top of page
Search
  • Writer's picture Irina

I Want to Break Free



Once a week, every week, without fail I go to a garden centre to buy the week’s fruit and veg. It’s a ten minute drive and during the last year it’s been one of my mini escapes from the house. The boys consider it quite a boring errand so they never want to join me. Hurray for that! It has become a ritual. I put on the music I like very, very, very loud and I sing at the top of my voice. I do that both on the way out and back and the choice of song depends on the mood, but whether happy or sad, I always choose songs that make me feel emotional and that I know the lyrics to. Mind you, I have this weird and arguably useless ability to memorise lyrics very easily. As long as I can understand what they’re saying I can sing along and not miss a word. If I can’t figure it out, I make up my own words that fit the rhythm and the rhyme. For the duration of the drive I am in my own world, and especially during the last year I cherish it even more and get a bit excited about my little excursion. The loud music and the singing gives me that feeling of letting go and not having a care in the world, albeit for ten minutes. Fifteen with traffic.


When Doug suggested he might come with me today, I nodded politely and quietly hoped he would get busy with something else, like the football that was on and forget about it. He needed compost and seeds and seeding trays he said, and he didn’t mind missing the game he said, and would I hurry up so we could get going he said. We’ll take my car, I said, because I want to get petrol on the way. I pause here to explain some ground rules we have about car rides. It all boils down to one rule really: My car, My rules. This includes but is not limited to, choice of music, temperature and route. The basics.


Another thing that is important to mention at this point is that music plays a huge role for both of us. Doug wants to have the radio on all day, every day. I can’t do that. I find it too distracting. He always listens to the same station. Brilliant station. Love it. Most of the time. There are programs I adore and others I can’t stand. For example, there is an ongoing argument every single evening about the music we listen to during dinner. The guy that is on in the evening, bless him, plays very loud and out there music which you have never heard before and hopefully will never hear again. This is the only station saved on memory in Doug’s car. Oh sorry, to be fair he also has a sports station saved. You can understand that when it comes to variety in radio stations, there is none and I miss that. Do I complain? Yes, a lot. Am I ignored? Mostly yes.


I, on the other hand, like a bit of everything. I like exploring new music and music that is not a repeat playlist, but there are times, quite frequently that I just want what I call comfort music. Tunes that I have heard time and time again, that are easy to listen to, easy to sing along, pleasant to the ear, uplifting, maybe a bit cheesy, maybe very cheesy. I like pop songs and I like a good rock ballad and big anthem songs. These songs do not feature heavily on Doug’s station.


Bohemian Rapsody dance, Lockdown#1, May 2020

I explain all this just to give a bit more context on the importance of my alone car time and the soundtracks of my car journeys. Back to today. We get into my car, the radio turns on automatically. ‘I want to break free’ by Queen is playing. Doug completely ignores the car rules and presses the button to switch to his station. What are you doing? No one messes with Queen. He smiles, I smile back and switch it back. I remind him of the rules. He seems to find the whole thing amusing and doesn’t take me seriously. He changes it again. I switch back. I give him ‘the look’. Awkward silence. He finally complies with the rules and I reverse out of the driveway, singing oh how I want to break freeeeeeeeeeee.


Adverts come on and out of the kindness of my heart I switch to his station. I couldn’t tell you which song was on cause I’ve never heard it before. It had however, a very elaborate guitar solo, which gradually got on my nerves. I wait a couple of minutes and change back to my station. Doug complains. How could you change it? Couldn’t you hear the skill in that guitar, blah, blah, blah. I explode. This is my car and I will listen to my music. I don’t care about the blooming skillful guitar solo. I want to listen to songs I know and sing at the top of my voice. I want to listen to Bon Jovi!!!! I am not doubting the quality of this song and it is better than Bon Jovi but I don’t care!!!!! At this point Doug is in fits of laughter and finds the whole thing hilarious. We get to the garden centre, finish the shopping and get back in the car. Guess what song is on. ‘Living on a Prayer’ by Bon Jovi! Yes! Justice at last!! Thank you Universe DJ! I pump the volume up and sing along with John. Oh we’re half way there, oh oh living on a prayer, take my hand and we’ll make it I swear…


Doug's reaction to the car rules....

