There I was…sitting on my bike, ten minutes into my 55 minute spinning class.
The heat was building and the sweat was starting to trickle down my nose dripping to the floor. I knew it was going to be a doozy of a class.
This is good. But what makes a great spinning class even greater is the kind of music that is played. So, as I was peering through my sweat-stained eye glasses at all the women (yes, I was the only guy in the class….poor me), I began to take notice of the reactions they had to the music being played.
Some of them sat looking straight ahead, with virtually no reaction to the music being played. They didn’t seem to care if it was a great or shitty song…they clearly were there to get through the class, through the discomfort, through the difficulty of that spinning class so they could feel like they did something good for their bodies and their minds that morning.
Others were tapping along to the beat of the song…using their fingers on the handlebar to keep time to the music. Some were actually bopping their heads up and down clearly affected by the tune that was playing. Some were mouthing the lyrics to the song and the real extroverts were actually singing out loud to the song. They didn’t seem to really care what they sounded like (I did!) or if, as Simon Cowell likes to say, they were “a little pitchy”. Those people kind of drive me crazy because the last thing I want to hear is someone who clearly shouldn’t be singing out loud, singing out loud!
But then I figured…why not? They are totally inside the moment, having fun and grooving to a great tune. I remember one spinning class, the instructor was putting us through a difficult uphill climb and was playing an awesome song by Pink Floyd from Dark Side of the Moon. I will always remember how weird it felt to be sweating like a dog and getting goosebumps at the same time. The song was motivational and got me up that hill with room to spare!
Its amazing how different people respond to music. Its amazing how music can move them. In the shower, some people feel like they are up on a stage, belting it out loud..often times singing really well, not really aware that the shower curtain isn’t a sound insulator. I always love hearing my young daughters singing in the shower…often times getting the words wrong to a popular song but not really seeming to care.
When I was a kid, my dad was in the record business. It was ultra cool for me because I got free records, swag and sometimes, opportunities to meet rock stars backstage at concerts. I know it didn’t matter much to the artist I was meeting. I don’t think Billy Joel really gave a shit when this 11 year old punk shook his hand and said in a squeaky pre-pubescent voice, “Billy, I really loved the show”. Often times, my dad would bring home demo tapes of new bands or new releases before they hit the record stores.
If it was a really important album or a band or singer he really got behind, he would insist my mom, sister and I join him in our basement so we could put it on the sound system and all listen to it together.
My sister and I would always laugh out loud when my parents would listen to music with us. The two of them were like the early-version of the modern day
“bobble-heads”. Both my parents would sit there, side by side on the sofa, their eyes closed listening to the music. Almost in unison, they would begin to move their heads to the beat of the song. However, my mom would go one direction and my dad the other; up and down and side to side. This was how they responded to the music. It was hysterical to witness and a story I sometimes share with my own kids if we are all listening to a song while driving in the car.
Music does that to you. It moves us…sometimes to dance, sometimes to sing out loud. Sometimes, we can be driving in our cars, windows down, singing along to a song as if no one else is looking or hearing us. Guilty as charged. How many times have I put Tom Sawyer on my the car stereo, cranked it and either sang along to Geddy Lee or played along on to the drums using my fingers on the steering wheel pretending to be Neil Peart?
Music can take us places…it can take us back to chapters in our lives, it can soothe us, it can invigorate us, it can move us and bring us to tears. The sound of the cello has always done that to me…I always think that it sounds like someone crying.
That is what makes a song, of any musical genre, just like a piece of art. I am just not certain if Nicky Minaj has the same effect on me.