Lick your iPod – A Lesson in ‘BE THERE!’

Lick your iPod. If you are standing outside in the bright crisp blue of a blisteringly cold Minnesota morning in the blast of a 30 below wind chill, and you lick your iPod, it will stick to your tongue. Of this I can assure you. It’s a bit like you think it might be, to be that kid in that movie who stuck his tongue to the flagpole on a recess dare.


I was simply trying to get the itty bitty switch into the “on” position so I could rock my Valentine’s Day 5K playlist. Wearing two pair of gloves, fingers fumbling, I desperately needed to hear Get Your Freak On. Or so I thought. Until I found my iPod stuck to my tongue.

I unstuck that thing right quick, flicked the switch with a tooth, stuck in my ear buds, and listened.
“Low. Battery.” Then, three little goodbye beeps. Then, nothing.

My heart sank. I’ve been relying on that playlist to keep me on pace. I considered a freak out, but the race announcer called start places. In frustration, I shoved the unwieldy wires and silver square into my pocket and crowded in with the other runners.

Where I found myself next to this guy. The guy in the felt fish head. I looked at his fish head and laughed. He looked at my propeller beanie and laughed. Listening to our laughter, I realized I was running with 1183 other people, and that the playlist of community was all I needed. That I needed to BE THERE.


The FISHy fellow, who made my day.

I listened to the National Anthem and sang along. I listened to the laughter and the conversations, the striking shoes on the pavement and the cheering spectators, the cadence of our collective breathing, our dismay at the daunting hills, our happy victory at the finish line. I abandoned my playlist and let myself PLAY. It was a FISH! Philosophy kind of day.

Plus, I shaved seven seconds off my best time.