Music plays a very big part in my life. Always has. I started piano lessons when in first grade, then moved onto playing drums and percussion in third grade. I participated in band and choir throughout elementary, middle and high school, and even played a little in college.

Even when I am not physically playing the music myself, I surround myself with it. I always have the radio cranked up in the car, and I sing loudly (and badly) along. I was the queen of mix tapes when I was young, always searching for the perfect mix of music to suit my moods and to serve as soundtracks for my daily activities. I had waking up in the morning and showering tapes, long car trip tapes, short car trip tapes, tapes to play my drum set to, horseback riding tapes, rollerblading tapes, bus ride tapes, field trip tapes, just sitting around and reading tapes, writing tapes, and winding down and sleeping tapes. You name it, I had my own personal playlist for it.

Since the invention of things like CD’s and I-Pods, my quest for the perfect soundtrack has only intensified. Now, instead of being able to average maybe twelve songs per side on the cassette tapes, my soundtracks are virtually limitless. And I have spent many hours dodging my writer’s block making playlists for myself.

The one I have been putting off though is my workout playlist. Since Steven and I joined the YMCA, I have just been shuffling through one of the large playlists of of my favorite songs. Don’t get me wrong, there are some really great songs to keep me moving and plugging along to the beat–things like Bad Things by Jace Everett (yes the True Blood theme song), We Didn’t Start the Fire by Billy Joel, and a wide assortment of upbeat Heart, Abba, Green Day and country tunes.

But then the train dereails when something like Bird York’s In the Deep comes on. I can actually hear the squealing of the brakes in my brain as I try to keep my body moving instead of slowing to match the rhythm of the music. Nothing against Bird York. In fact, In the Deep is one of my favorite songs to listen to when I need to sit and unwind and relax, but workout music, it is not. And that also goes for the entire Twin Peaks soundtrack, anything by Enya, and most showtunes (with the exception of the Wicked soundtrack, because that music always gets me moving).

I had a particularly hard time working out today because, for some reason, every really great fist-pumping, upbeat song was sandwiched between two or three slow jams. It was brutal, and I think I am more worn out tonight than I have ever been from all the scrambling I did trying to keep moving while searching for more appropriate music on my I-Pod.

So, for tonight, I will leave you with my Top 5 Get Motivated Workout Songs. These little ditties are always at the top of my playlist…

1. Whiskey in the Jar by Metallica – This song always gets me going. It’s got a good strong beat, and my only problem is stopping myself from belting out the chorus while running on the elliptical machine.

2. Walk the Walk by Poe – Really, I’m a sucker for anything by Poe, and she’s got a lot of great songs that will probably make my workout playlist–songs like Hey Pretty, Not a Virgin, Trigger Happy Jack and Choking the Cherry to name a few. Walk the Walk is definitely one of my favorites though, and it always gets me moving.

3. A whole slew of Beatles songs, like Help, Can’t Buy Me Love, Revolution, etc. They’re perky, upbeat, and just make you smile and keep you going. It would be impossible to choose just one.

4. And as long as we’re talking about groups that put out a bunch of great workout songs, The Black Eyed Peas should probably be on the list. Songs like Anxiety, Let’s Get It Started, and Pump It immediately come to mind. It’s impossible to sit still when they are playing.

5. And last, but certainly not least, my own personal Get-Off-Your-Ass-and-Move anthem, Invincible by Pat Benetar. Most people will remember it as the theme from the classic 80’s film The Legend of Billie Jean. If you haven’t seen the movie, you must. Now. What are you waiting for? And if you can actually keep yourself from trying to conquer the world (or at least conquer a decent workout) while listening to this song, I have serious doubts that you are even human.

Tonight’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to all the music that gets me moving. Tomorrow’s agenda = make my own personal workout playlist.

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