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.)