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What Songs Fuel You?

Music always plays a vital role in our lives. Music has the opportunity to make us be happy or emotional. Many of us listens to the lyrics or many of us listen for the beats. Regardless of why we listen music is apart of our lives.

At some point in our lives we have all used music as an outlet to show our emotions (good or bad). I know I have used music for all kinds of emotions. And while that is a great topic to delve in, I do believe it is a topic for another day. Instead I want to discuss the songs that motivates me while I am working out.

Two weeks ago I made my long awaited return to the gym. Sure it sounds a bit dramatic, but if you have been following my blog, you will know my long story from overweight adult to healthy adult to surgery bound adult. My longest break from the gym since 2008 was two months. In March I was forced to shut it down while I went through a few medical exams and physical therapy. In late July I was given word surgery is the next step. But at that point my doctor gave me the go ahead to return to the gym.

Labor Day weekend I made my return after six months. And while music has always provided a distraction to get through a workout, I never realized how music played an integral role in how I feel during a workout.

What do I mean? If a song I LOVE plays on my iPod or even through the gym’s overhead speakers a shot of adrenaline takes over and I work out like I have never worked out before. For those few minutes I get in a zone. I move to the beat, the lyrics and sound. And often times I am caught singing too. Mind you, I am tone deaf. But that does not stop me. Rest assured.

Now then…what songs on my iPod gets my adrenaline going during a work out? This blog will detail my top 10 workout songs. The criteria for determining this is simple…

  • Repeating a song from my iPod more than three times.
  • Pausing my iPod to listen to a song over the gym’s overhead speakers only to eventually purchase the song from iTunes later .
  • Volume control. The higher the volume the better it is for me.
  • Singing a lyric or two (does not necessarily have to be the whole song.)
**Side Note: Despite having an affinity for Alkaline Trio, they did not crack the top 10. Actually, they did not crack my top 20. I love their music but their songs make a different list.**
#10- Matchbox 20 “How Far We’ve Come”
This song made the Top 10 on my first day back to the gym in early September. As my elliptical training reached an hour, I heard this song over the gym’s overhead speakers. I couldn’t help but feel emotional as six months of standing idle came to an end. Lyric that I love: “Let’s see how far we’ve come”. (repeated over)
#9- Face to Face “Disconnected”
I owe a lot to “Disconnected”. Granted this is not a song that says, “ADRENALINE”, but it does get me adrenaline going. This song holds a special place in my heart since this was the song that introduced me to PUNK music in 2000. The song, almost ten years old at that point, delivered a lyrically stimulating and thought provoking message. And how can you not love the beat? Til this day regardless of the gym, I replay this song over and over. Lyric that I love: “No you don’t know what you will give up. You don’t know what you want. It may take you years to find out. You don’t know what you need. It’s something that may never come to you.”
#8 Alter Bridge “Metalingus”
This band was formed after Scott Stapp, Creed lead singer, ended the band’s tenure. The dissolution of Creed allowed the remaining members to form their own band with new front man, Myles Kennedy. This song first caught my attention during a wrestling event. WWE Superstar, Adam “Edge” Copeland used “Metalingus” as his entrance song. While the lyrics are great, the beat drives my workout. With the fast paced rhythm and hard sounding drums, you will enjoy this from beginning to end. Lyric that I love: “On this day, I see clearly. Everything has come to life. A bitter place and a broken dream. And we’ll leave it all…leave it all behind.”
#7 Rise Against “Behind Closed Doors”
This is the first time Rise Against appears on this list. Their politically driven lyrics have inspired many to make their own decisions. However, as one who prefers to enjoy good music and not get influenced by politics, this band won me over with their uptempo music and Tim Mcilrath’s punk rock screeching voice. Lyric that I love:  “Although we have no obligation to stay alive. On broken backs we beg for mercy. We will survive. (Break out) I won’t be left here. Behind Closed Doors.”  *Author’s Note: Whenever Tim utters “break out”, I literally have to rock out to this with a rock on gesture.
#6 Rise Against “Under the Knife”
No surprise this band once again appeared on the list. What can I say that has not been previously stated? Tell you what…let the music do the talking for me. Lyric that I love: “Wake me up inside. These dreams will die if we let them. Wake me up inside. Today won’t start if we just give in…CAUSE YOU’LL BE ANYTHING!”
#5 Three Days Grace “Animal I Have Become”
This song gets the usual three plus replays on my iPod. Three Days Grace have a dark side. Their side has been released to the masses for others to hear. Their pain and feelings have clearly been expressed by others at some point in one’s life. Lyric that I love: “So what if you could see, the darker side of me. No one would ever change this animal I have become. Help me believe. It’s not the real me. Somebody help me tame this animal.”
#4 The Bouncing Souls “Ole!”
New Jersey’s own, The Bouncing Souls, made the list. Is that my bias? Not really. If there was a bias I would have made this song #1. HA! The Bouncing Souls took a traditional soccer anthem and gave it a punk rock twist. The song, featured in their 1999 album “Hopeless Romantic”, has been featured in sports stadiums and arenas. In recent years, the NJ Devils used this song as a goal song. A goal song is a song used by the home team after they scored a goal. Lyric that I love: “Off we go to kick it about. Win or lose we’re having fun. We won’t quit until we’re done. We got heart when we play. Take you on anyday.”
#3 Downstait “I Came to Play”
Yes, this is another song used by a professional wrestler. However, unlike Alter Bridge, this song was produced by WWE’s musical guru, Jim Johnston. Mike “The Miz” Mizanin enters each time to the ring with Downstait’s loud and catchy lyrics. The lyrics and the beat goes with The Miz’s personality. He’s loud and always goes to play. And just like The Miz, I am AWESOME! Lyric that I love: “Everyday I get better. I watch as you get worse. My script is to the letter. And I’ll write your final verse.”
#2 Skillet “Monster”
I discovered this song as a theme song for a WWE PPV. Vince McMahon and his staff knows their audience. They surely introduce songs that have potential to be hits. In a way they are what MTV used to be. I discovered numerous bands by watching WWE programming. Granted many bands I already heard of but when I heard this, I rocked out to it. Initially, I thought the song was sung by Three Days Grace. After researching the song, I realized they sound alike. The similarities end their. While Three Days Grace sing about their troubled past, Skillet, a Christian Metal band, sing about finding ways out of troubled situations. Lyric that I love: “I feel it deep within. It’s just beneath the skin. I must confess like a monster. I hate what I’ve become. The nightmare has just begun. I must confess that I feel like a monster.”
#1 Rise Against “Drones”
For the third time on my list, the best song I rock out to over and over at the gym is Drones. Prior to 2008, I knew and heard of Rise Against. I thought they were ok. As I mentioned earlier, their music often offers a political message. And while that is fine and dandy, I can make up my own mind on what I want to listen to. Nevertheless, I did enjoy their music. However, when their album “The Sufferer and The Witness” was released, this band instantly became one of my favorite bands. “Drones” is the reason why I became enamored with this band. Tim’s voice and the uptempo sound provides the same exact uptempo I need in my workout. While it’s my favorite song while working out, it is also one of my favorite songs overall. Lyric that I love: “And if strength is born from heartbreak, then mountains I can move. And if walls could speak I’d pray they tell me what to do.”
There you have it. What do you think about my list? What are your favorite songs when working out? I love to read your list.
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