Kick, Snare, Kick, Snare: Hockey, Music, Adventure

This week’s column isn’t going to be about playing music like they have been in previous iterations. For this article, I’m going to explain how music both screwed me over and kept me sane the Friday evening/night before finals week.

That Friday was the night of the last hockey game of the season between the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks. Being a huge Ducks fan, I wanted to go see the last time these rivals would face off for the season, and I figured it would be a great way to relax before the weekend and the impending finals of the following week.

I bought my ticket that day off Ticketmaster, deciding last minute that I was going to take the bus to the Tustin train station where Metrolink has a special offer called the Ducks Express – a $7 round-trip to the Honda Center.

So where does music come in? Well, here’s a word of advice to anyone who decides to ride one of the trains without knowing 100 percent which stop is the one you need to get off on: don’t listen to loud music. Just don’t do it. Little did I know, I was supposed to switch trains at one point during the ride so that I would end up at the Anaheim station, and not the Anaheim Canyon station.

Upon getting off at the Anaheim Canyon stop and promptly freaking out because I thought I was going to miss the game and be completely stranded out in the middle of Orange County, I immediately looked up just how far away from the Honda Center I was. Five miles, the screen of my iPhone told me. I checked the time. 6 p.m. The game started at 7.

I ran. In black skinny jeans and worn-out TOMS, I ran. Five miles, and I made it by 6:40 p.m. I have to thank six years of being a relatively serious distance runner to thank for that. After passing several people along the Santa Ana River trail clutching a jacket, my wallet, my phone and my keys in my hands, I made it to the Honda Center, somewhat sweaty and disheveled, but there nonetheless. It only occurred to me after I stopped running that it was the first time I had actually ran with music playing, and that I actually enjoyed it.

I had tried running with music before and hated it. It was strange matching my rhythm with the music since I could never find the right song that would match my natural gait; not only that, I also would do workouts that required changing speeds over certain intervals of time, so running to music was always more of a hassle than it was worth.

But this time, running along that trail with the Honda Center and the “Big A” of the adjacent Angels Stadium standing proudly in the distance as the last game of the freeway series awaited me, I found that pumping the electronic hardcore melodies of I See Stars and the in-your-face blasts of Bring Me the Horizon breakdowns through my headphones simultaneously motivated me and calmed me down. Being an avid listener of hardcore music, I take comfort in the well-crafted chaos that pervades the better bands in the genre, and for once I found my running pace settling comfortably into the rhythm of the music.

And you know what? The Ducks lost that game 4-2. But ultimately, I wasn’t upset that my favorite team lost to their division rival; in fact, I relished in the fact that my evening had become an adventure, complete with feelings of frustration, resolution and accomplishment accompanied by the sweat of my own brow to make it the game on time.

In the end, even if it was listening to music that screwed me over in the first place, I’m glad I didn’t hear the conductor announce the stops. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have gotten the chance to have a story to tell, an experience that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Because while we all go through things that we think are unfortunate and crappy at the time, we can always look back on them and laugh, to think of what we gained.

I had to walk from Tustin back to UCI that night since it didn’t occur to me that the buses didn’t run after a certain time of night. It rained like hell, and I was drenched from head to toe before I made it back. But I had music in my ears, and the shoes on my feet. That was enough.