Are you familiar with the name Michael Phelps? He was the youngest swimming Olympian in the 2000 Games in Sydney, Australia and later he won 8 Gold Medals, the most golds at one Olympics ever, in the Bejing Games in 2008. He is the most decorated Olympian of All Time with 28 medals total but some people remember him from a meme from the 2016 Olympics…”Phelps Face”.

Do you remember this picture?

This photo is from the “ready room” where the 8 people who made finals sit together just prior to the walk out and race. It can be a very tense space, to say the least. Some people like to prance around (note: Le Clos) and some people like to sit quietly (note: Phelps). There is more to this photo than what you see, but notice that both athletes are listening to music and there is a reason for that. Music is a huge influence in our lives and it has so much power!

Songs can make us clap and sing along with our friends, it can make us remember where to buy a burger, car insurance or carpet, it can inspire us, helps us recall the past and it can even make us cry. It can also help us focus and prepare to perform.

For athletes, music is an integral part of the performance. A baseball player gets to choose his walk out song and it becomes part of his persona. Can you recall the walk out song for the Charlie Sheen character in the movie Major League? Ronda Rousey frequently posts the music that she is listening to and it gives us a window into her day and her training.

I am a huge music lover! If you check out our family’s ITunes or you check my phone, you will find all kinds of genres from many different generations. I love to dance and sing and I have an epic, encyclopedic knowledge of lyrics that is totally unexplainable. I also think music has helped me fall in love with Crossfit. Swimming can be a bit boring but I love a good dance party/sing along when I’m with my friends at the box. It is a cue to my body that we are getting ready to “bring it” when our coach turns the tunes up! Now that I’ve started preparing for my half marathon (which is THIS SUNDAY) and running more, I’ve been a bit more choosey when it comes to what is in my ears on a long run.

I am the kind of athlete who likes to have upbeat, loud music going when I work out. I’m not too worried about the words, the artist, or the type of music, but I want it to make me want to move. I’m a big fan of disco, rap, pop and country…just as long as I can sing and stay pumped.

As for that “ready room” experience, I know it will shock some to know that I usually just sat in there and chatted with my friends (carrying around a Walkman was a drag…hello 1990s) ;-), but if I was going to have a play list of good songs to have at go time, this would be a start:

Britany Spears Station on Pandora

Just Dance Lady Gaga, Dirrty Christina Aguilera, Fireball Pitbull, Blow Kesha, Glamourous Fergie, When I Grow Up The Pussycat Dolls, SexyBack Justin Timerlake, S & M Rianna, Not Night Lil’ Kim and friends, etcetera

80s Hip Hop Station on Pandora

Rollin with Kid N Play Kid N Play, Humpty Dance Digital Underground, Poison Bell Biv Devoe, Summertime DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, OPP Naughty by Nature, Now That We Found Love Heavy D, Momma Said Knock You Out LL Cool J, It’s Tricky Run DMC, etcetera

Miranda Lambert Station on Pandora

Only Prettier Miranda Lambert, Compass Lady Antebellum, Last Name Carrie Underwood, Redneck Woman Gretchen Wilson, Get Your Shine On Georgia Florida Line, Make Me Wanna Thomas Rhett, This Kiss Faith Hill, 22 Taylor Swift, etcetera

Donna Summer Station on Pandora

Hot Stuff Donna Summer, Ring My Bell Anita Ward, Boogie Oogie Oogie Taste of Honey, You Should Be Dancing Bee Gees, Celebration Kool and the Gang, September Earth Wind and Fire, That’s The Way I Like It KC & the Sunshine Band, Super Freak Rick James
(On heavy rotation on Pandora, also: Guardians of the Galaxy Station, Maroon 5 Station, The Rolling Stones Station, Red Hot Chili Peppers Station, Beatles Station, and Rapper’s Delight Station).

I would love to hear what your favorite songs are or what your favorite stations are from the internet. Do you keep up with current songs (I do love me some Bruno Mars) or are you for the classics. Do you need music for a great workout or can you get along without? Let me know!