my newest vice.

I; the eternal anti-jock, have become a gym junkie. Or rather, I would be one if I weren’t such a tight-ass with my money. I’ve instead become one of those people that the rest of us hate – the ones that jog along suburban streets at 5pm in their tight lycra Dri-Fit pants and stupid iPod arm holsters. Hi, my name is Nikki, and yes, I am a endorphin junkie.

I think the cause for this came when I realised that my self imposed Fat Camp wasn’t doing anything. I could ignore the scales, pretend the Wii Fit didn’t exist, and get depressed and stay on Skype ’til 4am eating Cheezels. Don’t get me wrong — this is a fabulous existence if you can manage it whilst carrying on a real semblance of a daytime life. I was not doing this, friends. I was getting fatter and increasingly more sallow, and even my desperation fat-hiding clothes (oh, thank you, Spanx) were not doing their job properly anymore. So I started on the sit-up wagon. I usually do this hardcore for about three days before getting insanely bored with the entire effort. In a very “Hyperbole And A Half” (Google it) way, my approach to any sort of difficult chore is “I did it once, can’t I just stop doing it for 3 weeks now?” I apply this to everything, not just exercise. “I cleaned the dishes YESTERDAY! JEEZUS!” And of course, my kitchen looks like shit a lot. You can imagine what my pathetically worked out body looks like after 4 days of sit-ups. No-fuck-ing-differ-ent than previously.

So, to come to the point. Patches of sit-ups weren’t working. And even if I had obsessively done 100 every night, after a while, it became apparent that I didn’t just have a specific overweight area as previously thought – my entire body is overweight. In an attempt to shock my heart out of its 50-years-too-early coma, I decided one day to see what would happen if I walked. And I realised that I liked being outside, with just me and my headphones. And eventually, over time, I started actually jogging. Then running. Sure, my boobs bounce and hurt, and I mostly only go full speed when I’m alone on the track because I look like a flailing octopus trying to escape the zombies – but it makes me buzz and feel like I’ve accomplished something. If I’d known earlier that your body makes its OWN drugs, I would have become a junkie a long time ago!

My first run involved me wearing my 3/4 maternity tights, my Nike high tops (not at all designed for running) and a fairly horrible New York Yankees hooded vest. I’m not overly vain by any means – I’ll go to Safeway in peroxide stained jammies – but this was not a good look for anyone. Not even Miranda Kerr could pull this shit off. So now I blaze down the trail in my grey Dri-Fit leggings, Nikes swooshes emblazoned on every spare inch of me. My new LunarGlide sneakers have a slot for my Nike+/iPod sensor to speak to my wrist-watch, telling me when the fuck to sit down and stop proving to the world that I’m a hard-ass. I drop in the park and pump out push-ups and sit-ups only to bust out another 3 miles. Melbourne; I am the white Cathy Freeman, hear me roar!

But all this is trivial; I realised whilst running that it is the music that makes me push myself. The first time I really ran – and I mean ran – I was listening to Underworld or something… no, it was “Easy” by Faith No More, and I thought I was running, but apparently when I actually paid attention, I was barely walking. My body moves to the pace of the music. This is probably the same for everyone, but as a fairly stagnant non-runner, I had never really realised this until it happened to me. And now, I present to you, my latest work in progress: BUILD THE ULTIMATE SPORTY MP3 PLAYLIST.

