunes. It reminds me that we are in a battle. Not with people, but with the heavenlies fighting against darkness.
- Love - Of course there are many a love songs. The outcomes of the relationships are usually that the Marine sticks with the Corps and the woman either joins him or stays behind. But nothing separated Him from His duty. Just like us. There is no relationship here on earth that can separate us from God. HE is completely devoted to us.
- All In - The cadences leave no room for maybes. These guys are all in for whatever assignment they are given. They are faithful to the group and to the mission. As Christ says lukewarm isn't an option, we are to be all in for whatever this Christian thing means.
- Dedicated - This is a word that often appears, as it should, in the songs. They pride themselves on being dedicated to the Corps and to each other. They hold a high standard for character. Integrity isn't an option, it's expected. Today, the situation is the same for those who follow Christ. We are to be motivated by love, be agile/flexible, responsible, take initiative/go, be noteworthy, have endurance and excellence.