I often cling to a song in the gym. Before it’s been”Welcome Home” (by Coheed and Cambria), “Champion” by Clement Marfo and countless others. What grabs me? They need to be energetic and the lyric has to get me going.
Right now, the song of choice is “Atlas, Rise!” by Metallica.
This lyric in particular fires me up:
How does it feel on your own?
Bound by the world all alone
Crushed under heavy skies
We all carry scars. I’m not alone there, and I’m also not alone in using the gym to exorcise (heh) a few demons. The Rock, my fitness hero, routinely talks about using exercise to process deep fears about being homeless and not providing for his family.
For me, I’m driven by this fear of falling back into being the person I was in high school. I don’t want to be that heavy, caustic maniac I was then. And much like the lyric, no one carries this for me. I stand alone, with my own actions before me, nothing to do but move forward.
And so I work, and I know that if I do the work, I will win.