Our latest edition of “What’s On Your Playlist?” comes from AST client and music aficionado Andrew Peck. When we started doing this series we knew we wanted to hear from our clients, and Andrew was top on our list. Still, he gave us much more than we anticipated…
I work out because I want to change who I am. Through exercise, I gain strength both physically and mentally, overcoming pain, doubt and frustration with every repetition. I may be working off the husk of an extra slice of deep dish pizza or one more round offered up by my buddies at our local bar. I may be exonerating myself for days spent hunched over a computer rather than walking carelessly through nature. But my maturation, both mentally and physically happens simultaneously when I’m living right. Sometimes it hurts to work on bettering myself, and sometimes it’s ever so sweet. To get me through it one way or another, I need a soundtrack.
The weight rooms and gymnasiums of my middle-American upbringing were filled with the shrieks of grotesquely longhaired and tight-pantalooned rockers at best and the depressing wails of country pop musicians at worst. As a result, partly, I remained as skinny as a rail through high school and beyond. Now, my workouts are my own, my playlists the true soundtrack of my life. Here is a sampling of the music that carries me toward my destiny.
(NSFW – Language)
Gangstarr – “Take it Personal”
Sometimes the pain of losing out to the whims of those who do not wish me well can be extremely motivating. Sometimes I have to embrace the hate in order to defeat it. The legendary Brooklyn duo Gangstarr has always served in helping me channel my anger toward a positive effect – never more so than on this vengeful early-90s banger. How could anyone not get a rush from hearing those drums? What’s wrong with people?
9th Wonder – “Soul Dojo”
What I really want is to relax and feel confident in myself and proud of my accomplishments. The quality of our lives is defined by the small decisions we make every minute of every hour of every day. They won’t all be correct but our fate is a score we must settle on our own. Remembering these ground rules is important when I decide what to put in my body and what to take out of it. In short, I have to treat my body like a sacred temple. My soul is my dojo. And this song is freaking amazing. Who can name the film sampled in the intro?
Ghostface Killah – “The Champ”
Sometimes I just want to win. I want to be great at what I do both on and off the field. I want to be a power hitter, a top-earner, a superior lover and a protector of my family. That means getting aggressive sometimes. It means getting nasty when I’m tested. It means growing a pair the size of bowling balls and destroying my competition like a watermelon met by a Freightliner. I wish I had the internal motivation to achieve all of this on my own. But I need help. And that’s why I pay the good people of All Strength Training to yell at me a couple times a week. It’s time and money well-spent. After all, I want to be, “The Champ.”
a tribe called quest – “Excursions”
Q-Tip from tribe is my favorite artist in all the world of music. As a poet, a musician, a producer, a performer and philosopher he displays quality and consistency virtually unheard of in hip hop music. His vibe is unfailingly positive and his message is always love. Love one another, love yourself. His words are complicated, abstract and beguiling at times but they move me like no other assortment of symbols and messages I’ve been able to find. On “Excursions” Q-Tip urges us to leave our comfort zone and set forth on a mission of empowerment. You ready to go?
Jay Electronica – “Exhibit C”
This one is all about unfinished business. Despite overcoming hardships both self and otherwise inflicted, I still have eons to travel in order to reach the heights I aspire to. Should I give up or keep going? Dumb question. I never really believed I’d have it as good as I do now – so to stop dreaming now would be a fate worse than death.
I rest my case.