What I’m Pondering: Walk-up Songs!

We are launching a new series here at The Well called What I’m Pondering. Various women will drop by and share what’s on their hearts and minds and invite you to ponder along. Lisa Schmidt, The Well’s founder and executive director, kicks off the series by pondering walk-up songs. To watch Lisa’s 60-second video associated with this post – as well as future videos in this series – give us a follow on Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube.

In her book The Joy of Movement health psychologist Dr. Kelly McGonigal draws on science and psychology to convince us not why we *should* exercise, but instead shows us how to *fall in love* with movement. Given my relationship with movement more recently involves a whole lot of internal “shoulds” followed by disappointment and shame, the premise of McGonigal’s book was immediately intriguing.

First, a backstory. I ran a half-marathon in May of 2015 and since crossing the finish line that day, my running shoes have basically collected dust. I’ve tried to pick it back up here and there, but all running efforts have been a series of fits and starts. Why I just didn’t take up walking is beyond me.

A few months ago I read about Magnolia’s Silo District Marathon and found training plans for their 5K, half marathon, and full marathon races. As COVID-19 forced much of the world to shut down, spaces began to open up in my heart and mind to try this running thing again. And because it’s in my nature to go big or go home … and then quickly find myself sitting at home sulking because I’ve crashed and burned … I started with the 5K plan. Slow and steady, thanks be to God, I’ve kept at it (!!), and my family is planning to cheer me on at the inaugural Das Schmidt Haus 5K ™ on May 22 along the trails in central Iowa.

To my surprise, I am falling back in love with running. (What?!!) I am finding the forced stop we’re living through has been quite good in this regard. My body needed rest from running to and from all the other duties and activities – as good, noble, and necessary as most of them are – that not so long ago filled my calendar. Rested and recovered, my body began craving movement.

Now back to the book and What I’m Pondering. One idea McGonigal shares in The Joy of Movement is to pick a walk-up song to motivate your movement journey. Just as athletes pick a song for when they walk up to the plate or walk on to the court, so can we. This song can be the one you play upon arising in the morning, throughout the day when a pick-me-up is needed, or during a run or workout when you think you just cannot take another step.

My philosophy is one walk-on song is just not enough. Of course, right? So as I’ve built up my running routine, I’ve created a collection of motivating songs to help me keep running the race. With no further ado, here is my current walk-up playlist for various parts of the day. You can listen to the full playlist at the end of the post via the YouTube widget. God willing, my running will become stronger for longer distances, and I’ll be looking for new tunes to accompany my journey. Please ponder with me: what are your favorite walk-up songs to add to this playlist?

Wake Up, Girl!

Good Morning” by Mandisa

Get up, get up. It’s a good morning, wake up to a brand new day…

Start the Commotion” by The Wiseguys

For the days I need a kick in the rear to get going.

Keep Running, Girl!

“Love Runs Out” by One Republic

Love me some OneRepublic and with that steady beat to accompany my cadence, it’s a great start to my run.

Run Run Run” by Jill Scott

Just listen to it. How can you not go go go?

Move Your Feet” by Junior Senior

Just keep moving your body, Lisa.

Don’t’ Stop Believing” by Journey

For that point in the run when I’m about ready to stop, Journey throws me a lifeline.

It’s Okay to Walk, Girl!

Then there are times when I simply must walk. No shame. Repeat, no shame. Just walk it off while accompanied by these motivating tunes.

“Move (Keep Walkin’)” by TobyMac

“One Foot” by Walk the Moon

“Walk this Way” by Aerosmith

You Did It, Girl!

Finally, when the run … or walk … is over, “Press On” by Mandisa is my rally cry. As she sings: No looking back, one step in front of the other, I’m gonna press on. 

Press on, indeed! So what are your favorites to add?

Lisa Schmidt is a proud lifelong Iowan and an equally proud alumna of Iowa State University. #GoCyclones! Her roots serve as an inspiration to continually seek opportunities to help make Iowa a great place to live, work, pray, and play. In 2016, Lisa blended her skills for building community with her love for Jesus and founded The Well women’s ministry. Along with her husband Deacon Joel and their four children, the Schmidts are parishioners at St. Pius X in Urbandale, Iowa.