Needless to say that songs like that feature heavily on all my running playlists. I always used to run with music. I had different playlists long enough for 5k or 10k, all with songs that fill me with energy and make want to dance. Only instead of dancing I was running. I found it absolutely impossible to run without music and would always wear both earphones and turn the volume right up. Not the safest when you are on roads. I needed the music to give me rhythm and cover the sound my breath. Listening to my breath freaked me out. I would feel my breath getting heavier and I would think oh my god, look at how I am breathing. Must mean I am tired. Am I tired? Am I breathing too hard? Am I tired? Should I stop? Maybe I should stop. I’ll stop. And I stopped.


Back then, earphones had wires so I needed an armband for my phone so the wire could reach my ears. A bit annoying, running with wires dangling around. Then came wireless earphones. I love the adverts of wireless earphones, showing super athletes doing all sorts of impressive sports with the earphones staying firmly in place. They run jump, roll, move in every direction, turn upside down and the earphones are glued to their ears. I don’t know if it’s my ears that are shaped funny but no earphone ever stays in place. Most days I was chasing them down the road. I tried cheap ones, expensive ones, bigger, smaller. Nothing really worked. Gradually the whole thing started getting on my nerves. I couldn’t concentrate on my run, pace, rhythm cause I was too worried about the bloody earphones.


When I re-started running about a year ago, I felt I wanted to be as free to move as possible. The fewer accessories I had on me the better I feel. So I decided to run without music and see what happens. Oh what a relief. No more armband or belt around my waist, no annoying earphones. Nothing. Just me, my thoughts and my breath. Gradually it stopped freaking me out and most of the time I don’t even notice it. If I do it’s because it’s too fast and I just focus on calming it by slowing down. It’s all good. I feel so much more in tune and in harmony with my surroundings and with traffic which is quite helpful in avoiding getting hit by a car or a bike. I’ve become a more social runner and in a way more flexible. I’ve actually gone to the other extreme now where I think music would ruin my run. What an exaggeration… I know.


I am definitely not going to be listening to music when I run the marathon. There’s so much to take in. The crowds cheering runners along, the music blasting on some parts of the route, the sound of so many footsteps all pushing forward to the finish line. The encouraging words runners say to eachother to keep going. The amazing volunteers at the stations looking after everyone. I want to see and wave back when I see Doug and my friends and I want to hear what they say. I want to be there, present with all my senses. I want to laugh, cry and create memories. Aerosmith said it with a song, I DON’T WANT TO MISS A THING!


I DON'T WANT TO MISS A THING!

163 views21 comments

Recent Posts

See All

21 komentarzy


errietta.varvogli
errietta.varvogli
15 mar 2021

Break free irina !!!love you

Polub

errietta.varvogli
errietta.varvogli
15 mar 2021

Before it was thoughts thoughts...then it was rules rules ...what is next? I enjoyed it very much as if I was there with both of you

Polub
 Irina
Irina
15 mar 2021
Odpowiada osobie:

I wish you were here!!! ❣️❣️❣️❣️

Polub

errika75
errika75
15 mar 2021

Yeah re Irinaki!!! Don’t want to miss a thing!!! How can someone cannot understand car rules??? Missing dancing with you and singing our hearts out

Polub
doug.ward1
doug.ward1
15 mar 2021
Odpowiada osobie:

There are car rules, and then there are Irina’s car rules!!!! :-)

Polub

errika75
errika75
15 mar 2021

Dear Doug I’m telling you as your combara and as a lawyer: step away from the button

Polub
doug.ward1
doug.ward1
15 mar 2021
Odpowiada osobie:

good advice!!! :-)

Polub

zara.chalcraft
15 mar 2021

Car rules.....yes!! I’m so pleased this is an actual thing and not me just being bossy in my own car. Absolutely nothing wrong with a bit of Bon Jovi or Aerosmith. Another fab post Irina.

Polub
 Irina
Irina
15 mar 2021
Odpowiada osobie:

Glad I’m not alone! Car rules are definitely a thing!!

Polub
Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page