The Great Motivator…

Music just picked me up over a steep and intimidating wall. Thanks to its propulsive powers, year end physical feats have been met. I didn’t need 12 months to break through annual barriers. All I required was a soundtrack.

During this surreal period, I lost motivation to do what brings me great happiness: ride my bike. I took a chance while cycling and incorporated what the majority of my day entails: music. Safety had been my rationale for not listening. But riding brings joy. I rolled the dice and realized how motivational and simply blissful this addition can be.

I used music to push me on cold days, mornings where most were still sleeping or sipping warm drinks, and as an integral soundtrack to consistent movement. But also to be engaged with albums of my past and records deserving my ear. The sad reality is when listening to anything, I’m multi-tasking. Music was the lesser of the two simultaneous tasks taking place; sure, I heard it, but how engaged was I?

This became a time to dive deeply in records. My playlists became irrelevant, this was going to be uninterrupted time experiencing albums from front to back. The formula was simple: a sound that continued to propel me forward. Staples like Local H, LCD Soundsystem, and Soulwax were in regular rotation; but also pulled new releases out of the crate to analyze their worthiness. Besides plugging into a record player and simply sitting, me, two wheels, and my chosen sound let me hear all of an album.

As someone who monitors physical feats on the bike, I look to the previous season when comparing performance stats. 2020 has been a mess, but I was confident smashing last year’s totals was in reach. Time and flexibility contributed to reaching new heights. But without the extra push from music, I question if I would have had the mental stamina and physical strength to crush last year and set a new standard.

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November 2020

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