The great debate about the safety of wearing headphones while running rages on… You always see it in the runner’s guide for big races: “Headphones are strongly discouraged.” Why?! That’s just silly to tell me I can’t wear headphones in something I paid for…a charity running event. If I want to wear old beer cans as a coat with an awesome green vest and scarf, I should be able to.
If I want to wear a beard and a wig in an attempt to emulate Forrest Gump, I should be able to.
I think the theme here is clear: when I run, I’ll do (just about) whatever I want!
Last week one of my favorite blog writers wrote about the pros and cons of listening to music when running. Like Joe, I almost never run without some good music to motivate me. It’s pretty much a must. I’ve made a few runs without my ZuneHD and it’s just not as fun. I find it harder to “zone out” and escape. I can see how others would feel conversely, but for me…running with my favorite indie tunes (and the occasional hip-hop) is a must!
Then today another of my favorite blogs wrote up a post in regards to a California lady runner who jumps off a cliff to evade this dude:
I won’t try to summarize his post, because he’s pretty crafty with his words in his own right and I want my small flock to go check out his hilariously great work. I will, however, summarize the horrifying story: a chick was running in broad daylight when a guy tried to sexually assault her, she was able to break free from the creep, and then jumped off a cliff. Nuts!?
Then on my commute home this afternoon, my USA Today app had an article about a male runner who was getting his daily strut on alongside the beach in South Carolina, (the Hilton Head Island area, near a beautiful golf course and host to the Verizon Heritage Classic next month) rocking out to his iPod when a 4-seater Lancair IV-P plane hits him from behind. He was killed instantly because he couldn’t hear the crashing airplane…what?!
I know we’ve all been in this guys shoes (only we’ve all come out on the more livelier side, thankfully). Who hasn’t been running down the street and been caught off guard by something you probably would’ve recognized without the diversion of music. I’ll be the first to admit, music is a distraction. But it’s a distraction I crave and love. It’s how I zone out and clear my head of workload pressure, bills, debts, girls (ha!), life. Everyone needs a little break once in a while; some more often than others. Music pushes me into the greatest mood of the day…but is this worth it? Do I want to be clipped by a freak plane accident while running down Lake Woodlands Drive bustin’ a move to some Miike Snow? Or do I run without so that I have a chance at escaping a serial rapist via cliff-diving? Hmm. Decisions, decisions.
All goofiness aside, prayers go out to the family of the killed runner—a father of two. And the lady runner who jumped off a Malibu cliff was taken to the hospital for cuts and bruises. Both horrifying events involving runners…that were or were not wearing headphones. My point? If it’s your time to go, you don’t really have any say in it. But if you turn down your iPod/Zune just a tad, you may be able stick around a little longer. Be safe out there!