My Running Music Five

Here I am, with less than two months until a 3.25 mile race between the employees of every major company on Long Island, out of shape and carrying about 40 pounds more than someone my height should. But, having a goal again is giving me something to focus on in the gym, and keeping me away from the vending machines and ice cream stores during the day. I've only been in this race on two occasions, the first time finishing in about 33 minutes and the second time closer to 40. This year, I'll be lucky to do it in 45, but I don't regret my last minute decision to sign up. Finishing at all will be a personal victory. As a boy, I couldn't run one lap around a track without getting a sharp pain in my side. I've come a long way.

I don't listen to music when I run, other than whatever the gym is pumping through its speakers. I watch the television on the treadmill with closed captioning on, as I don't like to wear headphones or be attached to anything as I'm running and sweating. But something that's coming back to me from a few years back is my mental playlist, the songs that start to play in my brain to the rhythm of my feet pounding on the belt below. This inner music motivates me and keeps me going, even though there are some unusual choices among my five below:

1) ”Dare”, Stan Bush:
I know picking something from The Transformers: The Movie makes me a geek, but it's neither the only song from that movie on this list or the geekiest. It has a driving rhythm, wailing ‘80s guitars, and listen to those lyrics: “Everybody's trying to break your spirit, keeping you down. Seems like it's been forever. There's another voice if you'll just hear it, saying it's the last round. Looks like it's now or never. Out of the darkness you stumble into the light, fighting for the things you know are right. Dare! Dare to believe you can survive; the power is there at your command. Dare! Dare to keep all your dreams alive. It's time to take a stand. You can WIN if you DARE I don't care if it's corny; it works for me.

2) Theme from The Flash:
This one's a no brainer. Danny Elfman's driving notes were the perfect accompaniment for the adventures of the scarlet speedster, and easily conjure the feeling of running. When I imagine that, the world around me blurs and I feel the super speed.

3) Rockin' in the Free World:
Once again, it's the rhythmic guitars and drums which drive me, and they synch up particularly nicely with my footfalls when I attain my desired speed.

4) ”Nothin's Gonna Stand in Our Way” by Spectre General:
Yeah, it's another song from The Transformers. ”To be fast and free and young; I want to count myself among the fortunate ones.” The title/chorus says it all, and the idea that nothing's going to stand in my way is a great morale boost.

5) Duck Tales Theme:
This is the one you can all make fun of me for. I can't quite explain why this tune pops into my head so often while I'm running. I guess it's just...jaunty.



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