Mari’s Motivational Playlist

My brain is abuzz with the anticipation of what’s about to happen during the next month or so: cranberry sauce, three or four different flavors of pie, those little chocolates that have been molded into turkeys and snowmen, and Oh! The gravy. Rivers of gravy are flowing towards us, people, and I’m as excited as a reindeer in a hot tub.

And yet, in spite of all the impending gravy, there’s something telling me not to get too carried away. Something that many of us are all too familiar with, called Being An Adult Whose Metabolism Just Ain’t What She Used To Be. Don’t get me wrong, personally I think it’s heartless and inhuman how people can reject fatty meats and buttery sides at feasts and high holiday occasions. If you can’t be a glutton to commemorate the day the Native Americans and the Pilgrims were gluttonous together after a full year of nearly killing each other, my goodness, when can you?

But while I possess no lack of motivation to eat, drink, and be merry on holidays, my ambitions in other departments decline correspondingly. I can’t exercise for at least a half-hour after I’ve finished eating, I think, and then I happily cram another drumstick into my pie hole. This I repeat until nighttime, at which point I roll myself in the direction of all the Christmas specials on television. Then a week passes, and a month, and I begin to forget the sensation of not being full, or not having to catch my breath at the top of every staircase.

So now, with just a few days to go before Thanksgiving, I’ve compiled an inspirational music playlist to strengthen my motivation to keep working out. Here it is, and in the true spirit of giving, I offer you full permission to copy it, share it, and shake all that gravy away.

1. The Chariots of Fire theme song. If you haven’t seen the 1981 drama about a pair of British runners in the 1924 Olympics, well, fine. The film has its moments, like Lord Lindsay jumping over hurdles with full champagne glasses set atop them, but in my opinion there are better movies about running. But what wouldn’t be acceptable would be if you don’t recognize the film’s theme song. I could run a marathon to this song, or fight in a battle, or rescue a kitten from a burning building … all in slow-motion for dramatic effect, of course.
2. Michael Jackson’s Thriller has me so prepared for a zombie attack. I’m not even worried.
3. I love putting on a fresh pair of spandex and some sweatbands, grabbing a pair of hand weights, and cranking up Salt ‘N Pepa’s Push It.
4. If there were no other songs in the world, I could prance around happily to Madonna’s Die Another Day for the rest of my life. What’s that, you say? That among all of the James Bond theme songs, that one has got to be the worst? Well, what about…
5. Garbage’s The World is Not Enough? Just thinking about it makes me want to exact revenge for every wrongdoing, ever.
6. Sarah MacLachlan’s In the Arms of an Angel. Hey! Don’t laugh, I’m serious. There’s something about heartbreakingly sad female singing that totally pumps me up. I’m also not kidding about:
7. Enya’s Oronoco Flow. It’s calm, soothing, inspiring, and incredibly motivating all at once. Don’t believe me? Your loss.
8. Angry music gets me almost as pumped up as depressing female voices. One of my favorites is Taylor Swift’s We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.
9. Just kidding! Sort of. I like for-real angry music too, like Eminem’s Lose Yourself.
10. The Rocky Balboa workout montage theme, obviously.
11. And the award for my #1 top favorite motivational workout song, ever, goes to Annie Lennox’s Walking On Broken Glass. I first fell in love with this song on a field trip to the Boston Aquarium in third grade. From that moment on, it has made me feel like a happy little fish being fed to a shark in a giant tank. It was love at first listen, and true love lasts forever.

This little guy must have just listened to Mari’s Workout Mix.

Mari Zagarins

When Mari isn't running, biking, hiking, or jumping-jacking in and around her home in Montpelier, she is practicing her facial expressions in the mirror and contemplating whether she should learn to swim.