Motivation Rheostatic Electricity

Rheostatic Electricity

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Dave Bidini explains the total body buzz he gets from running, describes his favourite sneakers and looks back at his band’s rich catalogue to design and exclusive iRun playlist.
By Ben Kaplan

The creative force behind The Rheostatics, currently at work with Barenaked Lady Kevin Hearn on music inspired by the Group of Seven, tells us why he laces up his shoes.

Q) You always have 50 things going on at any one time. How do you make time to run?
A) It’s only 20 minutes usually, so there’s always time at some point in the day. Usually at night so no one has to see me, or me, them.

Q) Do you feel like it fuels your creativity?
A) Not really. Hockey provides that more, I’d say.

Q) Can you describe your most astounding run? What got you interested in our sport?
A) No great distances for me and no great locales, but I think I just enjoy going a little longer—a little faster can create small triumphs.

Q) Ever write a song 
on a run?
A) No. I can’t be musical or listen to music because of the tempo of breathing, which, I guess, is a kind of music all on its own.

Q) If you forgot about breathing for a moment and just wanted to rock, what would you play?
A) Hitsville, UK by 
The Clash.

Q) What is it you get out of the sport? Is it mental, physical, a little of both?
A) I’d say it’s purely physical for me—it engages the entirety of the body from head to toe, although, yes, you feel more mentally strong, I think, after conquering whatever distance you’ve set. But it’s a total body buzz, and I don’t think there’s anything like it, partly because it’s hard and partly because there’s always another wall for you after one has been passed through.

Q) You’re 51 and also a big hockey guy. Do you find running agrees with your body?
A) Strangely, yeah, it does. I know some people who have had difficulties, but, knocking wood, my knees, ankles, upper legs—everything has responded fine, and even though I’m mildly asthmatic, I’m OK when I’m on the move. Hockey is more bruises and some arm issues, but frankly, I feel I’m in worse shape the less I do. Being still damages me, so I try to not be.

Q) I know you run but I never see you out at the races. Do you currently have a running goal?
A) Zero goals. I run to keep myself honest.

Q) How about your gear—are you loyal to a certain kind of sneaker? What are you wearing right now?
A) I was sent these amazing ACER shoes
—blue and gold—by the SportChek people after my story that appeared in the National Post about running. They’ve really, really helped. I love them.

Q) You’re also a bonafide explorer. Do you bring your sneakers when you travel overseas and 
on tour?
A) I’ve run a little wherever I’ve gone, but, honestly, I find that I walk so much when I’m away that it usually does the trick.

Q) Last thing, please, I have to ask you—could you make us a little Rheostatics running playlist? If you had to pick five of your songs to put on my playlist, which five would 
they be?
A) Sure:
Dope Fiends and Booze Hounds (Whale Music)
Rock Death America (RDA) (Whale Music)
The Tarleks (2067)
Claire (Introducing Happiness)
Horses, from Double Live.

Q) Thank you.
A) Enjoy.