Thursday, April 7, 2011

I guess my mp3 player has a good luck charm

In this world of iPods and digital music, like many people, I'm probably more emotionally attached to my mp3 player than I should be.

For me, it's on the par with my cell phone for outfit accessories. I literally take my mp3 player (A Sony Walkman, pictured right) everywhere, whether it's work, the gym, road trips or bike rides. My collection of songs is relatively modest, but they are with me through thick and thin to capture my mood (currently a "U Can't Touch This" kind of occasion, don't ask) and give rhythm to my day.

So you can imagine how I felt the other day when I discovered that my mp3 player had fallen out of my pocket while biking home from the Y.

Normally, I would've been listening to music and would have known I had lost it. But since it was a high-traffic time of day (about 3:30 in the afternoon), I reasoned that it would be best to keep my ears open to the cars around me and didn't know it was missing until I got home. Making matters worse: I didn't have time to go look for it, as I had to be to work by 4.

Now, I realize that in the grand scheme of things, an mp3 player really isn't that important. It doesn't feed me when I'm starving, it doesn't quench my thirst and it doesn't keep me warm in the wintertime. Countless people make do without music during workouts and long runs, and the Amish have been doing just fine without mp3 players (or electricity, for that matter).

However, that didn't stop me from taking my dinner break to go look for it that evening. It also didn't stop me from figuring out how much I could set aside for a new mp3 player with my next paycheck. Heck, I even debated on making a "missing" sign for my lost musical companion; much like the ones that used to be seen on milk cartons.

I have already experienced exercise without music at my fingertips. It occurred last spring when my iPod broke while I was training for Grandma's Marathon. Since I had no money at the time, I concluded that it would be awhile until I could buy another one, and that I would simply have to make do on long training runs.

"Awhile" lasted for about two weeks, when I gutted out a 20-mile training run in the rain with no music and nobody else to talk to. If there's such a thing as "Workout Hell," that was pretty much it. I remember muttering out motivational phrases and trying to recall all the movies I'd seen with Robert De Niro in them just to take my mind off of how miserable I was.

When the run mercifully came to an end, I ran an ice bath, looked up Red Hot Chili Peppers on Pandora and cranked up my laptop to full volume to help recover from musical withdrawals.

Since I would rather get another root canal than go through that again, I had every intention of using my entire dinner break to solve the mystery of the missing mp3 player. But as luck would have it, I found it in the road within five blocks of the start of my search. Even better: It hadn't been run over by a car and was still in working condition!

After praising the powers that be for keeping my mp3 player safe, I slobbered it with affection (not really, that'd just be weird), promised it I'd never leave it again, put on a White Stripes playlist and went for a leisurely 8-mile ride.

With that kind of luck working in my favor, perhaps my bike can go the rest of the year without getting a flat tire!

No, probably not.

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