What’s your jam?!

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A few mornings ago, I went for a jog. I have been trying to make time early in the morning or late at night since the evening my treadmill caught on fire. Let me be clear; the smoking motor that burned a spot on my carpet did not happen because I am a super runner. I am not. I am just a super ‘try to fit in my jeans’…er. For someone who crams their day as full as productively possible, to be without my treadmill sucks. Pre-smoking motor I was able to fit my workouts into my day whenever it worked best, and I was able to watch my favorite TV show while I did so. Win-Win! Post-smoking motor means I am working with listening to something on my phone and having to schedule around the weather. I ran in the heat of the day once (just once!), and quickly learned I needed to become accustomed to getting my rear end out of bed in the morning. Since I am NOT a super runner, I need a good distraction.

Reserving my treadmill time for my favorite show did the trick when it was an option. Now that this is not, I have been trying podcasts. I listen to things that grow me, give me perspective on what’s going on in the world, and frankly, stress me out. I did not realize these things were stressing me out and bogging down my jogging game until a few mornings ago. This morning I stood in my driveway staring at my phone, scrolling through my podcast library. I could not make myself pick one for my run. Every single thing on the menu felt like something on my to-do list. I have so many incredible options in my library. I have sections on “how to be a better speaker,” “what’s going on in the education world,” “the key to be happier,” and even “how to fix your online marketing flaws.” I feel like they are all good things that I love and need, but I also started feeling like I need to learn and fix and grow in every single area of my life! I was literally fighting my not so great running style with my not so great personal to-do list. Do you feel my stress? I am feeling it right now as I write this. Honestly, it was pretty constant that I found myself wishing I had paper and pen during a run because I needed to be taking notes.

Thinking through this moment left me asking the question, when do I breathe?!? My running is a challenge as it is. So, I closed out of my Podcasts app and opened my good ‘ol Pandora app. I picked a station and ran. You know what? My time per mile was better than it has been in a really long time! (Don’t ask me what it was because I am not a super runner, remember?) I just ran. I breathed. I let my mind jam to the “Summer Hits of 2015 Road Trip Radio.” I found my jam!!!! I was better and happier while accomplishing my goal because I found my jam. Could it be that simple? How often have I fought battles harder because I was listening to the wrong jam? How much easier could the challenging obstacles we tackle daily be if we just found the right one to help carry us through? Let me cross-apply my running to my everything… to your everything. What is your “jam” that enables you to breathe and power through the hard parts of life? Is it the people we surround ourselves with, self-care, time to unplug, prayer, therapy, helping others…? WHAT’S YOUR JAM?!!

We have to find the right station and let go of the idea that every second of every day has to be “Podcast Productive.” That is a preach at me! Thank you to my early morning jam run for this beautiful reminder. We won’t talk about the cross-country team that I ran with this morning. They have a much better jam…maybe it’s the Summer Hits 2019 Radio station (we know it’s not 2020).

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