I still remember where I was the first time I heard the radio hit Renegades by X Ambassadors: on the dusty second story of a Staunton antinque mall, where the tune crackled and snarled through an AM/FM radio with a bad connection.
No more than 30 seconds elapsed before I Shazamed it…
I was smitten.
I remember the day I first stumbled over the video, too.
For the first 45 seconds, I was confused — what, exactly, was I watching here? — but when I realized what was happening, I wanted to stand up and cheer.
The video features short clips of individuals who most of us would term “disabled” … but all of them are doing remarkable things with their bodies — enjoying them in startlingly inventive ways. The video is a highly personal one for the band, since band member Casey Harris has been blind since childhood.
But really, this is not just a music video about overcoming physical limitations. At its core, it’s about seeing all limitations as invitations to create and to innovate… To be unapologetically ourselves.
And I love that.
Can I tell you something? I’m in a place in my life where I really want to live in my body… To inhabit it fully. To do things with it that make me feel alive.
And it’s true I’ll never be an Olympic athlete … or a ballerina. But if I don’t dance in my living room at least once a week, or raise myself into a sloppy arabesque on a fencepost by the side of the road, then I’m accepting a tragic sort of lie… Swallowing it like bad medicine.
You know that old lie: the one that says, If I can’t be the best, or do it the way other people do it, then I might as well hang up my dancing shoes.
And oh, friends.
That’s not just nonsense…
So. This little video is dedicated to all of us, in whatever bodies we’re living in, in the hope that we’ll go out and enjoy them wildly and unashamedly today. That we’ll test all their edges, push all their boundaries and fill up all the little empty spaces within our fragile suits of skin.
Enjoy, fellow renegades … this one goes out to you.