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Gym Playlist

Nirvana as a Buddhist concept literally means the state of perfect happiness and that is what happens to me when I listen to Kurt Cobain and friends (yes, the drummers did come and go). I am completely in the zone when it is with me—be it the iPod or smart phone. And it is not just when I am relaxing on the couch at home eating my favorite snacks along with tossing back a few beers. These are the times that the speakers are roaring. It is frequent enough. It also is my music of choice at the gym to accompany my frequent workouts. It is on the top of my gym playlist.

Exercise and fitness are not really an obsession like Nirvana is to me, so you certainly won’t find a home gym hiding in my garage, but it is necessary and does me great good. So I persist with a little help. If I can combine my passions at one time, it is more than efficient and productive. The music allows me to even go to the gym at all. It lures me there, knowing it provides an hour of intense aural experience. I am not so sure I would indulge quite so often.

I do the usual stuff when working out: lifts with weights, sit-ups, crunches, pushups, a little sparring, and a little aerobics. I ride the treadmill with glee. I use straps for stretching and that big inflated plastic ball for balance and support. I lunge and squat along with the best of them. It is a thorough plan of action. But without the music, it is bland and dull. It goes nowhere.

Seattle born and bred, Nirvana is alternative music, but not to me. It is the staple of my listening existence and a number one priority. It is no wonder that it gets me pumped at the gym, letting me pump iron in style. People ask why? Try it for yourself and see what you feel. The remastered album is amazing, featuring the Live and Loud concert from 1993. YouTube videos are a great way to be acquainted. I am here to get converts and it isn’t hard! You go back to 1989 to experience the vocals, from quiet and soft, to loud and energetic. The music is a display of similar contrasts. In Utero was far from mainstream and garnered numerous followers, who are still on board. But Nevermind was the real winner for many years earlier.

Rock knows no parallel in terms of dynamic contrasts. I eat it up. Doing reps at the gym goes by fast and furiously as I absorb the sounds of Seattle grunge. Was it really that long ago? I ponder this question as I burn calories. I get visual images going back decades. They seem like yesterday. It was a landmark time in rock, never to be forgotten. I think people forget how influential Nirvana was, making alternative rock a permanent music genre. It has its place in history, but it is still alive for me.

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