I’m right in the middle of cramming for my anatomy test.

The pace of my classes is insane – we get about two days to memorize 2-3 chapters and the overall passing grade is set at 80%. The nerd in me is all over this, but I need to NOT blog about anatomy right now.

I thought that instead I’d do another post where I go through my mp3 and explain my random and strange running song choices. That was fun the last time.

Like I mentioned before, the songs I run to have personal meaning. And most of them are old. The ones that have the greatest motivation for me are in some way related to overcoming obstacles, working hard, and coming out on top. I find that anger is a fairly strong motivator as well, and running it out helps me clear my head and stay positive in life. For example:

Survivor by Destiny’s Child. Very old and somewhat cheesy video (except for you, Beyonce!), but I love the lyrics. This one makes me think of my dad.

While I was growing up my dad worked really hard to keep me in a bubble. No sleepovers. No makeup. No new clothes. No extra-curricular activities at school. No prom. For years I thought he was overprotective, but now I think it was more about dictatorship and control. Keeping me under his thumb so I would be afraid to challenge him. Eventually he disappeared, so I went from being locked in my room one day to being thrown out to fend for myself the next.

I survived.

18 Wheeler by Pink. Overall, I like Pink’s attitude. This one reminds me of when my partner was in the hospital. I think it was one of the darkest times for me; all my friends at the time turned their backs. Many people blamed me for his accident, saying it had happened because I was a curse in his life. My own dad made one single hospital trip to tell me that God was going to kill him because of me. When I run, this song is like fuel for me.

Fuck you by Lily Allen. I’m sad to say this song reminds me of the church. I actually DO have many good memories from growing up in the church, but I could almost swear this song was written for some people I know. I was once told that I couldn’t become a church member because I asked too many questions. I think there’s only one appropriate response to that, and it’s the title of this song.

But it’s not all bad.

I’m a bit of an extremist – my tough side is very tough, but my soft side is very soft. Enter Kenny Rogers.

Kenny Rogers is of course a country singer, and most people I know make a point of clarifying that they hate country. But I stand by the belief that if ANY guy wants to win over ANY girl, he needs only this one song: Lady by Kenny Rogers.

She’s Royal by Tarrus Riley. To me this is about how a woman should demand to be treated. Depending on her quality, a woman can either build a legacy or cause destruction beyond repair. Not all women are cut from the same cloth. A good one should demand to be treated respectfully, or not at all.

Heal the World by Michael Jackson. I sang this song in my elementary school choir, and I’ve loved it ever since. When I run, it makes me feel like I’m doing it with purpose. Pushing towards some kind of noble end.

I Knew I Loved You by Savage Garden. I’m saving this one for when I have a child someday.

Kiss the Girl from The Little Mermaid. Best. Disney song. EVER. Really, how much MORE obvious could she have been?? I can’t believe he didn’t freaking kiss her. I’m still upset about this.

I Hope You Dance by Ronan Keating. I end up listening to this song at least once during every single run. It reminds me of when I was a kid. My baby sister and I were mostly unsupervised and we didn’t have any computers or television, so we would wander the streets and play. We didn’t know at the time that we lived in a ghetto. Everything was an adventure to us. We’d pick weeds and think they were flowers. I still try to see the world that way. To find some wonder in the weeds.

I think that despite everything most people have noble intentions. Running for me is the physical and emotional act of moving ahead. Leaving all the crap behind and striving towards a brighter future. Plus it’s cheaper than therapy.