Many studies have shown that working out to music can have a number of positive effects and help us to push ourselves further. Music is also strongly linked to personal memories and hearing certain tracks can transport us to a particular moment in time. In this occasional series of posts, I’d like to introduce some of my favourite tracks from my workout playlist and share some of the memories they have given me.
Let it Go – Idina Menzel
Ok, ok. I know this one is pretty much a staple of young girls everywhere, but hear me out.
In case you’ve never realised, I love Disney. In the summer of 2017 my family will be celebrating 25 years since our “once-in-a-lifetime-never-to-be-repeated” dream holiday to Florida. It was the holiday that started it all, ultimately leading to my parents buying property there and me going every year I could manage. But Disney and I have an even longer history than that: my first ever trip to the cinema was to see a Disney film (The Jungle Book). My dad took me back in the days when the only way to see Disney films was to wait for them to be released from the Disney vaults into cinemas. And I remember always looking forward to a TV programme called Disney Time which was produced about twice a year (Easter and Christmas I think) featuring clips from the animated classics and something about the forthcoming release. Of course this was before the internet and our connected world!
But when it came to Frozen, I was a little slow on the uptake. I can distinctly remember my sister giving me a row for not having seen it yet and when I finally bought it on DVD (I have a pretty comprehensive collection!) I had no time to sit down and watch it. She eventually got so frustrated that she announced she was coming round one day when I was on holiday for us to watch the film together.
And I loved it. Perhaps not as much as my parents who actually go to live shows of it at Disney World, but I loved it. I’m a big fan of Idina Menzel so her powerful and theatrical performance of what was to become an Oscar-winning song was right up my street.
I mean, what’s not to like? It’s a song about no longer hiding who you really are (“Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know/Well, now they know!”), casting off the shackles of expectation (“I don’t care what they’re going to say”) and being your strong, confident self (“And the fears that once controlled me/Can’t get to me at all!”). Exactly the kind of message that I think important.
And as a running song it’s ideal too, particularly towards the end as Elsa grows in self-confidence (and foot-stomping defiance!). I find the lyrics strong and motivational, particularly during long runs or tough moments, and they capture my thoughts when someone tells me I can’t do something:
“It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me I’m free
Let it go, let it go
I am one with the wind and sky
Let it go, let it go
You’ll never see me cry
Here I stand
And here I’ll stay
Let the storm rage on!”
As I said, what’s not to like? It may be a popular song among young girls everywhere, but for me it’s also a powerful song from a powerful female character that often gives me a lift just when I need it most. For that, I love it and I’m not ashamed to admit it!
Please note that under UK Athletics rules, racing with headphones whilst on open roads is banned. If you choose to train with headphones, please be careful and make sure you are aware of your surroundings at all times.
Feel free to share your favourite workout tracks in the comments below…