Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Rhythm of Life

Oh the rhythm of life is a powerful beat,
Puts a tingle in your fingers and a tingle in your feet,
Rhythm on the inside, rhythm on the street,
the rhythm of life is a powerful beat.

I think I may have only heard this song once, performed by a highschool group back when I was a gradeschooler, but it was so catchy that it has stayed with me all this time.

Been thinking a lot about rhythm lately. One intriguing place that rhythm has broken into the routine is something that Joy's occupational therapist has begun to try with her. Here's how she put it:
I was experimenting some with rhythm... I want to address some of that internal rhythm for attention and regulation. So completing activities to a rhythm or song for attention and focus. Giving movement and input (deep pressure, massage or tapping) to a rhythm for that internal self-regulation.

This has possibilities! I think it resonates particularly well for me at this point with my running. Yes, I'm still at it, having completed the Couch to 5K training just before Christmas, still running three times a week. When I get outside (on weekends if the weather isn't too rough) I can keep going for 5K without too much internal struggle. With hills and wind and some ice, I managed to do a 5K route in 34 1/2 minutes last Friday.

At home on the treadmill, though, I need help and I usually do shorter (2-mile) runs. If I don't have music to listen to, it's TOO boring to even get through that. Two favorite tapes to listen to (yes, old technology, I know) have been Footloose and a tape of the Radiators from New Orleans. I find that when the beat of the song matches my running pace, my energy level goes way up.

What songs match my pace, right now?

Well, let's see. On the Radiators tape, there's "Walking Backwards With Our Eyes Closed." The line repeats again and again. It's kind of like -- life with Joy. Feels like we do an awful lot of walking backwards with our eyes closed sometimes! Have to trust that we're going in good directions, with help from above.

On the Footloose tape, the best run-pacing song is "Heaven Helps the Man" by Kenny Loggins. (What's with all this "man" stuff -- medicine man, heaven helps the man, etc? Oh well.) Once again, my thoughts are drawn to my daughter:
Looking into your eyes I know I'm right
If there's anything worth my love it's worth the fight...

Heaven helps the man who fights his fear
Love's the only thing that keeps me here
You're the reason that I'm hanging on
My heart's staying where my heart belongs

Yes. There are surely fears to conquer, but love keeps us hanging in there. Joyfully.

So, are all my running songs Joy-related? Uh, turns out... not quite.

How about another one off the Footloose album, "The Girl Gets Around"? Let's see, that one must be... about running. Yeah, that's it. See, I get around faster because I'm running...

Oh, and the one from the Radiators, "The Nasty Boogie Woogie."

Nope, can't spin that one. Other than... life has its rhythms. What can I say?

Speaking of which, turns out the original version of the Rhythm of Life song comes from the Bob Fosse musical Sweet Charity and has slightly different lyrics from the childrens-choir re-write:

And the rhythm of life is a powerful beat,
Puts a tingle in your fingers and a tingle in your feet,
Rhythm in your bedroom, rhythm in the street,
Yes, the rhythm of life is a powerful beat!


By the way, yesterday's treadmill entailed a 5K in 33:31. A good sign, since I've signed up for a race in 2 1/2 weeks, on Valentine's Day! Also running will be the friend from church that I told about the Couch to 5K thing back at Women's Retreat this fall. And her husband, and her sons! This will be so much fun! Fingers crossed for reasonable weather!


Anonymous said...

Very happy to see reports on your running! You the Woman! (No comparisons with relatives who run more and blog on it daily.)

Have you heard of that 'Metronome' method for teaching? I know an OT doing it; could get you a website. Don't know too much about it. Barbara/BRatK

Anonymous said...

I started to post a reply about running on a treadmill, but it got too wordy, so I put it on my blog instead.

My chorus recently sang that "Rhythm of Life" song. It's fun to sing, although it's kind of a pain to get it right.

ARatK said...

In my experience as a teacher, I often used rhythm and the beat of music to help the students learn. It seemed to help them internalize information and understand it in a different way. I don't know if this is similar to the effect that is hoped for by using rhythm with Joy, but it does seem to make sense. In the bigger picture, life does seem to move in a rhythm. I think of it like the rhythm of waves and tides or seasons or the phases of the moon. So it does seem logical to me that rhythm and patterns can also affect us all internally and maybe make it possible to reach a part of Joy that will respond to that rhythm with understanding. If I think about it too much, it starts sounding a bit eerie and voodoo-ish, but it certainly seems worthwhile to try.
And, that is good to hear about your success with running. Good luck on 2/14. Is this an outdoor run? If so, I hope the snow will be melted by then!!

Mama Mara said...

I've got the AC/DC song "The Girl's got Rhythm (She got the backseat rhythm)" stuck in my head. Spin that!

You amaze me with your dedication to the fitness thang. I have gone full-couch potato of late, but hopefully your upbeat rhythm will get me moving soon.

Anonymous said...

Thoroughly enjoyed this post. Good music like that sure does give you lots to think about when you're running, yes? The "walking backwards with our eyes closed" is one of the best descriptions I've heard for this life!

abcgirl said...

i have found that a good sound track makes ALL the difference in my motivation to keep running. i posted about this awhile back on my blog:

the key point in that post? visit!