by: Jace Wheeler, Certified Kettlebell Instructor & Certified CrossFit Trainer (CF-L4 Pending Evaluation)
Theme: Back to Basics
As I come into the first Pay-Per-View of the FWF's History, I realize that not everyone has the same breadth or depth of knowledge of music, fitness or even Our Beloved Sport of Kings as I do. This is fair, I was not born this awesome, nor did I attain my glory overnight. I did it the hard way, I took a long look at myself and realized I had to force myself to become awesome. Fortunately, you can benefit from my wisdom. And how better than to combine the three aforementioned elements by:
A: Telling you what to listen to
B: While you exercise
C: With added commentary about how I will walk out of here with the Big Gold Belt on Christmas in Beaumont, Texas. Which is less than a hundred miles from Houston, Texas, a city that is somehow more overrated than Austin (except its food. But I am not here to eat. I'm 32, if I break my meal plan, my knees are next). Because I care, I am including youtube links for illustration but please, when you are working out, do so with a lossless audio formast such as FLAC, ATRAC or .APE.
(A note on working out, you probably should be. I am not a doctor but seriously.)
1. Black Sabbath - Paranoid (2:51)
Here is the secret. Nothing sucks forever. If you think a thing sucks, it is because you have not seen its final form. The pure, authentic goodness exists either in the past or the future. Rap Metal is made out of two otherwise good things. Nobody can deny that the genre of rap contains glory without being either racist or uneducated (these are the same thing). But is this true for metal? You must go back to the beginning to 1969, when a failing blues band realizes the movie theater next door has lines out the door. And takes their virtuosity, adds horror elements and creates a sound no man had ever heard before. This is an ideal warmup track. Run in place and do some burpees, or hop onto the elliptical and get loose with it. My match with the Dead will be a warmup. This is the proof.
2. Captain Sensible - Jet Boy Jet Girl (3:20)
Now as you continue your warmup, and up the speed of your treadmill or the complexity of your calisthenics, look at the Raging Dead. The man dresses like a goth from a Nineties Saturday Morning Cartoon. Which is an insult to goths anywhere. And you say to me, it is impossible to insult Goths. And I say to you, you don't remember when Goths were Dangerous. And here's The Damned's frontman Captain Sensible taking a break from his 70s goth forerunners (who are nonetheless the credited artist on every youtube upload, fools!) to sing a kickass banger about underage sex and murder. It is objectionable, repellant and unapologetic. There is no way the Raging Dead will play this song around his daughter, and that is why he will lose.
3. The Sounds - Painted by Numbers (3:21)
At this point, you are ready to begin your first set of whatever actual exercise you are doing. Warmups are not exercise, warmups allow exercise. Professionally obese funnyman John Pinette said something similar about salad, he's dead now. You are here to live in the present and I am here to discuss Possibilities.
At this point in the workout, you’ll need a rock interlude. Something poppy, especially if the rest of the mix is rock-based. On paper this song shouldn’t work. A pretty blonde woman from 12 years ago fronting a band from Sweden. Is Abba. And Abba was utter shit. But not all pretty blonde women from the past claiming to be the future are equal. The Sounds were different. They turned New Wave into an offensive weapon against your sense of complacency. And, as mentioned, Maja Ivarsson is, was and remains liquid sex with the chops to back it up.
In the background, an idiot will wrestle a stoner. We will find out whether it is better to let the world slip away or never to have been able to grasp it at all. This will determine how I attain glory.
Maja Ivarasson is liquid sex, but too much liquid this early. This is why you switch to the powdered variety in the form of Alison Goldfrapp. And we will consider the man who has insulted my pants, accused me of homosexuality and claimed I am a mediocre clarinetist with a soul-deadening job. The problem is, two of these things are actually good and the third is a filthy lie. I wear the color block tights because people once dreamed of a beautiful future, not strictly afrofuturist but inclusive of it, where things weren't monochrome, gunmetal or blue and orange.
The problem with Kenneth Williams is not that he smokes too much weed and enjoys the work of the Wu Tang Extended Universe. The problem is that he has made thse things boring. The problem with Kenneth Williams is that Kenneth Williams dresses like every basic dude since 1995: black t-shirt, blue jeans and a terror of standing out.
Goldfrapp is the opposite: a woman in white dragging every conceivable weirdness into a featureless room. Kenny Williams flies beautifully, I will give him that, but I do not believe he will soar.
5. Car Seat Headrest - Beach Life and Death (12:10)
Because if the stoner does not defeat the idiot, then the world is a very different place. Say what you want about Kenneth Williams, lord knows I'm too culturally sensitive to do so, but at least the man possesses awareness of the larger situation. At least the man possesses a sense of humor. At least the man is able to exist in two dimensions: stoned and training. And that means he's halfway worthy of respect.
At this point in the mix, you should have your second, heavier, exercise picked out. Twelve minutes should carry you through all three sets. Focus on your form, you will not need to focus on the lyrics.
The lyrics are uninteresting, about young love between an indie pop genius and a webcartoonist who transcended gender. The lyrics are a railroad bridge over the river of the thrumming low guitar notes and the jangling high guitar notes. Poor Larry will skim over the surface and I will drag him into the depths.
6. CHVRCHES - Gun (3:52)
It is time for the final exercise. You have shredded, you have worked and it is time to push it out.
I do not exercise to be attractive. I was hot as fuck when I was eighteen and in my first pair of skinny jeans and a striped wife beater. I exercise to be strong. I exercise to be useful. I exercise so I can outlast. Start the next set with CHVRCHES. Thumping beats. Pretty girl. But unlike the previous two pretty electronic girls, this one knows she's a weapon. Like the weapon I have forged myself into.
Lunchbox Larry is a remarkable physical specimen but I do not believe he can pace himself. I cannot believe he can learn.
If you do not exercise regularly, you may believe the "runner's high" or "the pump" are myths that meatheads tell each other so they momentarily convince themselves the pain was not quite as bad as it was. But no, they are real. And now is the time for self-indulgence. Finish strong. Make it happen. The reward for exercise is the becoming. The strongest form of becoming happens in the ring. Now all that's left is the cooldown.
Wrestling is the stupidest sport. Two glorious animals, or four in a tag team match, or thirty in a battle royale bash each other to pieces. They wind up broken. They wind up failures, drug addicts, car salesmen, candidates for the school board or actors in terrible movies. But in the ring, in those five or fifteen or sixty glorious minutes, there is magic. You cannot have magic without a human sacrifice. "I hope you die," sings John Darnielle, "I hope we both die." Now get something do to drink and don't forget to wipe down your equipment.
I said Authenticity exists either in the past or the future. And you say to me, "Jace, all of these songs are from over a decade in the past."
And I say unto you, no shit. You're not ready for the future. Keep doing your sets, stick with me and I will bring you into the glorious now where All Will Be Correct.
(Total time: 35:35. Easily doable on your lunch hour. You should probably shower too. I mean in general)