To Rock, Or Not to Rock…

When I began running on the streets of San Francisco, I took out my ear buds and hit the pavement free of electronics. It’s not that I don’t like music, I LOVE MUSIC, it’s just that I don’t particularly want to make a wrong step in the middle of Back in Black¬†only to find myself in the hospital and out of the running for becoming America’s Next Top Model. I want to have all my senses available on the road to listen for cars, hear my breath, and be awake to traffic light changes.

I ran around town for hundreds of miles leading up to the marathon. Hours and hours of my life ticked by with my lungs filling and my legs moving and the sweat saturating one bandana¬†after another. Running. And all that time, just my mind to keep me company. It was an incredible way to get to know myself anew, a person in an immersive endeavor, a durational undertaking I have no talent for. It has been some of the best time I’ve ever spent with myself even with all the pain, the sunburns, the failures and the nausea. I had so much time to observe my brain doing all the little dances it does: on a good day I could see the Samba of Support, a kind of cheerleader for me, or a long Waltz of Compassion after I’d run down the grudges of resentment. These things are heavy to carry, literally, and running 50 miles a week is a good way to discover their true weight.

Look who got some Vitamin D

After the race, which I finished gracelessly, slowly, and yet in complete bliss and triumph, I took many months off the road, came back to movement slowly. I now split my time between the gym and the road, right now heavier on the gym. And since there are no cars there, I re-employed beloved music into my exercise practice. I thought maybe we could talk playlists. Great.

He likes Slayer.

Here’s some of my highlights.

1. They played this song at the starting line of the marathon so I think about that every time I hear it. I also think about the San Francisco Giants’ Championship Season. But mostly, I still think about Tony.

My Favorite Sociopath really inspires work on the Elliptical


2. Beyonce – Check On It
3. M.I.A. – Paper Planes
4. Kyuss – Hurricane


You Call That Running!?!?!

5. Hall and Oates – Rich Girl
6. Wolf Parade – Shine A Light
7. NSync – Bye Bye Bye

Vintage Justin: Just Hit Him with the TRUTH


8. Wiz Khalifa – Black and Yellow
9. Shirley Ellis – The Clapping Song
10. Public Enemy – Bring the Noise

The Finish: Powered by Chuck D.


The playlist goes on and on.
But how does yours go?
Help me change it up some, wouldja?


  1. bess says:

    OMG. thank you for this. workout playlists are my favorite things to make / share. I am re-creating this on Spotify ASAP-tually.

  2. naomi says:

    Great motivation to get my behind in gear! here’s a few of my faves for the treadmill:
    The Kills, Cheap and Cheerful
    Janet Jackson, R&B Junkie
    Amerie, One Thing
    Boozoo Bajou, Killer
    Joan Jett, Spinster

  3. lb says:

    Future Kings of Spain: Love of the Common Man
    The Go! Team: Keys to the City
    Wye Oak: Civilian
    The Coasters: Love Potion #9
    Gentleman Reg: Coastline
    Babatunde Olatunji: Gin-go-lo-ba
    X: I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts
    Chairmen of the Board: Life and Death in G & A

  4. M to the T 415 says:

    Might be a little to pop/disco old school for your tastes but here’s one of my playlists.
    Go West (Original 12″ Mix) Village People
    La Tortura Shakira
    Hips Don’t Lie (featuring Wyclef Jean) Shakira
    SOS (Edited) Rihanna
    Breakin’ Dishes Rihanna
    Incredible Madonna
    4 Minutes (feat. Justin Timberlake & Timbaland) Madonna
    URAQT (Edited) M.I.A.
    Bad Romance Lady GaGa
    Living Proof Kelis
    Crazy Gnarls Barkley
    Come On Over (All I Want Is You) Christina Aguilera
    Ain’t No Other Man Christina Aguilera
    Believe Cher
    Real Love Cher
    Strong Enough Cher
    What Hurts the Most CASCADA
    Perfect Day CASCADA
    Dream On Dreamer CASCADA
    Faded CASCADA

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