I hate running. I think it is a sick, sadistic sport that mostly serves to ruin your joints in the future. I like running with a purpose - away from the cops, ready to take out a striker when you’re playing fullback. I’ve never been a particularly fast runner but I had a knack for sprinting when I needed to, in games of tennis and soccer. Competitiveness makes me a better runner.
That said, I have recently, taken up running. It’s the worst! But a combination of genuine health worries/risks/possible genetic freakery and weight gain that was terrifically unhealthy, means that running - and no other cardio is as easy - is the way to get healthier. I"m lucky enough to live near an architectural nightmare that ruined a city that serves as a dandy, dandy outdoor gym. I run up stairs. I run by lady-themed edifices, the only possible response to the Washington Monument. And even worse - I’m starting to like it!
For me, there are secrets to tolerating running. Usually I"m doing it with my SO, but on days where it’s me and just me, I have a companion. Mark E. Smith. 50,000 Fall Fans can’t be wrong, right?
I never liked running to high NRG club songs, where the beats are 100 mph and the singers are boasting about how awesome they are. It made me feel bad about myself. I liked the idea of running to The Thermals’ The Body The Blood The Machine, but it was too slow for actual speed.
And then, I realized, that The Fall is perfect. The rhythm section is tight and skittery. There’s tension propelling you forward. The songs can be 4 perfect minutes or 2 minute ditties.
And above it all, there’s Mark E. Smith. First off, he sounds like he’s drunk or he’s yelling at you. You can’t guess where he’s going to land on a line. It’s interesting. His lyrics can be perfect and pointed nonsense or little pomo masterpieces (“How I Wrote Elastic Man”). “Totally Wired” is about being super energetic thanks to coffee and pills, and the chorus explodes with speed and backbeats in the most energetic way possible. And ultimately, the only thing that can really encourage me to run is the sound of a sozzled British genius yelling at me. Bikini season is approaching, after all.