Workout Song of the Moment #12

Since my fat ass has actually started RUNNING, I’ve had to add several songs to my workout rotation. What will follow is a periodic update of whichever song has given me added juice while crisscrossing my neighborhood and hating everything about it. Download these yourselves and enjoy.

“Joker and the Thief ” – Wolfmother

Sweet Jesus, running.

When I power through 45 minutes on the elliptical trainer, I sweat real nice, I get the heart rate going, and I huff and puff like a good little drone. It’s a nice workout that’s fulfilling in the same way a peanut butter sandwich is. You do it, you enjoy it, you’re happy you did it when you think back on it, but ultimately you remember none of it and will probably do it again within the week and feel roughly the same. It’s “The Big Bang Theory” reruns of working out.

Starting to run, on the other hand, is like getting blitzed on Rumple Minze where you feel like you’re going to black out, throw up, keel over, run through a goddamn brick wall, lift off and start flying, or some combination of the above all at once. It’s fucking horrible, amazing, intense, miserable, and invigorating. Thinking about running makes me feel like I smoked bath salts.

With that said, running differs from the elliptical in that you can’t just dial up the intensity and continue to do so for 10 minutes. Your knees would turn to powder and you’d hurl in your neighbor’s birdbath. You have to measure your energy a bit more, and get in a rhythm much moreso than punching the accelerator on the elliptical machine and gazing at yourself in the mirror as you glide through 45 nice but unremarkable minutes.

Which is why many of my old workout song choices no longer work in the context of running. “Primal Concrete Sledge” by Pantera came on during a recent run and I’m like, “Guh… shut up.” Great song if you’re trying to power through some deadlifts, not so great if you’re looking to find a groove and keep your spirits up during an interminable run.

That’s why when Wolfmother’s “Joker and the Thief” came on the other day, I’m like yessssss! It was perfect. Driving, but melodic beat, awesome narrative in the lyrics, and, most importantly, great use by the first Hangover movie.

We’re pretty much at our most hopeless in the movie in terms of getting Doug back, but then Alan finds his little card counting book, takes 10 grand, and turns it into more than 80. It’s a tremendously fun sequence scored perfectly by a song that, taken on balance, feels like sort of an unusual choice.

The cherry on top of this entire sequence comes during the song’s bridge section when Bradley Cooper angrily – and I mean ANGRILY – flips off the eye in the sky. It’s one of my favorite things in any movie just because of how perfectly it encapsulates the euphoria of finally winning combined with the exorcism of 24 hours of frustration and seriously FUCK YOU VEGAS for stealing our friend and feeding him to this sawed-off little criminal.

I have to fight the urge to throw up the double bird during that part while I’m running (never easy), but I do it in my head every time. Because seriously FUCK YOU RUNNING.

And yes, I’ll be running tomorrow.


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