But then I thought about how hard it is to make a definitive top ten list. I mean, my tastes aren't your tastes, and my tastes always change. I don't want to order all people of the world to enjoy this list, but only offer it as a suggestion. And I don't want to nail myself down to just this list forever, thus the overly parenthetical title.
(My) Top Ten* Workout Songs (For Now)
*In strategic playlist order.
1. Sec Walkin' - My Morning Jacket: The perfect warm-up song. It begins with the lyrics, "Left leg, right leg, one leg at a time I keep on walking..." It's slightly honky tonk, good rhythm, great for starting a long walk, the walk to the gym or while you're getting ready.
2. Here it Goes Again - Ok Go: The title says it all, "here it goes again," back in the saddle, doing that crazy treadmill choreography.3. Everyone Nose (All The Girls Standing in the Line for the Bathroom) - N.E.R.D.: The pulsing rhythm is essential for a third-in-line song. Plus, the irony is too great - all those girls may be standing in line, but you're not. You're not getting ready to snort coke, either. At least I hope not.
4. The Way You Make Me Feel - Michael Jackson: Take it down a notch by going back to the old school. You can't beat these lyrics, "Hey pretty baby with the high heels on...I like the feeling you're giving me." That pretty baby? That's you. The feeling you're giving me? Them're endorphins, from all that sweatin'.
5. I Want to Take You Higher - Ike & Tina Turner or Sly & The Family Stone: Put some heat into it, bitch! "Don't you wanna get higher? Oooh yeah!" You can't beat the throbbing repetitions of the word "higher" and the scatty "boom-shaka-laka-laka, boom-shaka-laka-laka." Damn! I love this song!!!!
6. It's Tricky - Run-DMC: Every time this song comes up, I feel like I should be skateboarding on a halfpipe or something. Instead, the rhythm makes me put my ass into it on the elliptical machine. And I mouth the lyrics and nod my head; I probably look like an asshole, but this song pumps me up!
7. Southern Hospitality - Ludacris & Pharrell: The hydraulic rhythm of this song brings you down a few notches after the previous songs. It makes me feel like a hot bitch, to be honest. You gotta love a song that shouts out to women that got some "big titties and a matchin' ass."
8. Running on Empty - Jackson Browne: This one's a gimme - I mean who doesn't remember Forrest Gump running to this song in his long hair and raggedy beard. And by this time, you're probably running on empty, too. It works. (Runner Up: Runnin' Down a Dream by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)9. Dance to the Music - Sly and the Family Stone: The obligatory second-to-last, keep-movin'-that-ass song. It ain't time to cool down just yet; you gots to dance to the music, and "ride, Sally, ride."
10. Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing - Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell: It seems like an odd choice for a cool-down song. I mean, a Motown love song? There's just something about it: the long rhythmic strides, the praise of this ever elusive "real thing," whatever that is. I imagine that it's living in love with my body, as it is. I don't know if that's ever gonna happen, but I like to dream... (Runner-Up: Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day by Stevie Wonder)
I challenge you to check some of these songs out and see if they get your body moving, whether their your style or not. Lord knows I'm not a huge rap fan, but I can't beat those rhythms when it comes to breaking a sweat!
So there's that,