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Getting Pumped Up

“When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe...” ― Henry David Thoreau

At the London Olympics as well as Beijing, there was a lot of hype surrounding the swimmer Michael Phelps. Not just because of his phenomenal aquatic skills but because he always listened to music before he took to the pool. He said it gave him energy and helped pump him up before a race.

Phelps isn't the only person who uses music to get fired up before a race, a tournament, a game or a match. Lots of athletes, Olympians or not, use music to psych themselves up.

When I used to work at , a full-service gym near , there were guys who would pack up and leave if they forgot their workout mix tape. (For all the kids out there, a "tape" is what us old people used to shove in a "Walkman" to listen to music on at the gym. It came after records and before the iPod. Google it.) They just couldn't get motivated to work out without their tunes and they would rather go home than exercise without it.

My oldest daughter participated in the for water polo last weekend. It was a four-day tournament held at multiple locations around the South Bay. Her last game was held near Santa Cruz and on the drive through the mountains, we ended up listening to The Hippo, a classic rock radio station out of Monterey. Back to back we listened to "Bad to the Bone" by George Thorogood, "Back in Black" by AC/DC and Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust". We turned up the radio so loud I think I may have blown the rear speakers! Then, as if I had called up and requested it myself, Stevie Nicks' "Stand Back" came on. My favorite!

We decided right then and there that we should make our own Olympis-sized, pumped-up playlist. Songs that would get her amped before playing in her tournaments. To help compile this list, I did what I always do, I took to Facebook. I asked my people to give me their favorite "going to war" songs and below is their list. Now, when I showed my daughter the playlist she agreed with most of them, but she also added a few of her own. She said she list needed more tunes from this decade. Ouch.

Nonetheless, in addition to the four outstanding entries listed above, here are a few songs to help you go for the gold! Or, at least, help you get off the couch.

(Some songs and/or videos may have explicit content, so consider yourselves warned.)

Lose Yourself, by Eminem

Welcome To The Jungle, by Guns And Roses

Jump Around, by House Of Pain

Tick, Tick, Boom!, by The Hives

Music, by Madonna

Know Your Enemy, Rage Against The Machine

Do You Want To?, by Franz Ferdinand

Knock You Out, by LL Cool J

All Star, by Smash Mouth

Stronger, by Kelly Clarkson

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Lisbeth Allen August 10, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCadcBR95oU

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