The Love/Hate Relationship Between Motivation, Music, Wireless Headphones and First World Problems

Motivation can be a tricky and fickle mistress. When you have the proper motivation, everything comes naturally, it all falls into place and you go on your merry way towards crushing whatever goal is right in front of you. Funny story how motivation rarely works that perfectly. Sure you’ll have all the motivation in the world to get to the gym, or go out on a trail and start running but those reserves of motivation get used quickly and then you’re half way through leg day thinking “Why did I think this was going to be a good idea?” I get it, it happens to the best of us. Even though I’m one of those weirdos that actually likes leg day. There’s 5 of us and we meet in an online chat room every 3 third Thursday and talk about all of the dirty looks we get at the gym. I digress, when those last fleeting moments of actual motivation are starting their death march and leave you all alone in the squat rack with your thoughts, the next song on your playlist kicks in and the motivation comes back full force and you pull through the rest of the set.

As I’ve become more active and regularly running and lifting, music has become an indispensable part of the routine. The right mix of rap, rock, punk, 90’s throwbacks, and a dash smooth jazz will get me through just about every workout imaginable. But I did notice one thing as I become more active, wired headphones are the devil. There is no getting around that fact, the wired headphones are the goddamn devil and they need to be banished. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been running, getting into a nice groove and then through a hilariously awkward series of events I wind up judo chopping the buds out of my ears in the most painful way possible. The next logical step would be to get wireless headphones and enjoy a nice tranquil run right? In the words of the eternal Lee Corso “NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND!”

I got the Powerbeats 3 last Christmas and for a while they were the answer to my prayers. They stayed out my way during workouts, the sound was nice and crisp and best of all, I never had to worry about readjusting them. Then maybe three months into having them, they slowly started losing their charge quicker. A single charge went from a few days and a few workouts and runs to only 1 of each. By the end, they wouldn’t even turn back on and I was back to drawing board.

I wound up going back to wired headphones for the time being, I have plenty of them and I reaaaalllllyyyyyy needed my regular dose of “Till I Collapse” and “Carry on My Wayward Son” to power through to the end of my workouts. It’s like going back to any ex. There’s a period in the beginning where you think that everything is better and it will be different this time. You start wondering why you even broke up in the first place. And then you violently karate chop your headphones out of your skull and all of the painful reminders of why you wanted wireless headphones in the first place come rushing back to you in throbbing agony. Off to Best Buy I went in hopes of finding a new pair that wouldn’t wind up disappointing me.

And I did find that pair. Sort of. It’s kind of a funny story. Upon venturing into the local Best Buy, I was looking for a pair of wireless headphones that wouldn’t break the bank but would also do the job and stay in my ears during long runs without it feeling like I was getting jabbed with the eraser end of a pencil with every step. I thought I found the perfect pair with this set made by Jabra that only ran me 50 bucks. With the athletic ear hook attachment, the headphones fit perfectly every single time. I was able to run without any discomfort and I got to enjoy my tunes while I tried to get my pace down towards sub-10 minutes. However, there was one slight drawback to the Jabra buds. A design flaw if you will. The athletic ear hook attachments that securely kept the buds in place? They were made with probably the thinnest and most brittle plastic I have ever seen. Seriously, if you looked at it at the wrong angle the hooks would bend until you apologized and brought it a snow cone. Well, one day I forgot the snow cone and all hell broke loose.

I just got back from a run and went to take the headphones out when tragedy struck. The right ear hook broke and there was absolutely nothing I could do to save it. It was so young, it had a full life ahead of it. 5K’s to dominate, playlists full of 80’s motivational montage music to motivate me to keep on running like Rocky Balboa. Now granted, this is a first world problem to end all first world problems but this is highly inconvenient. The buds came with other attachments to help keep them in your ears but they’re just not the same. I spend roughly 33-55% of my runs trying to readjust and jam these things into my ears in such a way that I don’t have to worry about them falling out every 4.56 seconds. The buds themselves still work fantastically. Good quality sound, the Bluetooth connection has stayed strong and the battery life is everything I could ever ask for. But those damn thin plastic ear attachments have broken my heart.

So I’m in the market for a new set of reasonably priced. I think I can go as high as 175-200 because I’m worth it. Who knows, if/when I get the new pair, I’ll do a review/rant about them and be the epitome of first world problems. Or I can MacGuyver something out of paper clips, some string, and a kick-ass mullet wig and keep on rocking the Jabra pair. All I know is, the only way I’m going to eventually break the 9 minute run barrier on a consistent basis is with the right combination of will, stamina, good running shoes, and “Hearts on Fire” on repeat.

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