Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions

Getting Fitter

Running Games

MhysaIt’s my second week running, and things are strengthening up a little. My back no longer feels like a mild breeze will cause it serious injury, and I’m easing into a routine again. Feels splendid, actually.

It’s also making my days much more dramatic than they were.

I’ve probably mentioned before that I don’t wear headphones when I’m running. It’s too distancing. I don’t need or want to be distracted when I’m on the move. Much of what I enjoy is just being part of things for a while. The few times I’ve tried headphones, they left me cut off and isolated.

That said, I do still have music with me while I’m out. The only difference is that it’s playing in my head. It started years ago as a way to keep up some sort of rhythm, and has become an absolute ingrained habit. The music in question is usually something from a soundtrack I know well. I have many stored away – television and film soundtracks are my writing music of choice, and I can tell you what I chose as the soundtrack of just about any piece of fiction I’ve had published in the last decade*.

I’ve run to many things, including bits of Doctor Who*, Gears of War, The Hobbit, Braveheart, Gladiator, and more. They all fill much the same function for me as they do when I’m writing – they each have a particular mood or energy to them (as well as a distinct rhythm for my legs to follow) that helps pick me up and move me forward.

When I first started doing this I’d lose the tune as the run got hard, forgetting I was even using it until later. These days, once I start I can’t stop. It’s as though it’s playing a constant background loop in my mind, whether I notice it or not. My thoughts can wander off for ages, but when I go back to the tune it’s still playing, and my legs are still keeping time.

What I’ve found now, especially as I’m running early in the morning, is that the tune keeps playing in my head all day. I catch myself humming it at odd moments, and realised I can’t remember it not being there.

At the moment, I’m mostly running to two bits of music from Game of Thrones. There’s the sweeping title sequence of course, and a later tune from the end of season three called ‘Mhysa’. The result?

The tunes follow me into my dayjob, and have made it EPIC. Everything becomes EPIC when you do it to the soundtrack of Game of Thrones. Standing up. Sitting down. Going to the washroom. Ordering a coffee. Filling in a spreadsheet.

EPIC.

Except, I want to take a sword. For all the awesome stabbing and beheading I suddenly want to be getting on with. Swords are long overdue a resurgence in the modern workplace, I feel. Cutting and pasting, when done to the Game of Thrones score, should be about more than a keyboard shortcut or tiny scissors icon.

*I’m writing the current novel to the soundtrack of From Hell by Trevor Jones, and the current novella series to Steve Jablonsky’s bombastic Transformers scores.

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