Everything has rhythm. Want proof? Put your hand over your heart, and feel the steady rhythmic beating. Ever notice how you breathe? In and out in a nice steady rhythm. Everything has rhythm. Life has rhythm. Sometimes it’s slow, sometimes it’s fast, but always rhythmic.
It’s obvious that music is rhythmic. Not just the music itself, but the way a musician moves. A violinist must coordinate moving the bow back and forth while lifting and dropping fingers. The bow and fingers have to coordinate movements in order to create the desired effect. Phrasing, shifting, bow strokes all have to happen in the right order at the right time just to create the sound and notes the composer wants. Then there is the music. All of those notes arranged in a rhythmic order that have to be interpreted, and translated. Everything the composer asks has to happen not only within the rhythm asked of the musician, but in the speed the composer desires. Rhythm can be fast or slow depending on the what the music needs. Music, like life, is a coordination of different moving parts to come to a certain outcome.
Running is rhythmic too. There is rhythm to the regular rising, and dropping of the knees so that the leg can swing below, rhythmically moving the runner forward. The regular rhythm is familiar, and comforting. Maybe that’s why counting my steps is something I fall back to in the late stages of races to stay focused. You can even figure out how efficient you as a runner by the number of steps you take in a minute. Rhythm is everywhere. For long time I didn’t listen to music while running. I would get caught up in the rhythm of the music, and end up running faster than I was capable. Instead I listened to my feet, counted my steps, and got lost in the rhythm of the world around me. Eventually I found my way back to occasionally listening to music while running, but I paid more attention to the tempos of the music. This past Sunday I ran my final long run for the Savannah rock-n-roll Marathon. For the last hour of the run I had a piece of music that I’m working on memorizing on repeat (yes, it’s that picture up above). The regular rhythm of the Bach fugue combined with running over bridges, over the early leaves that have finally started changing color, and a tunnel combined into something beautiful. The steady rhythm of familiar music, music created to celebrate the beauty that is in the world, while running through the beautiful outdoors.
Do you see the rhythm around you? The sound of the cars on the streets, the call of geese flying above, or regular sound of footsteps. Listen, it’s all around you, the beautiful rhythm that is life. Maybe your rhythm is too fast, or slow. You can control what your rhythm is.
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