Dear Person Who Judged Me for Lip-Syncing On My Run This Morning,

I was just rounding the corner, crescendoing into the line, “Tell me, is it really love?” when I came upon you. It was 6:45 AM, 39 degrees outside, and I was in the midst of one of the most excruciating experiences known to man—exercise. And there you were in your sweatpants, straddling the tree belt while your dog took a shit, smirking slyly at me as I very slowly trotted by.

I totally get it. You think I am crazy. Not only am I singing to myself, but I’ve also made the conscious decision to be awake at this ungodly hour when clearly I could be between my 800 count thread sheets, dreaming of riding a unicorn into the sunset with Ryan Gosling.

The truth is, you’re right. I, too, am disturbed by the fact that I am not cuddled up with Ryan, hoping to enter some sort of Inception type of world where I end up stuck there forever. But when my alarm clock went off this morning, something compelled me to just get out of bed. Perhaps it was my first alarm, blaring Adele’s “Rumour Has It,” which sparked me out of my drowsiness with an ugly memory of that boy who was once in my life. Or, maybe it was the soothing tenor of Steve Inskeep’s voice on my second alarm. Whatever the reason, I don’t remember now, because I’m too preoccupied with how much I despise running.

And that, my dog-walking friend, is why I sing.

Though I may look like a complete and utter jackass, it is the only relief I have from the pure agony of my contracting muscles and belabored breathing. In those brief fleeting moments when I become entranced by Whitney, The Bangles, and—who cares, I’ll admit it, sometimes even Chamillionaire—I forget all else. Sometimes that brief imaginative state, where I live on stage in a perfect-pitched world, is the only joy I find in my day. Work deadlines fade from memory, social life concerns escape me – even the complicated opposite sex, seems to make sense within the wise advice of Diana Ross & the Supremes.

All I want to do is motherfucking sing—and this, this here run, is likely the closest opportunity I will ever have to living out that dream of being an 80’s pop icon.

So, as I pass you at my miserably slow pace, head tilted toward the pavement, because I know the moment I look up, I will undoubtly step in the shit left behind by you or another irresponsible canine owner, I know that, much like Gloria Gaynor, I will survive.

You can continue on with your morning, go back to the girlfriend who made you get that ridiculously tiny Chihuahua donning the fleece jacket, and tell her about the jogger who was singing to herself.

I will continue running, keep on singing, and show enough consideration to only judge you inwardly for the mop of bed hair atop your head.

Pump Up the Jam,
Sarah Klenakis