On any given day, all that stands between me and running to music is my technology. With my tunes clipped to my collar and my earbuds in place, I am officially ready to run. More recently, however, while my body has had its usual ups and downs, my technology was heading steadily downhill. My precious iPod Shuffle, companion through thousands of kilometres and litres of sweat, was slowly dying. As the death watch progressed, I took special care: wiping the Shuffle carefully post-run; leaving it on a counter to dry; charging it more often. But the inevitable came to pass. The charge was erratic, the sound crackled and cut out intermittently, the volume dipped and soared. After years of happy use, I retired my Shuffle. May it rest in peace in the local landfill.
Every death brings with it a rebirth and my new Shuffle propelled my running into the future. Overshadowed by the launch of iPhone 5, the new model Shuffle was introduced on the same day. It’s a marvel, of course. Smaller than its predecessor and with a bigger memory, this Shuffle even speaks aloud to tell me the name of the song and the remaining battery charge.
I loaded my playlist and hit the road. My new Shuffle and I will need to get accustomed to each other. The signal is strong and clear but the device is so small that it’s a challenge to operate. In trying to advance to the next song, I inadvertently shut it off or prompt the virtual doofus to tell me the song title (And imperfectly. Mr. Shuffle tells me I’m listening to “a-KONEY-bell” instead of “ACK-unny-bell”). I’m sure we’ll learn to love each other as we travel together, running to music.
Post script: For some reason, I let this post languish on my desktop for a couple of weeks. During that time, my shiny new Shuffle died after less than a month of operation. Apple made good, of course, but not before I spent a week or more – horrors! – running without music.
Great Running Track: I tried to ignore Mr. Shuffle as he tells me I’m listening to Bruce “COCK-burn” (should be “CO-burn,” as any Canadian can tell you). Once Shuffle fades away, Bruce has the stage to himself:
Somewhere out there is a land that’s cool
Where peace and balance are the rule
Working for the future like some kind of mystic jewel
And waiting for a miracle.