Riding her Trikke without tunes? She wouldn’t hear of it. Until …
It’s the end of the world as we know it!
That’s how I felt upon realizing I’d left my headphones at home today.
“Guess this ride is gonna feel really, reeeeally long. And boring. Joy…”
I’m not proud of it, but yes, I even pouted a bit. Little did I know: an unplugged ride was exactly what I needed, kinda refreshing, actually; I got to experience all sorts of new “music”, music I have been missing out on for way too long.
For me, a ride without tunes is akin to a politician without a platform or a Navy man without a ship – one thing necessitates the other. I am a musical being. Since I was a little kid, music has been an integral part of my life whether, through study, performance, or just for plain ol’ enjoyment. I could no sooner do without music than I could oxygen. So yeah, it’s kind of a big deal when my headphones don’t make it to my Trikke workout. But on this day, I soldiered on in the face of this challenge, and I lived to tell the tale.
Apollo (my trusty T78 cs) and I set off down the park path in silence … until my brain started to piece together little snippets of melody. The first tune came from a bird call I’d never heard before: cheery, pert, and in a major key. The frogs in the nearby creek soon joined in – in the same key as the birds! Then came the percussion: crickets’ syncopated rhythm and the quick bum-BUM of cars’ tires hitting a pothole. I grew more aware of the sheer quantity of “music” around me: kids laughed as they flew over the playground on the old wooden swing set, the wind whispered softly in my ears, an agitated dog barked fiercely in the distance, car brakes screamed and were followed closely by the guttural growl of a heavy truck’s engine brakes, fallen leaves crunched crisply as my tires ground them into dust, my wheels thudded softly as they coursed over grooves in the pavement, a miniature waterfall in the creek burbled gently, a gaggle of women chatted somewhere off to my right, squirrels secreted in the thick branches of the pecan trees above sent nut fragments crashing to the cement, muted sounds of rap music leaked from under a biker’s massive headphones, a septuagenarian couple hissed heated barbs at each other over by the trail map … I could easily spend another hour cataloging the sounds I heard in the first five minutes of my ride alone.
The cacophony and complexity of the sounds around me made that big band jazz music I’d planned to carve to sound like an elementary school recorder choir. SO much sound, such intricate melodies punctuated by a steady, stunning complement of rhythmic and arrhythmic beats from the most unexpected sources – my analytical, musical brain was in ecstasy. And then it hit me: plugging in my MP3 player almost every waking moment had dulled my senses and deprived me of so much beauty and detail. I had tuned out the symphony of life around me, and I didn’t even realize it was gone. Worse yet, I didn’t miss it. What a shame.
Before a mile had passed beneath my Trikke, I resolved to leave the headphones behind at least once a week. Sure, I have a blast making Apollo dance in time to the beats of Prince, Queen, and Harry Connick, Jr., but there’s more beautiful music to be had than what lives on my phone. And you can bet that I won’t be tuning it out again!