Doing my typical Saturday morning thing, you know coffee, computer, random thoughts all while not under the gun of the clock, I've had this going through my mind for a while. The music that motivates us and when do you use it.
I know we all have those "That is the bestest song" or " My most favourist song of all time" Those of course are the ones above and beyond best and favourite. This songs that you put in your head just before a race. Some have lyrics that mean something, some have a visual reference, some have some history and of course some just get you fired up. But is there one song that just does it all for you?
So what got me thinking about this? A play list that I made on my ipod last year for the 24 hour race in Michigan. It was a rare race that we could listen to music so I took the time and made out a play list that was just over 23 hours long. Songs that I knew I would like hearing no matter what part of the race I was at or how I was feeling. Well that play list is still on and I've been playing it on lots of my long rides. It's really interesting how certain songs amongst even ones that I thought would be "up lifting" stand out. Songs that remind me why I am out there in minus 10, pedalling my ass off instead of sitting on my couch beside the fire. Why I watch what I eat and how much instead of having that bag of potato chips for dinner. Why I drink more bottles of water than beer. I know that is a shame.
Of course like anybody else I have my little warm up play list that I always crank up on the way to races or bury my head into just before rolling to the start line. Working on getting that ear worm going with little motivational lines that I will pull out when I need them. Something that showed up this year as a new song on the list and many will huff and groan about this as this band is listed as the most disliked band in Canada. The song "if today was your last day" by Nickleback is basically just a bunch of known motivational saying wrapped up with a guitar riff. It works though and I find a couple of those little saying remind me how to look at a training ride, a race, or just life in general. I usually have the mindset of losing Dad at 56 bring things to a deeper meaning.
There are a few song lines also that randomly keep showing up during races that always seem to work for those quick pick me ups when the mind is battling a tired body. Songs from the band Rise Against always seem to be in this little compilation. I have a lot of their music on my warm up mix . One particular song, more one lyric line has repeated itself many times during races.
I've lately been finding myself hooked on a song that is not the charts, doesn't have lyrics, can't be bought in stores or on itunes. You would have never heard it unless you have ever seen the movie. What this song does is just put a visual in my head reminding me that cyclists are a very individual type group and that when I'm out training alone in the not so pristine conditions others are doing the same. The lifestyle that I have chosen is chosen by more people than just who I see.
With so many roads, trails and indoor trainers cyclists seem like a rare species sometimes and you wonder if you are alone in your ventures. Runners are everywhere, they never venture far from home, by bike the distances travelled are vast in comparison. This song brings me a visual of others like myself out on some barren road miles from civilization doing the exact same thing that I am for the exact same reasons.
This song reminds me that all the time spent recovering with the abusive foam roller, the food intake, the lack of beer intake, the hours spent sleeping, etc, others are doing the same thing with the same end goal. The end goal may be slightly different for each person, from better health, to finishing a race, to winning a race to going to the Olympics but the focus is all the same.
I had woman I was dating once say to me "cycling is a hobby for you". No, cycling is not a hobby but a lifestyle. She didn't get it. I don't see her anymore. This song reminds me why I chose this lifestyle and it's one hell of an amazing one.
I have this play list on shuffle , having them show up randomly is the only way. Life is to programed and scheduled to have these songs just flow together with no set structure, they always seem to play when they are really needed. That long hill, that cruel head wind, those cold rainy days, that last interval. My ipod is charged and ready to go, I'll be needing it today as I head out to the big hills for a 3 plus hour ride today. There will be lots of climbing.
As for what this fantastic instrumental is, ask me in person and I may tell you. I may just keep it to myself.