You know you’ve been listening to more Prince than usual when your two-year-old starts singing “Purple Rain” to her Fisher Price farm animals. It’s making me alternately very happy and a bit depressed.
Materials used: Golden fluid acrylics (Dioxazine Purple), Handmade Modern acrylic paint (lavender, violet), Winsor + Newton professional watercolor (ivory black)
I think I’ve always loved Prince’s music. And while “Purple Rain” is sort of an obvious song to single out, it’s been an important part of nearly every race I’ve started (and finished). Long, short and everything in between.
Being a bit of a sponge person, I used to get way too wrapped up in the starting line energy (and all the weird vibes that come from other people being nervous, excited, and/or trying out new Gu. Or stretches. Or Spandex). In the corral before my first marathon, a woman told me she was going to run despite not training (like, at all) and I think I pulled every worry muscle in my body just listening to her.
I’d start each race all wrapped up in everything going on around me, inevitably running too fast, and nearly expiring by mile two.
I knew early on that I needed a strategy. (For the record: I don’t mean that in a competitive or high performing way… I mostly mean that in a “figure out how to keep running without dying” kind of way.) I must’ve had my iPod set to shuffle during a run (or maybe I intentionally picked “Purple Rain,” but I don’t think so), but as soon as I heard “I didn’t mean to cause you any sorrow,” I knew Prince would join me for the rest of my races.
“Purple Rain” is just slow enough to keep my heart rate low and pace on target. And when all 8 minutes and 24 seconds have passed, I’m approaching my first mile and first third of a 5k. And if I could do math, I’d tell you how much of a 10k or marathon would be left. But I can’t (do math, that is). Like so much of Prince’s music, the song is somehow uplifting, confusing, bittersweet, sad, and weird all at once. In other words, it’s the perfect soundtrack to all the things that might pop into my head on any given run.
Oh, and don’t get me started on the music itself. If I wasn’t positive I’d be an even worse musician than I am a runner, “Purple Rain” would have convinced me to take up guitar lessons.
While I’m saddened that so many talented people have left the Earth lately, I’m grateful we can still take them along on our runs, our races, our walks, our adventures, our drives and our day-to-days.
Also On Tap for Today:
What’s your go-to running (or painting, or planting, or walking, or waiting) jam?