I finally got my sixteen miles in this weekend. To be more precise, 16.48. I ran a new route through the National Park portion of the Delaware Water Gap and fell in love while listening to Sheryl Crow sing “Run, Baby, Run.” It was the moment of my run. Every run or workout has the moment that keeps me coming back. Some even have a series of them, and this run was one of those. But this moment was the moment of the moments for this one. I even did a little Leo and Kate on Titanic moment to soak it in. My joints felt great, my muscles felt strong, my lungs felt full. It was a good day to be alive and running. And the song just made it more.
Any workout can be a better workout with the right playlist. I favor anthemic feminist songs (and I’m not ashamed to include Fighter by Christina and Stronger by Britney in that mix), but just about anything can get my heart pumping the way I need it to. My only prerequisite for adding a tune to my list is that when I hear it, I immediately want to sing and sing LOUDLY. I have everything from Neil Diamond to Indigo Girls to NWA blasting in my ears when I run. Although I am always scouting new additions, these are a few of my all-time favorites to make my little feet move faster and farther.
Eminem, Lose Yourself. Great beat. Fantastic lyrics. In-your-mother-f&#*in’-face attitude. YES, please and THANK YOU. No matter how beat I may feel before this comes on, I am always at the top of my game during and for miles after I hear “You only get one shot…” And I swear, my ipod saves this for that exact moment I start to fade or pause to think about throwing in the towel, because every single run, this song gets me back on track.
Ozzy, Crazy Train. Love the song, sure. But I love what it brings to mind even more. My little werewolf listened to this song to get pumped up for his wrestling matches, and there were so many moments he could have given up (and gotten lots of non-embarasssing hugs and kisses from his mommy) but didn’t. I just picture him and that scary look of determination and know that I simply cannot fail. Even if he is at home waiting with lots of completely wanted hugs and kisses for his mommy.
Zac Brown Band, Toes. Simply because it takes me away from burning lungs and the twinges in my knees and/or shins and plants my tired fanny right where I want it, in warm sand under a blue and sunny sky (and preferably next to a very tan cabana boy holding a Skinny Girl margarita). This song takes me out of my current location to a much more desirable one, if only for a few minutes and is closely followed by Where The Boat Leaves From on my favorites list.
Anything by the Beastie Boys. Do I really need to expand on this? Or can we all just agree that the three boys from Brooklyn, quite simply, rock? (Strangely, I have the same to say about Prince and No Doubt. It’s just good music, people.)
Bruce Springsteen, Born To Run. It’s a tad obvious, but it works. The raw emotion, the sweeping chorus. Plus, I am running so close to New Jersey that I feel obligated to throw in some of the Boss and a smattering (or a hefty helping) of Bon Jovi.
Joan Jett, Bad Reputation. Because really, I don’t give a damn about my bad reputation. I’ve got more important things to worry about than others’ fascination with my life (though, of course, it is completely understandable, seeing as how I’m AWESOME). I’m runnin’ over here, people! I don’t give a damn about anything other than my breathing and my pace.
These are just a few. Name another great tune and I’m likely to say emphatically, “I LOVE that one! That’s my favorite!” In this way, I am much like the young werewolf, as his favorite song is whichever great song happens to be playing at the moment. This month, most often, that is Eastbound and Down by Jerry Reed (and yes, I just confirmed with him that I had the correct artist name). And guess what? That’s a pretty good running song for me, too. I’ve got a long way to go, and a short time to get there…I’m gonna do what they said can’t be done…
Maybe I ought to get a bandit mask to wear with my tiara…