What’s Your Anthem?

Ok, I learned something. When you’re working on your blog from work, check the Wi-Fi status because otherwise you might not be able to upload your post. Oops. We’ll just call this Spartan Sunday this week.

If you’re an avid gym goer, you’ll most likely bring your music player and headphones, crank the volume at the highest level for your earholes without going deaf, and let the music take over your workout. Some of us train to electronica. Others workout to hip-hop. Or maybe it’s Britney bitch….or something in the pop genre. Or you’re just like me and tune in to some good old fashion metal. Music is a force like no other as it has the ability to make you happy, sad, angry, or inspired in a single song. And if you pick the right songs, it can motivate you like hell in the gym.

I’m going to share something that most people don’t know. Before I leave the locker room to start my training, I put on my Bluetooth headphones and turn on my Amazon music. I scroll under my custom soundtrack (It’s titled Spartan Mix) and search for Motorhead – The Game and for a brief moment, I feel like I’m HHH about to enter the ring minus the spitting of my water because that’s just unsanitary. You may judge, but plwase continue reading while doing so.

Every year I try to pick a specific song and make that my anthem during my time in the gym, especially if I’m training for something important. My very first anthem was an instrumental from The Dark Knight Rises soundtrack that I used when I ran my first OCR in 2013. It was Hans Zimmer’s Imagine the Fire and I chose that because it started off pretty slow, but intense, like you’re about to endure the biggest challenge of your life. But then the tempo picks up and Batman’s theme starts with a small twist in the percussion. Then about halfway in, the mood changes again with a more aggressive approach, almost like you’re about to hit a wall, but then it changes one time with a stronger tempo and in the background you hear a chant that can be translated to “Rise” When you think about it while running, it almost matches your pace and I thought it was pretty appropriate. Plus, it’s Batman.

Since then, I’ve used several tunes to make my “anthem song” of the year when starting hitting the gym on the first day of the calendar. When I started my first Spartan Race, I chose Godsmack’s “Whatever” out of dedication to my friend Sean who initially pushed me to run when we were teenagers. I think he would’ve crushed those races if he were still with us. Two years ago, before my injury, I chose Throne by Bring Me the Horizon simply because I wanted my medal. But last year was the most significant because this was my first run since my injury and as I mentioned a few Fridays ago, I needed my win back so I went with an unorthadoxed choice in Vengeance on my Mind by G-Easy. Not everything in my playlist is metal, but most are appropriate for the occasion. This year I’m going with Adelitas Way – Still Hungry. I have a few more races left in me and I intend on running a few this year so this was a solid choice. And I have a ton of other songs that are on my playlist (92 to be exact) that push me to finish a workout or a run. Shout out to Pop Evil for their songs “Waking Lions” and “Be Legendary” because those songs had EVERYTHING to make the finish line.

So whether you got Metallica blasting in your eardrums or Lady Gaga or Kanye West, it’s good to have a playlist when tackling the iron. When focused, you’d be surprised how far you can go in a session by listening to your motivational soundtrack. And personally, having that anthem fuels the blood even more because when the year is over and you begin to reflect, you can ask yourself “did I hit my goal?” Or “Did I meet my own hype?” Trust me, it feels good when you do succeed. It gives you another challenge and a new anthem to march to next year.

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I'm J. I like a lot of stuff.

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