Thursday, April 28, 2011

5 Songs To Survive Swimming Burnout

Every single morning when I wake up, there's some unfortunate song in my head, like Rebecca Black's "Friday" or "Stu's Song" from The Hangover (though I like that one). Whatever song is in my head affects my mood, my thinking, my emotional response to people. That's why on my iTunes I have everything possible to compliment whatever Life Situations are present: JayMay (when feeling emo, walking in NYC in autumn); Presidents of the United States of America (when feeling Naked and Famous); Soundtrack to Rudy (walking to the gym, college football season, showering). 

So, when you specialize it down, there's a song for every situation, every mood, every life event. Since this is a swimming blog, here are 5 Songs To Survive Swimming Burnout. (Even that title is about as emo/indie as it gets). These songs are to inspire, to make you love swimming again, to make you want to love the competition, the water, the pool, the smell of chlorine...

5. Explosions in the Sky - "Your Hand In Mine." "Clear Eyes! Full Hearts! CAN'T LOSE!" No better way to unleash the inner-sports fanatic within than some epic, emo instrumenting. 8 minutes of epic cinematic soundtrack (esp. at 5:03). These guys were the sole genius why "Friday Night Lights" became famous. Seriously - grab a Canon 7D camera, record basically anything you want, and put it to this soundtrack with quick zooms and soft-focusing, and you'll have cinematic gold. It's easily the best song to listen to when you're on a bus, riding to a swimming championships, staring out the window, butterflies in your stomach, mentally prepping....Not crazy hard rock, with just enough build to let the goosebumps fly.

4. White Stripes - "Icky Thump." OK, enough with the emo BS. This song makes you want to stomp on buildings. I'm listening to it right now, and it actually makes me want to swim a 400IM. Best "behind-the-blocks" song of all-time. If you're feeling that burnout, listen on the way to practice.

3. Arcade Fire - "Wake Up." At 3:35 of this YouTube video, shit gets crazy. I had numerous friends at Coachella watching this, all of whom agreed it was one of the best music moments of their lives. Giant rubber floating brightly-colored balls makes me happy. And happy swimmers = fast swimmers.

2. Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Around The World." Lead singer Anthony Kiedis grew up in my small hometown in Michigan, so this track has special sentimentality. Especially considering that Kiedis once told my 16-year-old sister that she was "jail bait." So this track makes me jump for nostalgic joy and simultaneously hit things.

1. Soundtrack to Rudy - "The Final Game." I shouldn't even have to explain this one. If you're a swimmer and haven't seen Rudy, you don't deserve to live. Your soul is not yet fulfilled. You are living in purgatory, neither here nor there, suffering alone in the island of LOST. Become a human being. Listen to this song on repeat, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, AS LOUD AS YOU CAN, and you will have no more swimming burnout. Period.

(While listening, try not to scream into the mirror, pounding your chest, unleashing guttural screams of triumph and desire. I dare you.)


  1. The Black Keys Top 5 Swimming Burnout Songs

    Arguably THE BEST BAND IN THE WORLD right now, these guys play with such soul. I’m not sure what kind of crap happened in Akron, OH or along the way to stardom for someone to have such pain in their voice, but Dan Auerbach is incredible. There isn’t a song I don’t like, but there are songs I couldn’t live without knowing they exist.

    (In no particular order)

    ‘Just Got to Be’ – Magic Potion
    “You just got to be, the best thing for me”
    Literal obviousness

    ‘Set you Free’ - Thickfreakness
    “Let him go, walk out the door And come to me, I'm gonna set you free”

    ‘Him’ being your burned out mind and emotions towards Swimming. The man singing is the sport of swimming, in its purity and simplicity.

    ‘Grown So Ugly’ – Rubber Factory
    In the depths of your apathy of the water and training. A conversation with yourself, wondering what happened. A possible realization and an attempt at changing your situation. It won’t be easy, self doubt will creep in and there will be nay sayers. Don’t give up no matter how “Ugly” the situation gets (maybe a little bit of a reach…)

    ‘Heavy Soul’ – The Big Come Up
    When you realize you have found your love for the sport again and are anxious to get back.

    ‘Yearnin’ – The Big Come Up
    Just listen to the lyrics, in-line with ‘Heavy Soul’, but now you’re back.

    Bonus Tracks-

    ‘Thickfreakness’ – Thickfreakness
    Just because it is so damn raw & powerful. Must be listened to as loud as tolerable, plus 2 notches.

    ‘I Got Mine’ – Attack & Release
    See Thickfreakness. Check out the full-length video on youtube, Live at the Crystal Ballroom.

    (Seeing them July 5th & couldn’t be more excited, must be seen in person before you die if you love rock and roll)

    ‘Breaks’ – The Big Come Up
    For the coach who no longer swims but has fond memories of what once was.

  2. I wish I could somehow tie my favorite album of all time to swimming but I just can't. LOVAGE is just not a motivating album, but it has the greatest EVER cover of a Berlin song. Sex (I'm a). If you haven't heard it, shame on you all.

    My swim motivation songs are mostly metal. Motorhead's "Sacrifice" is the first thing that comes to mind.