Monday, 12 February 2007

I bet I was the only one in the gym listening to Mulan while working out

The power of music is amazing, isn’t it? It can make me feel energized or relaxed; happy or quiet, proud or uncomfortable. I love music and definitely can’t live without it.

I hadn’t actually realized just HOW powerful music can be until this weekend. I was in the gym, pounding on the treadmill and generally struggling. The past few marathon training sessions have been disappointing because I’ve got a cold and a really bad cough that I can’t shake. This means that I can’t train as hard as I’d like and I feel like I’m wasting time just having “easy” workouts. Very frustrating, and makes going to the gym feel like harder work than it should be.

Anyway, there I was, about to start what I knew would be a tough session and put my Mp3 player on, headphones firmly in my ears. Unusually, I set it to play my Disney playlist (very valuable motivation in my case, preparing for the Disney marathon!) and off I went. I normally work out to a mixture of songs, from Pop to Barry Manilow going through all the Disney songs and quite a few songs in Spanish. Not that day – I chose only Disney as I knew the session would be tough.


It was like I’d taken some magical potion that made me want to try harder and harder, even though I was not at top form. It isn’t the lyrics, either – some instrumentals are so powerful and energizing that I found myself going faster and faster. I might add that I didn’t run at all on this session: my chest just wasn’t up to it, so I was doing what was supposedly an easy but long session, power walking all the way.

Disney can create songs like no one else. Stirring, powerful melodies combined with fantastic lyrics and I was in heaven. Because my MP3 is set to shuffle, I never know what will come next and I had some fantastic surprises: “Tranquil as a forest, But on fire within, Once you find your center, You are sure to win” (from Mulan).

Or what about “Come through time, set the course. Sail the wind, tap the source. From the sea, to the skies, there's a force beyond our eyes. “ (from Universe of Energy in Epcot!). The theme from Soarin’ was just incredible to listen to, as was the music from “Surprise in the Skies” – a daytime fireworks show in Epcot that hasn’t been out in a long time, but the music lives on in the Epcot Fountain of Nations.

But the best one was when, suddenly and without warning, came “When you wish upon a star” (instrumental). I nearly burst into tears!

Needless to say, it was one of my best sessions ever and in fact, the fastest 6km I’ve ever done – which is amazing considering I didn’t jog or run any of it, just walked really, really fast.

I need to make sure I take my MP3 player when I do participate in the marathon as music could be the key ingredient in making sure I complete the course with energy!

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