Songs In My Head

>> Sunday, September 16, 2007

Pharmie and I definitely have our “songs.” I’m not talking about sweet, romantic songs. Not songs to dance to or to make love to. I’m talking about songs that get us in the mood to do triathlons.

The summer of 2006, it was “Gold Digger” by Kanye West. It just made us feel good. I never had a bad day after hearing that song. We heard it on the way to the Chisago Lakes Tri last summer, and, wouldn’t cha know, we had a good day.

This year started with Beyonce. “To the left, to the left. Everything you own in the box to the left.” It quickly moved on to Rihanna and her GREAT song “Umbrella.” And not that stupid Chris Brown “Cinderella Remix” either; I’m talking about the original song. LOVE that song! I would always get some tune stuck in my head while swimming or biking. I don’t wear an iPod while working out, so I’m always left alone with my thoughts. I like having that time (I think it’s the artist in me). I don’t mind getting songs stuck in my head. And for the majority of the summer, it was Rihanna:

Once we were nearing Ironman, our song became “Stronger” by Kanye West.

Not only was it a “get you moving and feeling good” song, it also had lyrics that could possibly be attributed to triathlon training. We heard it a few times in Madison in the days preceding the Ironman, and each time we CRANKED IT.

When it came to the bike during Ironman, 1 week ago today, I had 2 songs stuck in my head. I started with “Umbrella,” but that only lasted for a few miles; it went away before getting out to Verona. Then, and for the rest of the ride, the song in my head was “Stronger.” Welcome back to my head, Kanye. I hope you enjoy your stay.

I don’t know all the words, I can’t carry a tune, and I’m probably not the demographic that Kanye is looking to impress, but there I was – 100 miles of the bike, singing Kanye West. Sometimes out loud. Like a crazy person. I have to say, it must have helped.

Fast forward to yesterday, 6 days after Ironman. I was driving through Minneapolis, and “Stronger” came on the radio. It was the first time that I’d heard it since I kept replaying in my head on the bike course of Ironman. Needless to say, I CRANKED IT.

There I was, driving the side streets of Minneapolis, radio blaring, one arm waving in the air doing a horrible “white boy dance,” head bouncing to the beat, booty shaking a little in the seat, tears welling up in my eyes and running down my cheeks.

Yep, that’s right. Tears. No joke. Kanye was making me bawl. I was smiling (and nearly laughing), but there were tears flowing down my face. I felt like that tween girl from the last season of American Idol who was swooning over Sanjaya:

Remember her?

Hearing that song again put me right back out there during Ironman. I think it made me realize a little of what that day meant. And what I had done. “I did a FRICKIN IRONMAN last week!!...”

I don’t think I’ll even fully know what that really means, but I’ve decided that I don’t need to figure it out. I finished Ironman, and it was a great day. But I no longer need to understand the full meaning of that. Not now. Not ever. I wrote a few weeks ago that I didn’t want to be defined by becoming an Ironman, so I don’t need to spend all this time trying to figure out what it means. I’m happy to be an Ironman, whatever that means.

So thank you, Mr. West, for doing your part to help me get there.

“Work it, make it, do it,
Makes us harder, better, faster, STRONGER!

N-now th-th-that that don't kill me
Can only make me stronger
I need you to hurry up now
Cause I can't wait much longer
I know I got to be right now
Cause I can't get much wronger
Man I been waitin' all night now
That's how long I've been on ya...”


bigmike600 2:04 PM, September 16, 2007  

I remember that chick and now I'm laughing so hard, I'm cryin.
I have had the song...So many people by Neurosonic in my head for the last few weeks. check out my wife's blog and she has a u tube video posted of it. The song rocks.
You are an ironman and ironmen can cry whenever they want man law.

Unknown 3:05 PM, September 16, 2007  

Oh man, you just gave me another ear worm..... now I'll be humming some Stronger and doing a "white girl" dance too.

teacherwoman 3:30 PM, September 16, 2007  

I love Umbrella. I love all those you listed. I am one who is really motivated by music and love to share songs with others. .. .. have you heard 50 cents/Justin Timberlake/Timberland song "Ayo Technology"??? That's a good pump you up song! Dirty lyrics... but that is besides the point.

Marcy 3:48 PM, September 16, 2007  

And this is why I love your blog . . .you can openly admit that Kanye West made you cry LOL

TriBoomer a.k.a. Brian 5:08 PM, September 16, 2007  

Good tunage! I have those on my iPod right now.

It was good meeting you and Pharmie at IM Mooo.

Congrats Ironman!

Stay tuned...

Kim 5:49 PM, September 16, 2007  

started laughing picturing you singing 'umbrella' while biking... and even though i dont know that kanye song (im a hippie, i dont listen to that whole rap stuff), i think you doing a white boy dancing while rapping and crying... priceless.

Erin 8:56 AM, September 17, 2007  

I think if a rapper moves you to tears (and you're a recently-minted Ironman), you're allowed to cry.

Thanks for that image. Hilarious, as usual.

Spandex King 9:01 AM, September 17, 2007  

For me, it’s U2 beautiful day. They always seam to play it at the start of the race. When I’m driving down the road and it comes on I’m in race mode.

Widget 9:52 AM, September 17, 2007  


I'm so bummed you weren't singing when I saw you out there :)

I was on that last climb of your first loop and at the start of your marathon right by the capital. You looked great and congrats on a great finish.

Good luck in the future. See you at WIBA (if there is one) next year?


Oly 5:29 AM, September 18, 2007  

Takes a while to sink in.

xt4 5:58 AM, September 18, 2007  

Yeah baby! Stronger is totally top of my playlist right now. LOVE that song.

Michelle 10:27 AM, September 18, 2007  

No specific song for me. Anything Bon Jovi will do. Or anyone on 'the do list', you know what I mean.

Bigun 7:26 PM, September 18, 2007  

no Ipod for me either...must be the artist in the Bigun. HA! I tend to avoid the white boy dance since it usually involved nausea for all within eyeshot....

Wedgie 10:11 PM, September 18, 2007  

I used to feel a strong connection to you. Not so sure now. That loud blaring racket that you kids call music today? Back in my day we had REAL music. Kajagoogoo. Saga. Jan Hammer. Yessirreebob, now those were bands with talent!

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