I was at the gym this morning.  I was on the same eliptical machine that I’ve used a hundred times.  Some really strange stuff was on the television, so I turned on the ol’ ipod and watched a few minutes of a stand up comedy special I’ve been meaning to finish for months.  Well, that ended before I was done working out, so I put on some music to finish out my workout.  I really liked the album that I put on, so I was more listening and less eliptical-ing.  As the album went from track to track, it seemed like I was getting more and more tired (beyond the normal work out fatigue).  After the third song, I had to slow down and check my heartrate on the little electro-shock handles on the machine, and lo-and-behold, my heart rate was at 184 bpm.  I’m no doctor, but I’m pretty sure that’s really high.  I finished my workout slowly and stumbled back to the locker room to melt into a pile on a bench in front of my locker.  And as oxygen started to make its way back into places it shouldn’t have left, I came to a realization.

As the music played, it changed my normal tempo.  I was working out at a steady pace that wasn’t killing me, but was enough of a challenge to create a good sweat.  And then as the drums started to play, my feet automatically started to lock into the faster pattern, and I didn’t even realize it.  My body suffered because of it.  So did the guy next to me as I tried to explain that I was slowly dying.

I don’t talk about the eliptical machine and rock & roll music just to talk about them.  I actually bring them up for a reason.  The pace I started at was good for me.  Not too much, not too little.  Challenging but not break-neck.  The music started playing and my pace slowly faded away.  I started focusing more on the input than I was focusing on the output.  I guess that translates to more than just working out to music.  But you can draw your own parallels.  Speaking of parallels, the Olympics start on 8.8.  Don’t miss them.

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