I was driving to the gym earlier today when I got inspired. The drive is 15 minutes tops, and my iPod was on shuffle in my car. I wasn’t really paying attention to what I was listening to, but everything seemed to line up at a stoplight. As the light turned from red to green, the song I was listening entered the chorus, and I started listening to the lyrics. And they stuck.
The song was “Chip On My Shoulder,” from the musical Legally Blonde. I’m a huge theater nerd, and while Legally Blonde isn’t a Pulitzer-caliber experience, it’s high energy and has some fun moments and songs. I never ever ever would have guessed that 4 lines of lyrics of one of the songs would change my outlook on the day, but whadyaknow? They did. Now, despite how silly the source is, I’m sharing it with you.
During “Chip On My Shoulder,” Emmett, a teacher’s assistant, is convincing Elle (the main character, played by Reese Witherspoon in the movie) that she needs to start studying or she’s gonna fail out of Harvard Law School. That stoplight turned from red to green just as Elle had an epiphany – that she too has a chip on her shoulder, and that’s a good thing:
“This chip on my shoulder
Makes me smarter and bolder
No more whining or blaming
I am reclaiming my pride”
Here’s a YouTube link – the relevant part starts at 7:57.
I’m not exactly sure why it stuck, but it did. I don’t think I have much of a chip of my shoulder, in fact, I try to take responsibility for my actions and live without regrets (though I struggle with this at times). I suppose what I connected to was the idea that this is MY TIME. I too am STRONGER and BOLDER. This is MY CHANCE. I’m headed to the gym, which is a great thing – so what can I do to make the most of it? To quote another lyric earlier in the song:
“With the chance I’ve been given,
I’m going to be driven as hell”
I may be between jobs right now, but at least I have my days free, and so why not push myself?
When I got to the gym I was antsy to get started, and I decided I would first tackle the machine I hate most: the StairMaster. Bring it, StairMaster. It’s only the second time I’ve used the escalator-style StairMaster (as opposed to the pedal-style StairMaster) since my weight-loss journey began. Last time, I made it 10 minutes (barely) and climbed 41 flights. Today, I would have to top that. And I did! I upped the resistance level and my pace, and pushed through to 11 minutes, and climbed 51 flights! Because I like visual aids, I dug on the interweb and discovered that’s as high as the tallest building in Montreal (which I’ve never been to)! It’s called 1000 de La Gauchetiere, and here’s a pic:
Then I hopped on my new favorite cardio machine, the Arc Trainer, and went for 40 minutes (twice as long as last time), upping the resistance every 3-5 minutes. It got really tough towards the end, but I made it, and I felt great. The final 5 minutes on the Arc Trainer was a cool-down, and then I walked around the block to cool down further before calling it a day. Here’s the best part – I noted how many calories I burned:
- StairMaster: 133 calories
- Arc Trainer: 714 calories
- TOTAL: 847 calories!
Before leaving the gym I snapped a picture of myself in the mirror. I thought I’d post a new ‘Before’ and ‘Current’ photo to keep this surge of inspiration going. The new photo is pretty crappy, I’ll admit, thanks to the winning combo of gym lighting and Blackberry camera, but damn, lookin’ good!
Keep it up, David!