The Jolly Librarian Joins a Gym: Part 2.

Okay, last week, I promised to tell you how I spend the 52 laps around the track to make my four miles (although since I have to use the outer lane for running, I might actually get a little more distance in. I hope so, or I am the slowest runner in the history of running.)

Since I am the Jolly Librarian, I’m sure you expect that I will share my love for books on tape to pass the time. Well, I am going to have to admit and hope that I’m not drummed out of the profession that I simply don’t like being read to. About five minutes into the typical recorded book, I am off in some daydream and, when I return, have no idea what’s going on. In fact, once on a trip back from Indiana, Pennsylvania, the soothing voice of Thomas Moore actually put me to sleep. This was not a good thing since I was driving. So I popped out the CD and put in some music and made the rest of the nine hour drive without incident.

No, when I am running or walking my laps, I have to have music, and, like the old American Bandstand teen reviewers used to say, it needs to have a good beat and you should be able to dance to it. Or in my case, lumber around the track to it. The iPod has made this easy to do, with songs going in and out of rotation weekly. 

But in partial redemption to my librarian clan, I often make up stories that go along with the songs. For example, one song that has been on the iPod for a couple of weeks now is “Just Say Yes” by Snow Patrol. This is a fantastic song in and of itself. (No matter what lap I’m on, when this song appears, I know I’m going to be able to run another 6 laps easily.) Still, another part of the appeal is that I have this continuing story going in my head. It has to do with an elderly couple and a boy who has lost his dog. Okay, so maybe you know why I was never asked to write scripts for music videos! I’ve almost finished the story that goes with this song,  but on my iPod there are 1200 more just ready to have song and story meshed together.

Now I admire those who use their exercise time to multitask–working their muscles and brains simultaneously. There is a man who’s often on the track when I am, and he has a thousand little flash cards that he peruses as he walks. He’s learning a language while working out. (I know this because I owned the same set of flash cards when I learned, to my horror, I had to have a second foreign language for my doctorate.) There is also the woman who seems to be studying from a notebook while she runs on a treadmill. But it’s always going to be music that peps me up and keeps me going around the track. I’ve learned this the hard way from the few times I’ve forgotten to charge my iPod and had it die halfway through my workout.

Here are some my current favorites on my iPod these days:

“Chocolate” by Snow Patrol. (Besides being a good song to run to, as an English major, I give it a vote for the best use of a double negative.)

“Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult.

“Poker Face” by Lady Gaga.

“The Dreaded Spoon” by Bruce Hornsby and Ricky Skaggs.

“Last Dance” by Donna Summer. (Disco may have died, but it’s great for running. And Donna Summer has one great voice.)

“Viva la Vida” by Coldplay.

“YMCA” by the Village People. (Okay, I just like running to the song while I’m in the Y.)

“Cheeseburger in Paradise” by Jimmy Buffett. (You’ve got to love the irony.)

Last week I listened to a lot of Michael Jackson since it was the anniversary of his death. But MJ is always good choice for gym music.

But whatever gets you to work out is ultimately good. The Jolly Librarian only stays so jolly because of those sweaty 52 laps three or four times a week!

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