Posts Tagged ‘Billy Joel’


We’re in San Antonio, so it’s not surprising that we’re Spurs fans. Even after they fall apart at the end of their best season *ever.* (The only thing that makes me feel better is that the Lakers are also out of the running; I think that makes us look a little better than if we were the only major upset.)

Anyway, in years past, there was a player on another team that my daughter dubbed “Whiny Wallace.” I don’t remember which team he played for, whether that was his first or last name, how he spelled it, or what season it was, but I do remember that he would gripe to the referees, the camera, the stadium, his coach — I wouldn’t have been surprised to see him whip out his cell and cry to his momma, who was probably the only one who would have cared.

At any rate, today was my turn to be Whiny Wallace. I hurt. I had a headache of the regular kind, but was worried about it turning into a migraine. I didn’t sleep well last night. It was hot. So I called Coach Husband, who was at work, kind of hoping he’d let me off the hook. I basically said all of the above to him, and the conversation continued:

Hubby: Just make sure you hydrate well first.

Me: [almost audible whine] But what about my headache?

Hubby: You’ll feel better after you work out.

Me: [almost a bitch-out] Have you ever worked out with a headache?

Hubby: Sure. Lots of times.

Me: [considering whether this was actually a possibility, and deciding it was]: And did it feel better after?

Hubby: Sure.

Me: [whining evident in my voice] But I still don’t want to.

Hubby: [wisely, silence]

Me: What will you give me to work out?

Hubby: [laughs]

Me: [now whining like my daughter’s chihuahua-pug mix (don’t ask; he’s evidently the product of a mad scientist’s failed experiment)] Tell me something to motivate me. Tell me I’ve been wonderful.

Hubby: [again, wisely] You are doing great. You’re doing wonderful. You’ve improved.

Me: [slightly astonished by the multiple rephrasings; I wouldn’t have been surprised by a verbatim repetition of what I said] Okay. I guess. [not done whining, but down a notch]

Hubby: Just worry about getting it done today. Some days are like that. Don’t worry about increasing your intensity; just concentrate on your form.

Me: [Still not convinced and still a little whiny] Okay.

I hung up, cranked up the exercise mix, and got Billy Joel’s Second Wind. Someone has a sense of humor, I thought: The lyrics begin with “You’re having a hard time and lately you don’t feel so good.” I reluctantly got on the treadmill, set it to my blazing speed of 2.5 mph, and began walking my ten-minute sentence.

Five rounds of eight reps each of overhead presses (hyperlite bar only), situps, squats with my helper box (that I pretty much took a pause on between going up and down), and shrugs with the 10 lb. medicine ball, I was done. Took me a total of 25 min. and 45 seconds, a full minute and a half longer than yesterday, but I did it, damn it.

And then I saw this video, which put my whines in perspective:

So, goodbye again, Whiny Wallace. I’m afraid I’ll probably see you again, but I hope it’s a while from now.

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I never imagined making exercise mixes would be so time-consuming; I haven’t kept close track, but I looked up during one session of going through my music and adding them to the mix and three hours had gone by. I’ve now burned three CDs, and every one of them has more than one track that really doesn’t  have enough oomph.

But I never realized just how useful they could be for keeping up your pace while exercising.

A couple of years ago, I was, for a few months, very consistent about walking on the treadmill in the evenings and would watch television while walking. I thought that was the way to go, as it kept my mind off the fact I was, in fact, exercising, even if at a very slow speed. But using music actually has been better; the right music gets you hyped up.

My 26-year-old son, who is a music snob in general, was completely unimpressed with what I’d come up with; the Moulin Rouge version of Lady Marmalade  made him feel like he was “getting an estrogen flash.” (Yes, I raised a smart ass.) But for an out-of-shape 50-year-old woman, I think the following songs work quite well:

  • The aformentioned Moulin Rouge version of Lady Marmalade as well as its version of  Rhythm of the Night
  • Queen: Another One Bites the Dust, Don’t Stop Me Now (which now always makes me think of Shaun of the Dead), Crazy Little Thing Called Love, and Killer Queen. Surprisingly, there were fewer Queen songs than I thought would work. Sometimes the problem is that they’re slower than you realize because they get you hyped up anyway (e.g., We Will Rock You) or that you remember the fast bits, but the song changes beat at some point (e.g., Bohemian Rhapsody or The Prophet’s Song).
  • Billy Joel: We Didn’t Start the Fire, Only the Good Die Young (even though I keep wondering how I can like a song that basically says “You’re going to lose your virginity at some point, might as well do it with me”), Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song), You May Be Right, It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me, Pressure and You’re Only Human (Second Wind)
  • Elton John (Yeah, I couldn’t do one Piano Man without the other):  I’m Still Standing, Crocodile Rock (although I can only listen to it once in a while — not a personal fave), Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting, The Bitch is Back and Philadelphia Freedom.  I was surprised how slow Bennie and the Jets is.
  • Fleetwood Mac: Second Hand News and Go Your Own Way.
  • Huey Lewis and the News: The Heart of Rock & Roll, I Want a New Drug (can’t listen to it without thinking about the lawsuit Lewis brought against Ray Parker Jr. over the Ghostbuster’s theme; saw something about it on tv at some point and thought, geez, why didn’t I pick up on the fact that they are almost exactly the same song, different tempo), Walking on a Thin Line and You Crack Me Up.
  • Kenny Loggins:  Danger Zone and I’m AlrightFootloose is iffy for me, but it may be that my ancient boombox won’t play it quite right.
  • Men at Work: Down Under
  • Bob Seger: Old Time Rock and Roll
  • Simon & Garfunkel: My first thought was no way they’d have something fast enough. Shocked me to find Cecilia works.
  • Styx: Rockin’ the Paradise, Nothing Ever Goes as Planned and Too Much Time on my Hands
  • The Eagles: Life in the Fast Lane

Some of these may get cut as I get faster, but right now, they work fine. According to Windows Media Player, the above list is two hours, 13 minutes, and 36 seconds, so I’m pretty good for the moment. Most workouts have come in at under 30 minutes, so that’s four workouts before I would have to repeat.

Hints for finding music for your exercise mix:  A song  may be a good candidate if : 1) It’s an angry, screw-you break-up song, or, 2) It’s got “Rock and Roll” in the title. No guarantee, of course. I’m sure there are some Michael Jackson songs that would work, but I’m still creeped out when I hear him.

YMMV, but I didn’t find anything in any of my tracks from Seals & Crofts, Sarah McLachlan, or Christopher Cross. If you have any nominees, I’m listening. That list and the one above is enough to give anyone an idea of my era and taste.

I’ve also realized I know fewer of the lyrics of most of these songs than I thought I did. Elton John, well, that’s no surprise: I’m generally surprised if I understand anything but the title, which he always managed to articulate quite clearly. But some of the others I thought I knew well, and most have at least line that I’ve no idea what the lyrics are.  Thank God for the internet, where multiples sites offer you the lyrics. I guess that’s why they stopped putting them in the CDs.