I am the one who takes this thing called music and lines it up with this thing called time. I am the ticking, I am the pulsing, I am underneath every part of this moment.
—Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Sometimes you need a very particular playlist. Indoor cycling classes, for example, need “choreography,” and that means devising and listening to songs with rhythms and lyrics that inspire or lend themselves well to hills, jumps, and sprints. Other times, though, you’re grudgingly plugging away on an elliptical because you know working out is healthy, and you’d rather be anywhere but there.
Enter the infinite playlist.
I hope you still have an iPod, or maybe you understand the cloud better than I do. I have an iPod because I like to know that my music will be around even when there’s no 3G. Anyway. My iPod has 15000-something tracks on it, and they run the gamut, as just about everyone’s music library does. If that’s the case, because you can put your varied music tastes to good use by using them to inspire your workouts.
I have an ever-growing playlist on my iTunes, and it’s the only playlist where I abide disorganization. It’s simply a dumping ground for every type of workout-appropriate song you can imagine: 80s one-hit wonders. 90s boy band and girl pop classics. Hardcore rap. Club music. Even a little metal. Everything that’s even a bit loud or good mood inducing or silly or embarrassing outside of earbuds or Top 40 or totally dirty and sexy, because you never know what type of mood you’re in.
So when I’m just working out to work out and don’t have much direction or motivation, that’s when I click onto that playlist, put it on shuffle, and press play. You’d be surprised how quickly you can be swept up and have a song automatically urge you onto sprinting or keeping a rhythm or changing your intensity. All of a sudden, you have a workout that actually keeps your interest, and because it’s so long (mine’s about 1000 tracks at this point), you’ll be surprised every time.