I am a HUGE Billy Joel Fan. I have been to many of his concerts over the years and I still remember the first time I saw “Piano Man” played at the Old Boston Garden over 20 years ago. What I like most about Billy (like I am friends with him or something) was his piano play. He had a unique style and largely outside of the mainstream. Growing up, he and Elton John stuck out to me as “the” piano players of the time and while their words probably sold a majority of their songs, the piano playing as what appealed most to me.
When I was a kid, I took lessons on the piano for three years. My parents went out and found me a piano and I would trudge down to the teachers house on the other side of the town (after taking the 78) each week, go through some clsssics and then come home and practice (which I never did because of many other things in my life). The lack of practice following the lessons, to this day, still bothers me because I can sit and listen to piano playing all day and remain captivated by it’s sound. I really wished I had practiced more because there is nothing more peaceful than the notes of a piano and if I had the ability today, I could do it for hours on end!
Lessons and experiences such as these are what has helped me in becoming a better runner (as well as many other things I have had to work toward). The notes one plays on the piano have technique and rhythm and running has much the same. A good run needs to feature good “technique” to get stronger and avoid injury and “rhythm” adds to the longevity of the run (less energy being used if one is on rhythm). With my first race in a long time a year ago (Newburyport Half Marathon), I started on a path to make music on the road and to add longevity to my life (through better health).
In the song “This is the time” the following lyrics stuck out to me today.
“This is the time to remember, because they will not last forever. These are the days to hold onto cause we won’t although we will want to”
– Billy Joel, “This is the time.”
Why you might ask? Well, first this song brings up fond memories from my childhood and graduation periods from high school and college (it was played a bunch around those times). But while listening to that song this morning, I instantly had a new memory to add to the song and it revolves around the high street mile that I ran with my 8 year old daughter on Sunday morning.
A few months ago, my daughter and I ventured to a Kids fun run in Salisbury. We trained ahead of time running a mile here and there in the weeks leading up to the race. Once getting there, we realized that the race was on the beach. Further there was no real swag for kids and who the heck likes running for a mile in the sand? She did great that day but it clearly dampened her enthusiasm for running. She skipped the Runners World Race a month ago but I convinced her to run the High Street Mile, which is run in the city of Newburyport (where she goes to school). Further, she would know people in this race and that seemed to get her more interested!
So I said to her at the starting line “the plan.” Run as fast as you can! And oh boy, she did just that. I watched her weave through the crowd of runners and turn in the jets in a major way! It was awesome. At the same time, she had a look of determination and a smile to go with it! She was enjoying the run. When we finished, she for her medal and statered peppering me with questions on where she finished! A runner is born?
Years from now, as “a time to remember plays” I will forever remember this day!
Thank you for reading!