I’m moving slow today, folks. Quite literally. I’ll get to that in a second.
Yesterday was a day for the books, in both good and bad ways. It began with me dropping my car off to be serviced, thanks to the Check Engine light coming on a few days ago. I waited around until they were done with the diagnostic, when I learned that my car needed a new thermostat. I’m not a huge car guy, but I learned that the thermostat regulates the coolant that enters the engine. Without enough coolant, the car will overheat. The thermostat has a valve that opens and closes to allow the coolant to enter, and my valve was sticking shut.Not good.
- The bad news: I had to spent a few hundred bucks on a new thermostat.
- The good news: I brought it in at the right time: had I continued driving with a closed thermostat valve, the engine would’ve surely overheated and caused thousands of dollars of damage.
- The best news: I learned that Fiona, my amazing service advisor, has been featured in a series of Ford commercials with Mike Rowe, host of Dirty Jobs and Ford spokesman for the past 5 years! She’s wonderful in the commercials, but she’s completely embarrassed by them, so she’s gonna love that I’m posting links. Watch her here, here, here and here.
What does any of this have to do with health/fitness/weight loss/food/the usual topics I blog about? Nothing. But I did go all day without my car yesterday, so I didn’t make it to the gym. I got my car back around 6:30 and then had evening plans that went a little longer than I was anticipating, so I didn’t make it home until about 11pm. It wasn’t until close to midnight that I went down to the little gym in my building to get some exercise in. I ended up using the elliptical for 46 minutes, and I felt great, and slept wonderfully afterwards.
This morning, I woke up to a throbbing, painful left foot. That’s why I’m moving slow today. I think I must of twisted it or something, although last night it was fine before I went to bed. The pain has subsided a little bit during the past few hours, and I’m icing it right now, as I type. I’m going to see how it progresses over the course of the day before deciding whether or not to see my doctor.
My first thought, when I woke up, was OH SHIT, This better not be anything major, 5 days before my big 163-story stair climb fundraiser. I’d feel TERRIBLE if I need to postpone the stair climb, because I feel like it’s all I’ve talked about for the past 2 months. Even I’m sick of hearing myself talk about it. Plus, so many amazing donors have ponied up over $1,300 for Whaley Children’s Center in Michigan (DONATE HERE!) – even though I’m sure they’d understand, I’d still feel awful having to push this to another day. But I’m thinking positive. It’ll all be a moot point, because I’m going to be FINE by Saturday.Do you hear me? FINE!
At 12:30 last night, while churning away on the elliptical, fighting fatigue (both from the workout, and from the fact that it was 12:30am), I was incredibly grateful for my iPod. I have a special playlist that fuels me through most of my workouts, filled with my favorite songs that make me move. In the past, I’ve written posts about my go-to songs of the moment (like KT Tunstall’s “Push That Knot Away,” Snow Patrol’s “Open Your Eyes,” and Honorebel’s “Now You See It”), but I’ve never shared my entire workout playlist.
My workout playlist is continually being tweaked. I add or remove songs every couple weeks, as my moods and tastes change. At the moment, it consists of 46 songs, and here they are:
For the sake of this post, I organized them alphabetically by artist, but in the gym, I listen to it on shuffle. It’s a pretty eclectic collection – here are some notes and thoughts on some of the songs (with links where you can listen for free):
My current go-to song, that I’m listening to at the start (and often end) of every workout, is Cee Lo Green’s “Bright Lights Bigger City”. It has a great beat, and I love its use of violins and sirens. Here’s the video:
The most recent additions are three songs from Madonna’s brand-spanking-new album, MDNA. I like most of the album, and I’ll probably add more songs from it to my workout playlist, but right now, my favorite track for exercising is “I Don’t Give A.” Nicki Minaj is featured on the track, and the final minute, which layers increasingly dramatic choral voices, is quite striking:
There’s a lot of tracks that might be unexpected on a workout playlist. There’s a showtune: “America” from West Side Story. There’s an Bluegrass/Classical crossover track called “Attaboy,” from an album called The Goat Rodeo Sessions that I’ve loved ever since I saw it performed on The Colbert Report last fall. There’s a couple uptempo classical pieces, as well: the final movement of Prokofiev’s 2nd Piano Concerto, and the final movement of Haydn’s 92nd Symphony. (I’ll admit that sometimes I’m not in the mood for orchestral stuff, and will jump to the next song if these come up, but sometimes I’ll base an entire workout around listening to pieces like these). There a couple more orchestral pieces that are parts of film scores: “The Adventures of Mutt” is from the most recent Indiana Jones movie, and won a Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition. “Bolero” plays over the end credits of Moulin Rouge, and is a favorite for cardio, because while it starts slow, the tempo get ratcheted up to a fever pitch.
Most of the rest of the tracks are pop, dance, or R&B, although lately I’ve been really enjoying a couple rock songs, which traditionally haven’t been on my radar for workout purposes. In addition to the aforementioned “Open Your Eyes” (Snow Patrol), I’ve also love Silversun Pickups’ “Panic Switch” and Finger Eleven’s “Paralyzer” (I love the “Paralyzer” video because the Aon Center, which I climbed a few weekends ago, is in the background).
There you have it, ladies and gentlemen, my workout playlist. I’m always on the lookout for new music, so let me know, in the comments section, your favorite songs to exercise to!
All this talk about music has me jonesing for a workout! I’m weary, because of my foot, but maybe by the end of the day if it’s better I’ll go to the gym and try some seated upper body weightlifting that doesn’t put any weight or pressure on my feet.