That up there is my new ‘I’m going running’ t-shirt and I think it’s partly responsible for this week becoming, dare I say, somewhat enjoyable.
Now it hasn’t been torture (it is, after all, still just running and walking for roughly 30 minutes) but it hasn’t been a day at the beach or anything. I was particularly worried about running a solid three minutes (again you have to remember I have done literally no running before this all started) and after the first run of week three it felt like I was right to be worried. My heart was pounding out of my chest like a Tom & Jerry cartoon and I looked less than pretty by the time I was done. Basically, it was a bloody long three minutes every time the RAHN section came around.
But something happened during the second workout, something deeply weird. I liked it. The halfway mark came round hellish quick and I found myself smiling. Smiling at physical exercise! Younger me would have spat in my face but he probably would have dribbled down his fat chin.
One of the big reasons why it was actually fun was the result of me becoming the close associate of that guy and making a workout playlist. You hear all this guff about guys listening to certain songs and getting ‘pumped’ or ‘psyched’ or ‘stoked’ or ‘gefafwispped’ (one of these may not be right, I’m not a big fitness guy) and you don’t take it seriously but it works. It does! And I may be the slowest man to ever reach this conclusion.
Now as Nick Hornby will tell you, a man’s playlist is an important thing. Preparing them is an art-form. I had to fit it to a roughly 25 minutes running time and they had to get me going for those dreaded three minute sections. For the five minute warm-up I needed a slow burn. I started off with The Secret Machines – Sad and Lonely. It’s… better than it sounds.
Not super energetic, but those driving drums got me warmed up as I stood and stretched self-consciously and made faces to make it look like I knew what I was doing. You should see my ‘ooh I’m an athlete’ face. Think David Beckham but with like a million times more sex appeal. My playlist it full of my current favourite rock songs, the kind of stuff that gets my head nodding on the bus to work. It’s also got Kanye West’s Touch the Sky because come on, it’s the shit. It finishes off with Journey’s Any Way You Want It because why wouldn’t it?
But it’s Childish Gambino that got me my sort of breakthrough. I timed it so this little slice of aggressive, intelligent, dirty hip hop blasted out as I started the first run. I don’t need to tell you this but this is seriously NSFW.
Childish Gambino AKA Donald Glover AKA Troy from Community is amazing. If you’re not familiar go educate yourself, you won’t regret it. You can get all his early EPs and albums from his website for free so there’s no excuse.
But he’s half of the equation. Which brings me back to the t-shirt. Not only is it in general pretty positive looking, it’s also merchandise for the greatest professional wrestler working today and all-round highly-amusing entertainer Daniel Bryan. Here he is over-celebrating and YES-ing his way into my heart
Here he is literally cock-blocking Kofi Kingston.
And here he is remixed.
I love this t-shirt because I think Daniel Bryan is amazing but I also love it because it isn’t immediately recognizable as a wrestling t-shirt. I don’t need to invite that conversation every time I go out running.
The observant among you will notice I described this week as a sort-of breakthrough. It may have been easier and a little fun the second time but the third and last time was bloody hard work again. My ankles are aching like a bastard. I assume this is because I’m running on concrete but half the time I’m thinking to myself ‘this is what it feels like to be physically active? This is bullshit’ but I have faith it’ll get better in time. It best do anyway, next week involves four and six minute runs. I get the feeling all the hip hop and wrestling t-shirts in the world won’t make that feel like fun. God help me when I get up to those 45 minute ones.
But when I do finish them – and I will – then I’ll be… well just watch those Daniel Bryan videos again, that’s what I’ll be doing.
I’m David Hetherington and YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! Etc