  • Pretty much anything with an awesome bass-line by Jay-Z is amazing for running. He is my homestretch guy. When I think my blisters are going to start bleeding all over my Nikes and that I can never walk again, I put on 99 Problems or On To The Next One and I am up that hill like nobody’s business.
  • Dr Dre. Yes, I generally listen to Snoop and Dre ironically, but he makes me into a huge indestructible black man from Compton with a big motherfuckin’ chip on my shoulder and a Glock with your name on it. The Watcher, Let’s Get HighSome LA Niggaz and Fuck You (I enjoy running and singing “I just wanna fuck bad bitches” very loudly) are my faves. I will include 2Pac’s California Love in this category, because it’s the same category of tacky wigga love. (As I told a black guy on the streets of Melbourne who was mocking me; “I’m blacker than you”.)
  • You Make My Dreams Come True by Hall and Oates. Cheesy as fuck, but it’s upbeat, makes me happy and it has a good pace to run to. Also in this category of 80’s revival beats; Sussudio by Phil Collins. I am Patrick Bateman when I listen to this.
  • The Prodigy are another band that make me pump it. Come on, as if you don’t imagine yourself as one of Charlie’s Angels every time you hear Firestarter? Smack My Bitch Up, Girls and Spitfire are among my favourites. All great paced.
  • I generally have low regard for The Wu-Tang Clan, (I do however like RZA and GZA) but regardless of my ghetto dismissal of Wu, I have a soft spot for Gravel Pit. Pretty trashy, terrible music video, but has a good hypnotic rhythm and not totally heinous rapping.
  • I have to find some Ludacris that works for me. He is amazingly craptastic, and I wish to be deceived that he is amazing. I’m always quite pleased with myself when I start liking things that I know are either incredibly lame or poorly done. Well, that’s not entirely fair. He’s not a bad rapper, he’s just part of an incredibly shallow and ugly mainstream cycle of misogynistic rap that makes me wanna tear out my ovaries. Then again, I do run along singing “All these niggas and all these hoes in here, somebody here gon’ fuck…”
  • Everything by Big Boi and OutKast is pretty amazing. That said, I am probably the biggest (white) OutKast groupie ever. BOB (Bombs Over Baghdad) is my choice, if you can go full speed to the entire song, you are a machine and I wish to reproduce with you.
  • The only thing I love more than Daft Punk (which I find it hard to run to) is PRINCE. I can’t help it, the man just gets me in my centre and turns me to honey. My opinion with Prince is that you either embrace the cheese and just love it, or you are repelled and need to vomit. I feel a little vom-alicious when I hear his slow lovey songs like I Love U In Me or Let’s Have A Baby, but in general I feel that he has written simultaneously some of the best, cheesiest, sexiest and catchiest songs of all time. I could list favourites here for the un-Prince-familiar, but instead I will say that I am disappointed that I can’t really run to any Prince songs; they just don’t work. The Time, however (Prince’s side project) have a lovely little ditty called 777-9311 that fills the categories of best, cheesiest, sexiest, catchiest and run-worthy. And even if I find that it lags a little, there’s nothing like a brisk walk for 8 minutes and 4 seconds to get your breath back.
  • If Prince has a yin to his yang, it is Mike Patton. He is my sex god in all the ways that Prince cannot be. All my favourites of his projects (Fantomas, Faith No More, Lovage, Peeping Tom, Faith No More, Tomahawk) are in their own way, a form of sublime bliss, and he has the best vocal range of any man anywhere ever – I defy you to find someone more versatile! I find it hard to find any of my immediate Patton favourites that work for running, but Tomahawk’s God Hates A Coward is good for when I need to slowly jog up a hill and feel like I’m making bad-ass mammoth progress up Mt. Kosciuszko when I’m actually just being a pussy. Other Patton projects that work for running? The following Faith No More hits; The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, Last Cup of Sorrow, A Small Victory, and Midlife Crisis.
  • The Chemical Brothers work in the same way that The Prodigy does; it makes you feel like an extra in an adidas commercial and let’s be honest – that is awesome. (For the same phenomena, see also; Justice.) Push the Button is a pretty underrated album, and I find The Boxer is a great song to work out to, as well as The Big Jump.
  • Back in the ghetto, much love goes to Busta Rhymes. He is a pinnacle of ridicule, but I love me some Busta; the speed of his rapping alone pushes me to run faster. Gimme Some More, Light Yo’ Ass On Fire (Pharrell love!) and Break Ya Neck (hopefully not literally) are my favourites to run to.
  • Last but certainly not least – the song that always makes me wanna hit the pavement; Roots Manuva’s Witness (One Hope). And when I’m really not feeling it, I sing WITNESS THE FITNESS at the top of my lungs (or inside my head) and instantly I laugh and think I’m awesome. (Trust me, this helps.)

I’m sure I’ll think of more in the coming weeks (I usually randomly think of something whilst running or I find an amazing treasure on YouTube.) I cross-posted this pretty much every website that I have an account to, but again, feel free to suggest any of YOUR favourites.