LIFE IS TOO SHORT: How a silly rap song changed a lot

When I started driving in 1988 there was such a sense of freedom in it. I could go wherever I wanted to go and whenever I wanted to go there. Getting your drivers license is like a license into adulthood. There is no greater freedom than being able to drive yourself somewhere and not rely on anyone to get you there. I no longer needed my parents- I COULD GET MYSELF PLACES! And along with my freedom to drive came my freedom to listen to WHATEVER I WANTED TO ON THE RADIO.

I’ve written quite a bit about music and how much it influenced me. My Dad actually had great taste in music (sorry Mom- Michael Martin Murphy just wasn’t my thing). HOWEVER…my free living, outgoing, rock-listening-to Dad thought one genre was ridiculous. RAP. And he wasn’t alone. Out of one side of his mouth he’d talk about how the older folks didn’t approve of the long-haired hippie Beatles when he was growing up and how old people just didn’t understand rock. The other side of his mouth hypocritically said “rap is dumb and won’t last”. Eventually my Dad came to appreciate that most rap was just poetry set to beats and that it had meaning…though he never liked it thats for sure.

I don’t really know why this white girl from the suburbs was drawn to rap music. Maybe it was the beat. Maybe it was the poetry, the stories being told, the hardships of kids forced onto the streets with little supervision at a young age that was so foreign to me. I could not relate in any way to these storytellers. I was pretty safe in my neighborhood-watched suburb. I could not have been further from the lifestyle most of these rappers lived. Maybe it was just intrigue- who knows. But I liked it! I bought every tape I could. I had a cassette/tape player in my car and turned up Luke Skywalker, Public Enemy, Slick Rick and Ice T as loud as I could get it. And I didn’t like soft rap. There was no Will Smith goin’ on. Nope. Hard core gangsta for this little white girl. Too funny. One of my favorites was a song called “Life Is Too Short” by a rapper named Too Short. I played it so much and so loud that my friends called it my theme song. It stuck. I mean the double meanings are endless. Im only 5 feet tall so there’s that. And I do believe in living life to it’s fullest…life is too short.

I’ve even named my fitness page on Facebook “Too Short Fitness”. There was a point to this post- Im getting there :). Recently I was reading a success story from a girl who used a Beachbody workout program called Insanity to help her get fit. She incorporated it into her running schedule along with an eating plan and it drastically changed her body. I read a lot of these stories- great stuff. But it wasn’t her story that caught my eye it was one of the commenters. I guess he was what you’d call a hater. He said that buying workout programs was a total waste of money and if people would just exercise and eat right they could lose weight/get healthy for free. He even accused her of doctoring her before and after photographs. A few more comments about how Shakeology was nothing but an expensive gimmick and I was mad. Not sure why. I don’t know this guy. But I stopped to think….I have to stop and think…cannot move and think because Im old and have kids and cannot multi task super well. Whatever. I stopped to think. He’s partly right. If people just exercised and ate right they could get healthy for free. But they don’t. Most people don’t anyway. Some do. And there are a bazillion different shakes and workout programs and supplements and weigh-in programs and gym classes and on and on and on. Maybe some people have the discipline to stick to an eating plan and workout all on their own. I don’t. And thats ok.

Every single person on Earth is different. What works for some may not work for others. I cannot run. Dont want to run. Look like an idiot when I run. Running- not my thing. But I know some amazing runners with fabulous legs that I am jealous of. Jerks. Running is their thing. Zumba. Lord have mercy if anyone videos me doing Zumba. I think I look like Sophia Vergara as I salsa. Honestly its more like Curly from the three stooges. Love dancing- don’t look great doing it. Spin class- These people are just plain crazy. Their legs look amazing. Im going to go ahead and put this in the running category for me. I don’t run unless someone is chasing me and I don’t peddle a bike unless its going somewhere. But running, Zumba, and spin work great for some people. And that’s their thing! And good for them. My thing is working out at home right now and hiking. Works for me. So I feel sorry for the guy who poo-poos other people’s methods of getting healthy. May he find what works for him and not belittle others.

Life is Too Short to not try new things. To stick to whats safe. To be stuck in a rut. I still Zumba. I might try spin again. I will not be running. But trying new things makes me feel happy. Makes me feel challenged and young. Different stuff works for different people. I hope each of you finds what works for you and makes you happy.

That silly little rap song still plays in my head all these years later. Funny that my Dad never liked rap but lived his life to the very mantra that “my song” talks about.

Life is too short
Too short
Life is too short

You can take back all the things you give
But ya can’t take back the days you live
Life is to some peole who’ve been on earth
Livin’ every single day for what it’s worth
I live my life just how I please
Satisfy one person I know, that’s me
Work hard for the things I achieve in life
And never rap fake when I’m on the mike
Cause if a dream is all you got, homeboy
Ya gotta turn that dream into the real McCoy
Not time to waste, just get on that case
Ya can’t be down ’cause ya need to taste
A good life livin’ like a king on a throne
Gettin’ everything ya want and tryin’ to have all your own
So life
Don’t be stupid though
Cause when ya waste it, you’ll know

Life Is
Life Is
All right, that’s it
~ Too Short, 1988

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