Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon
As you may or may not know about me, I started running one year ago as training for the #Frogger15 – a fundraiser run for Greenways Land Trust, a local stewardship organization in Campbell River, BC. I ran my first 15km ‘race’ (putting that word in quotations as the only person I was racing was me) in September of 2015, then the 8km Live it Up run in Parksville on November 8th. Turns out, I like running – it’s another way of exploring a community, getting to look people in the eye, finding places where the sun peaks through the trees, breathing in fresh ocean air, jumping over puddles, stopping to take photos (and yup, lots of those photos are selfies), and keeping fit in case I have to run uphill from a tsunami (I live on an island on the West Coast, they say the big one is coming so all the better if I can run uphill if I need to).
Back to the Nashville Rock n Roll Marathon. First things first, I ran 5km – no marathon or half marathon for this girl. For all the positive things I just mentioned about running, I’m not a huge fan of running distances on pavement, so the 5km was a great option for me to participate in a fun event in a city that boasts (rightfully so) about its good times. This was my first time travelling off the island for a run and I think I’ll do it again – apparently a whole lot of people travel for marathons, races, and runs, so the passionately curious leisureologist in me was fascinated by this sub-sector of the tourism industry that I was very new to. Actually, the week before I went to Nashville, I did travel to Victoria with my girlfriends in support of one of my fabulous friends who ran the TC 10km, so my curiousity of running tourism was already peaked (and as I type this, I’m reminded of one of my posts from last year about running tourism, so it’s not all new to me). The run occurred on April 30th, which just happens to be the same day as my (big) sister’s birthday, so we made a fun weekend of it and one of her girlfriends joined us (two weekends in a row of travelling, exploring and good times with my beautiful friends – yes, I am a blessed woman). My sister (Julia) and her friend (Rhonda) live in Toronto and I’ve been on a few fun adventures with the two of them (New York & Tofino) so I knew I was in for another one and I was stoked.
The list of things to do, eat, and see in Nashville is long, but in a nutshell for me it was BBQ, whiskey, and music (and run). The Kitchen Row and Jack’s BBQ delivered on the BBQ, Belle Meade provided delicious whiskey, and countless talented musicians sang and played their hearts out on stages of all sizes in a variety of venues in Music City (aptly named). More often than not, we ate and drank listening to extremely talented musicians. While I don’t know all of the musicians by name, I do remember Marc Scibilia and The Wallflowers, who both performed at Bridgestone Arena the night of the run for anyone who participated in the run, and their friends and family. Opening acts are a great way to discover new bands and a few songs from Marc Scilibia are now added to my music collection. And The Wallflowers rocked it – all the songs I remembered the words to, and I few that I forgot that I even knew. My only slight disappointment with their performance was the omission of ‘Reboot the Mission’, so when I saw Jacob Dylan on the street later that night, I stopped to chat with him and let him know I was hoping to have heard him play it, his response was ‘Me too’. Yup, that’s right, I chatted with Jacob Dylan. I could have let him know that ‘Reboot the Mission’ is on my running playlist and that the lyrics were particularly inspiring for running and for staying present and grounded in life, but I didn’t, because I became all forgetful in his presence.
*Side note, I can strike up a somewhat interesting conversation with strangers on buses, in lineups, on trails, etc., but somehow, I stall out when talking to celebrities (which doesn’t stop me from approaching them), so I don’t think I charmed him too much, but I was cognizant enough to not fuss over him or totally interrupt his night so I think I netted out at a zero (which is advice from Col. Chris Hadfield that he may not have thought one of his reader’s would apply to a celebrity encounter, but I did. Totally recommend reading Chris Hadfield’s book ‘An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth – that man is inspiring and is definitely contributing to the world being an amazing place). Wow, I digress a lot. I knew that about my face to face conversations, but this is taking on a whole new scale of getting off topic. Maybe I need to write more as I seem to have more to say than I thought I did.
I’ve written before about inspiring songs, so this is probably a good time to give a special shout out to all of those people who write music, and to those people who play that music with heart and talent. (I’m listening to music as I write this and I keep pausing so I can close my eyes to listen and feel the words and the melody and the rhythm of what I am hearing.) Choosing running playlists takes skills as there are a few songs that I can’t seem to run all the way through, I have to stop and dance – ‘Downtown’ by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis always distracts me and pulls me to dance (just one of the many reasons I’m going to see them in a few weeks in Vancouver!!) – and I welcome the change of movement and pace (also why trail running is super fun – I like mixing it up).
I think this post is coming to a natural conclusion: this weekend’s adventure reflects why I love studying leisure: running and music; 5km Rock n Roll and Nashville; active participation and engagement; leisure and social sustainability; connection and quality of life. Thanks to my travel buddies (and cheerleaders!) Julia (who is definitely a facilitator of leisure but I’ll get into that in another post) and Rhonda for a super fun adventure (and for introducing me to Uber – also another post), and to all of the lovely people who contributed to a fabulous holiday and run in Nashville.