What the Hell Are You Guys Playin’ Now? My Story About Music and WODs

I’ve been sneaking into the gym on Sunday mornings here and there to get caught up with a few of my personal goals.  Not with just weightlifting or mobility, but trying to settle the score with myself in areas where I feel like I failed with certain workouts.  For example, a while back, for nostalgia’s sake, we did a repeat of 14.1 (10 min AMRAP of 30 Double Unders and 15 Power Snatches at 75#).  It crushed me.  

So on a recent Sunday I came in to make amends for my failure.  I had high aspirations on how I was going to improve my score.  How about me crushing this WOD instead of it crushing me?  Let’s get this monkey off my back!  

First, I’m sure you know as well as I that working out on your own is kind of daring.  I’m not trying to say that it’s dangerous, but it’s daring to come in on your own with no coach to push you, none of your workout buddies egging you on, and the whole time you’re there to conquer something that’s been eating away at your for weeks!  

How many times have you gone in on your own with high expectations of what you’re going to accomplish only to find yourself justifying how doing some light stretching and maybe a couple of air squats is, ‘enough for one day’.  Of course mustering the discipline to actually put yourself through a tough workout when you’re all by yourself is the subject of another post coming to your Facebook page in the weeks to come.  (Unfriend me now.  While you have the chance!!)

Let’s talk about the music.  

You know the music at the gym.  Especially a CrossFit gym.  It’s very loud, and to some of us, very unfamiliar. Even though I don’t know the title of most of the songs or who the bands are, I understand the scheme.  Head banger stuff for the intense WODs, such as a metcon.  While we’re stretching and warming up they seem to keep it medium with some Pop, or at least I think its Pop. 

We love music while we’re working out.  It sets the tone, it motivates you, it rocks you, relaxes you, helps you stretch, gets you psyched up, but I’m 58 and I’m almost always the oldest person in the gym.  Therefore, they’re never playin’ the stuff I like and I constantly find myself saying, “What in God’s name is this?”  

Which brings me to a funny story about how this one Sunday, I was in the gym all by myself.  That meant that I got to play DJ!!  I was in control of the music!!   So I ran the music from one of my playlists that I have on my Spotify app installed on my phone.  I realize that a 20-something-year-old would walk in to the gym with my Ramones or Guns ’n Roses blasting and would say the same thing I end up saying almost every day of the week, such as, “What is this?”  But here’s how “My” music foiled my plans.  

As afore mentioned, I was at the gym to take on a very challenging WOD that we did at SOPO back in January.  14.1.  10 minutes of brutality unleashed in the form of Double under and Power Snatches.  I start the timer and 3-2-1, I’m off.  “Bitch” by The Rolling Stones is blaring over the speakers and it’s got me pumped!  I’m singing the song to myself, “My heart is pumping louder than a big bass drum, alright!”  

Well I’m flying through the first round and the whole time I’m thinking to myself, “Wow, if only I had the chance to play “My” music everyday, I’d be a beast!”  It was just then that “Bitch” started to fade and the next song was “Sultans of Swing” by Dire Straights.  Wait!  What?  Hold on!  Oh crap!!  In case you’re unaware, “Sultans of Swing” was a Top-10 song back in the 70’s.  A great record, but not something you would put in the ‘intense WOD’ category.  I mean talk about a buzz kill.   

So now, the only reason that my “Heart was pumping louder than a big bass drum” was because the workout was starting to kick my ass and I just lost all my musical inspiration.  I would have been better off with “Pleasant Valley Sunday” by the Monkees.  (Google them if you’re unfamiliar with the Monkees.) 

To be fair to Mark Knopfler and company, 14.1 is a pretty tough workout, but on top of having the bottom drop out of my music intensity, I couldn’t stop laughing at myself for being such a goob by not checking my playlist to make sure that I had at least 10 minutes of stuff in the “Kick Ass” category as opposed to, well, “Sultans of Swing.”  You try stringing together 30 DU’s unbroken while you’re smoked and laughing all at the same time. 

Needless to say, my attempt to make good with 14.1 ended dismally, again!  However, and as always with failure, I learned a lesson or two that lonely Sunday.  I learned that working out everyday to VolBeat, or Cage the Elephant, or Cradle of Filth (Who are these guys????) isn’t really so bad.  

So you guys listen to whoever or whatever you want, and be glad that the workouts drain me to a point where I don’t have the energy to scream at the top of my hyperventilating lungs, “Turn that crap down!"  Also, on the days that I teach, keep in mind that I take requests.  Don’t be shy.  I’ll try to find it even if I have no idea who or what they are.  Except for Adelle.  Don’t try to slip that one past me.  I know who she is and that’s where I draw the line.  

McD

Mike McDonnellComment