By Julia Waldow ’17
As a South-living student, I have no excuse not to go to the KAC. But something about the giant athletic facility intimidates me. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m inherently self-conscious, always thinking that everyone is watching me when I exercise. Maybe it’s that I’m not always sure I’m using the equipment correctly. Or maybe it’s that I sometimes happen to see a professor when I’m gross and sweaty and running on the treadmill — an encounter that makes for great Snapchat stories but also can be a little startling, especially when I notice that my former instructor in his sixties is keeping pace better than me.
However, when I do decide to KAC, I have a secret weapon: music. An energizing, pump-up playlist helps me get in the mindset to work out, and it helps pass the time. Below are some songs that I’ve gotten into recently when I’m making my way down the hill.
“Black and Blue” — Miike Snow
“How long has it been? Shall we get into it again?” the Swedish indie pop band Miike Snow asks at the onset of this pumped up track. Not only does this first line encourage me to “get into” KACing and reflect on “how long” it’s been since I have in the past, but it also starts the song off with a bang. “Black and Blue” is a fun mix of pop, funk, and electronic music in one, and its constant beat makes it a standout for running on the treadmill.
“Don’t Save Me” — Haim
Although Haim’s album Days Are Gone came out in 2013, the drumbeats and synthesizers used across its tracks harken back to the days of the 1980s. Listening to “Don’t Save Me” is like a trip backwards in time, but it’s also a pumped up tune that moves you forward by getting your toes tapping and your body moving.
“Lisztomania” — Phoenix
“Lisztomania” is probably one of my favorite workout tracks. Its pace starts out fast, throwing the listener into the song and demanding his/her full attention. “Ooh, this is showtime, this is showtime, this is showtime,” lead singer Thomas Mars cries halfway through the song, reminding you to keep up your pace and carry on with your workout.
“The Underdog” — Spoon
“The Underdog” isn’t quite as fast-paced and energetic as “Lisztomania,” but it’s still great to listen to, especially during the middle of your workout, when you’ve hit your stride. The constant strumming and trumpet blasts help to edge you on and give you a burst of energy.
“Float On” — Modest Mouse
This song — a kind of oldie, but goodie type of track — is great to have in your back pocket at any time. Lead singer Isaac Brock’s voice is both harsh at times and pleasant at others — just like exercising — and his statement that “we’ll all float on okay” reminds us to not take ourselves too seriously.