Monday Music

The WizI love my running playlists! Since I shared a song in a previous post (“Tightrope” performed by Janelle Monae), I decided to share another one. I should add, the music selection in my running playlist is all over the place. Here’s the one for this week:

“Tornado” from the original Broadway production of “The Wiz”, music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls.

Actually, I love the entire soundtrack. “Tornado” is the background music to, you guessed it, the tornado. It is an instrumental, but there is a chorus too. However, what’s so cool about the chorus is the way their voices blend into the music and become the storm along with the music. You have to hear it to understand.

The original soundtrack is available on iTunes. You can also hear it here.

Does anyone else have an instrumental song(s) they love on a playlist?

Liquid Nirvana

rw_sugar_final_2220 Illustration by Zohar Lazar

“Hey, Sugar!”by Mark Remy, Friday, October 23, 2015, 7:03AM-Runner’s World

I subscribe to Runner’s World newsletter, and it is arguably the best one I receive. The information is often useful whether you are a runner or not. This article by Mark Remy had me laughing out loud! So, naturally, I had to share it:

“Hey, Sugar! My name is Mark, and sometimes I consume things that are bad for me. It’s okay if you do, too.”

Read the rest of the article here.


A few years ago, I was hiking in a U.S. northeastern mountain chain during the summer. The last stretch back to the car was a killer. Long. Hot. Rocky. I was trudging along when I realized my ears were ringing. I stopped my group. It turned out we all needed a rest. Provisions were low, but we had water and…


(Image from Bing) Eight fluid ounces of Tang contains 9 grams of sugar and 40 calories. Although this is lower than the 45 grams of sugar and the 180 calories in Mr. Remy’s super-special Dr. Brown’s Black Cherry soda, it was still a wonderful, thirst-quenching, lip-smacking moment, and I didn’t feel one bit guilty about my liquid nirvana.

When was the last time you enjoyed a “bad” food or drink without feeling guilty about it?

Conflict on a Tightrope

tightrope-walker-1314832-2During my run yesterday, I was thinking about two kinds of conflict. I had worked out the day before. Ouch. For the first half or more of the run, all I could think about was the discomfort. My muscles and my brain were in major conflict.

Then I had the conflict of making a choice: Focus on the soreness or focus on something else. I switched my thoughts to the conflict in Valkyrie, my WIP (work in progress). The good news? I stopped thinking about my muscles. The bad news? I got caught up in worrying about whether the conflict is strong enough. Deep enough. Good enough. These doubts were almost as painful as my quads.

I don’t always listen to music while running, but I had my iPod yesterday, and this song saved me:


Written by Nathaniel Irvin, Charles Joseph, Antwan Patton, Janelle Monae Robinson and performed by Janelle Monae.

These words jumped out and pushed me out of the abyss of self-doubt:

But I’m another flavor
Something like a terminator

I’ll bet I’ve listened to “Tightrope” a hundred times, but I’ve never really heard those words.

Who can explain the moments when familiar things catch us unaware with a force so sudden and breath-stopping that we change our thinking?

You can find the complete lyrics here:

Even better, here is a link to the video on YouTube:

What sudden, breath-stopping moment has forced you to change from familiar to different, even radical, thinking?





Which Came First?

Running ShoesWhich came first? Writing or running? Both are natural inclinations. However, for most of us, one must be learned and the other does not. Do you remember the first time you ran? Probably not. Running happens soon after walking is mastered. It was a natural progression. It was fun. We just…ran.

On the other hand, none of us just…wrote. Writing required conscious effort and labor. Do you remember your hot, sweaty hand gripping your pencil as you formed letters over and over? We received grades on our writing too, and printing wasn’t the end. We had to learn cursive too. Fortunately, the labor of learning to write eventually became like running: Intrinsic. Automatic. Fun.

Running and writing have been intertwined intertwined in my life for years. They still are. Almost every time I go for a run, I think about what I’m writing. My best ideas spring from sweat and running shoes.

The challenge is to remember my ideas until I get back home and can write them down. Sure, I could take a device with me and record the ideas, but – full disclosure – I’ve tripped and fallen while fiddling with the device, changing from music to voice memo. It’s a pain in more ways than one. Besides, it’s good brain exercise to make myself remember. The other advantage to memorization is I get so focused on it that I usually forget about running discomforts, especially during a long run.

It doesn’t matter which one came first. Running and writing are intertwined. They are equally necessary and important. Writing makes me a better runner because I know the ideas are waiting for me…somewhere outside. So I’m motivated to go find them. Running makes me a better writer because it opens my mind, and I’m more comfortable sitting for long periods of time if I’ve exercised.

What about you? What motivates you to write? What motivates you to run?