Why Listening to Music on a Treadmill is Dangerous For Me

The temperature here in Ohio is dropping lower with each passing day and for me that means more of my runs are taking place at the gym on a nice, warm treadmill. I must admit that it’s taken me awhile to warm up to the idea of running inside because so much of what I like about running involves fresh air, sunshine, and wildlife but I’m getting there. Running in the gym has some perks as well; restroom facilities are always close, I can watch Netflix (I especially enjoy watching The Flash when I’m running), and I’ve even managed to listen to a podcast or two.

But I do have an interesting problem.

I love listening to music when I run. When I run on my local path, I keep the jams coming. The faster the jam, the faster my pace. In fact, I can take a significant amount of time off my pace simply by listening to faster music. If I’m being honest, running to the pace of the music is mostly involuntary for me. I’m a drummer so it is just natural for me to match my steps with the pace of the music. And because I’m not necessarily a good drummer, I prefer my right foot to land with the down beat of the music I’m running to. This is easily accomplished when running on a path, but on a treadmill, it becomes rather difficult. Twice now I’ve nearly bought the farm when listening to music on the treadmill as my feet involuntarily tried to adjust to the tempo of the music.

It makes me wonder if anyone else has ever had this problem. I’m going to have to work to gain some kind of independence from the tempo of the music before I run out of episodes of The Flash!

In the meantime, here was my running jam for this morning. A guy can like Superchick … right?


Running as an Act of Worship

tumblr_nw5s63GsbW1uskctzo1_1280On my morning run today I tried something different. Instead of listening to worship music I opted for a podcast. My reasoning seemed solid, I could get in my run and listen to one of my favorite podcasts that I never seem to have time for – two birds, one stone. Listening to the podcast during my run was a success time-wise, and I even managed to clock one of my better paces, but I found I missed my normal routine.

Typically, my runs begin with prayer. I reflect back on the prior day and have a talk with God about both the good and the bad. I ask Him to forgive my transgressions and then run through my daily prayers. I then crank up the praise music and celebrate with God the blessings of being able to run. Currently, I’m on a Tobymac kick (it’s a kick that’s lasted about three months); his music is both fast-paced and packed with praise. Occasionally, much to the chagrin of my fellow runners, I even catch myself singing out loud. I’m positive the city is working up an ordinance to address my lack of vocal skills.

The point is that my entire run becomes about God rather than about me. I may look like a solitary runner, but the truth is God is right there with me. My run is then transformed from simple exercise into an act of worship. Because of this, my runs are among the high points of my week.

And I missed that worship this morning. 

So with my apologies to Albert Mohler and his The Briefing podcast, it’s back to worship tomorrow.



"Come As You Are" by Crowder

Here’s the song that’s been stuck in my head for the past week. There’s no doubt that David Crowder can write a beautiful song when he wants to. Listen to these lyrics:

Lay down your burdens, lay down your shame
All who are broken, lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home, you’re not too far
So lay down your hurt, lay down your heart
And come as you are

Beautiful stuff. I was reminded of this song in Bible study Sunday morning when we were discussing Hebrews 9:13-14:

13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God,cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Many of us feel we are too broken and damaged to accept Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Crowder’s song echoes Hebrews 9:14 … the blood of Christ is capable of cleaning us from the inside out!