009. Wide Open

Since following Radiohead on tour, I will admit, I feel like a different person. After experiencing my boldest Radiohead high yet, I found myself with a changed outlook on how I spend each day of my life. I'm fortunate enough that I have a creatively enriching project to pour lots of my energy into (this film!), but I've found myself just trying to engage with my surroundings more: try more new things, expel fears, and just general self-improvement and reflection.

But I think the most personally progressive new part of my life that's resulted from my Radiohead tour is my new love of running.

My entire life I've been unathletic. Athleticism was just never an interest of mine. I was always more inclined to spend my time writing, going to shows, watching films, etc. In more recent years I've started doing things like yoga and going to the gym - but I've struggled to make this a consistent and daily part of my routine. Whether it be sleep or work - there was always some excuse not to follow through.

And then Lollapalooza happened. I was caught off guard by "the sprint" that occurs from the gates of a festival to the main stage when Radiohead is slated to play. If you can't run all the way through, and fast, there's no way you're going to get the front rail spot you so desperately desire. I realized that in order to make the most of each live Radiohead experience - I needed to start training for it.

When I returned to Los Angeles after my tour - I had the motivation I needed to wake up at 6:45AM every morning and run before work on my own. I'd never been able to achieve this prior - but the Radiohead motivation gave me purpose. I recruited the help of my neighbor who was a record-breaking sprinter in high school, and I quickly realized I was stronger than I'd thought, and that my lifelong hate of running was much more due to a lack of trying.

Now over a month after my first leg of my tour, I run 6 days a week without fail (take 1 rest day because our bodies need it). I found I can run a mile - even two miles - straight through despite my doubts, and I get faster every day.

If you're a fan who wants to start training, or just a fellow unathletic person who wants to get started with running, and is starting from scratch, some tips:

1. Stretch 

When I first started running on my own without guidance, this was what I left out, and I found myself feeling stiff and not being able to go the distance. Make sure to stretch as thoroughly as possible before running - arms, legs, abs, etc. It makes a monumental difference.

2. Take time to figure out your breathing

I think not knowing how to breathe properly when running is one of the most often discouraging things when you're starting. I breathe deeply and solely through my nose when running - but everyone is different, so find your groove and focus on that for at least a week before you decide this isn't for you.

3. Find the right soundtrack

I discovered the song "Wide Open" by the Chemical Brothers a few weeks ago, tested it as a running soundtrack - and now it's my absolute go-to running song. I start every morning with it, and it helps me diffuse my thoughts and not overthink my motions. Paired with "Giant" by Banks & Steelz, I feel like I've finally found music that pushes me to go all the way. For me - this is hugely important. I always will tell myself "go until the end of this song," "run to the beat of this song," "you can do this," and it helps me through moments when I really feel like I can't.

4. Run the mile straight through even if you feel like you can't

The biggest thing my neighbor/trainer helped me with was getting over the mental block that I can't run straight through a mile, or even two miles - that I needed to work up to it for some reason. I was pleasantly shocked and wrong about it. Just try it, and push yourself harder than you might think possible. It's the most liberating feeling to prove yourself and your body wrong.

5. Eat a snack and hydrate beforehand

I start every morning drinking a bottle of water and eating half a piece of toast with peanut butter on it. I give my body a bit of time to digest this before I go running - but it's helped me achieve the internal balance of being able to go for it without feeling like I'm malnourished or dehydrated.