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:
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!