Music Motivates My Workouts

Julie Ryan Evans

woman running

Flickr Photo by 666isMONEY

Throughout my adult life I've had a smattering of affairs with running, mostly because I knew it was a quick calorie burner, not because I enjoyed doing it.

Then, a couple years ago my brother sent me a gift that changed my running life -- an iPod. Having my music so easily portable, so easily arranged into playlists, was incredible. It made me truly look forward to running, to getting lost in the rhythm and the lyrics; and ever since my running has improved and increased significantly.  

I've even built a relationship with the treadmill to where I can now run six or seven miles on it a couple times a week. Pre-iPod, I was lucky if I could make it two miles on the "dreadmill" without wanting to trip myself out of boredom. (I don't even call it the "dreadmill anymore!)

I fully attribute this shift in my running to music. It has the power to motivate me like nothing else ever has.

Whenever I think I can't run another step, I click to I Run for Life by Melissa Etheridge or Till I Collapse by Eminem and Nate Dog. The Rednex version of Cotton Eye Joe makes me speed up every time it comes on; and Blister in the Sun by The Violent Femmes makes me lose myself in a flashback of adolescence.

While my everyday music tastes run more along the lines of Elvis Costello and Merle Haggard, they don't do it for me when I run. Instead, I often seek out the beat of angry rap music like What Up Gangsta by Fifty Cent or Stronger by Kanye West.

And when given a choice between the explicit or non-explicit version of any song, I choose the uncensored version every time. While that means I must hide my iPod from my 6-year-old son, there's something about the cursing that makes me run faster, better, stronger ...

What kind of music motivates you to exercise?

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