Little drummer girl

Little drummer shoes

Years ago, one cloudy December, I bought a CD called Putumayo – Celtic Christmas. It contained among others, an instrumental adaptation of that Christmas “Ram pam pam pam” song, called Little Drummer Girl on which I obsessed for a looooong time.

Seasons changed. Spring came and I reached my maximum weight and I did my best to show to people that I don’t give a damn. Well, I succeeded!
I watched people running every day and I was secretly admiring them. I could barely walk more than half of hour before becoming too tired. Though, I’ve always done some sort of sport regularly, I could not run more than 50 meters.

Some people told me not to run, because it will be bad for my knees. Others told me,  that everybody can run. Sure! Easy peasy! Well, many people can, however, it was not easy for me when I started.
If now I have a few extra kilos, back then I had a few more (18 to be more precise). If you’re a pretty good runner with a normal weight, try getting those flexible weights for the arms and legs, a backpack full of sand in front and another one in your bag and try doing your normal routine. That’s how running felt for me.

However, it was not the extra weight that introduced me to this sport. Like all the hobbies and passions that I built over the years (cinema, writing, yoga, sauna, facebook…), this one also originated in times of distress and deep frustration.

It was the summer of my separation. I was still living in the same apartment with my ex partner, though he was there only the weekends.
One sunny Saturday, I woke up too early, with a very uncomfortable feeling. Back then, during the rupture of a relationship that lasted almost a decade, the world seemed to fall apart. My world. The apartment has become too small and I could not stand the idea of being under the same roof with him, who was peacefully sleeping while I was contemplating my failures. I grabbed the first clothes that I’ve seen which happened to be a t-shirt and a pair of leggins, I’ve put on some sports shoes (the only ones I had anyway) and I went outside in the park.

As I stepped under the light and the warmth of the sun, with my ipod, I shuffled this song Little drummer girl. Here I was: the first warm day in Luxembourg and me listening to a Christmas carol.
But there was something in the rhythm, a force that pushed me into running. And I did run, up to the middle of the song, more than ever before in the previous 10 years. I walked the rest of the song. It was a tiny little step, but a step forward.

Next day, I imposed myself not to stop until Little drummer girl was over. It worked. One Little drummer girl. I walked another one, and I managed to even run up to its middle again. That summer I started to count my workouts in Little drummer girls. I managed to 3 without stopping.

What went in my head during this instrumental 3 minutes was a mix of motivation and despair. Towards its last third, the song has a short pause, as if it stops “Pam pam”. At that point my brain starts cheering “Yupii!! I did it!” But the song starts again Ram pam pam pam…
And then I get those moments when my mind just screams to me to stop:
“You’ll suffocate”
“You’ll drop dead in the middle of the street. Inexperienced runner found dead on Kirchberg! That’s what L’essentiel will show tomorrow!”
“Look, a hedgehog! There are snakes around! Stop!”
“Look a squirrel! How rare in Luxembourg, honestly, never again will you be able to take a picture of a squirrel in these parks.”
“You’re gonna’ loose your hair band, the hair will blind you and you’ll be hit by a car!”
“Look, a hair band on the street. Is it yours?”
“Look, what a beautiful view on the city!”
“Are there two people having sex in that house across the street?”
“Your bra will break. Is there a crack in the pants that makes you feel like a airflow in your back?”
“Look! A field full of poppy flowers. Did you know what can be produced from poppy seeds?”
“You ran 3 songs in a raw, now you can stop!”
“The ground seems so close! The sky is falling! It’s the end of the world!”
In those moments I started to motivate myself back:
“Comme’on one more song, one more pam pam pam!”
“Common’on! You ran two songs in a raw, you can’t stop now!”
“Comme’on. You don’t even have the hair so long for the hair band!”
“Comme’on. One more pam pam pam. I’ll show you, you little drummer girl!
“I’ll show you, you little bitch! I’ll beat you with your little drum, smug little bastard!”

During those conversations with my imaginary little friend, one day I could not stand to hear the same song  over and over again. So I created something incredible called a playlist.
My first playlist consisted of : Little drummer girl and Du Hast from Ramstein – which fitted my feelings for the girl towards the end of the workout. Then I started to add all kind of songs like Daughter – Home or Sweet Dreams from Eurythmics. At some point there was even some opera there.

Then it got to a point when doing a number of Drummer girls didn’t help any more to increase my resistance and then I learned the secret of alternating running with brisk walking.

Little drummer girl is still my favorite song to start my workout. In the meantime the frustration that started all this has gone. The apartment was cleaned of memories and I found new rhythms. My knees are better than ever, but I do listen to them. It’s all in the rhythm. In these two years I increased my average workout distance from 0.5 km to 6 km and I earned two things: courage to run in the ING Team Run (tomorrow!!!) and hope that one day I will manage to hold more than 100 drummer girls which would be a whole marathon.

Little by little, step by step, I’ll do it. I promise you little girl, one day you and I will do more than what seemed impossible the day I bought that CD.


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