I am not a conductor, but I play one on the treadmill.

Record store guys don’t normally hang out on treadmills.

However, last month I got a stent put in my heart.  I know, it’s pretty strange considering I am only 44, but my dad died young, and some routine checks led to the discovery of 90% blockage… so it seemed like a good alternative to a heart attack.

This little “procedure” has led me to the treadmills and bikes at the Desert Sam Cardio Rehab room.  As you might imagine, in that room, at 44, I’m pretty much the youngest pup in the pound.  Consequently, many of my fellow patients come up and ask me why I am there.

Well, they ask me when they can.  But that isn’t while I’m working out… because like most things I do, my workout involves music.  And when you are trying to get your heartbeat up, you better be playing some upbeat stuff.  So I dial up my iPod, and I find some music that will get me going.  But I’m not a normal person, and when I say music gets me going, I mean I my body and mind get into it thoroughly and totally.

So last week, a nice lady came up to me at the beginning of my session, when I was hooking on my heart monitor, and she said “Excuse me, but I was wondering, are you a conductor?”.

Huh?  Thanks to my Nodak accent (still here after twenty years in AZ), I’m used to questions like “Are you from Canada?”, but that isn’t one I’ve heard before.  Then I figured out what she was talking about: My behavior on the treadmills the session before.

The previous session, I had decided to go for uplifting and upbeat, so I picked out two of my favorite albums of all time:

Two albums from two very gifted men who’s music literally fills my soul whether they are singing against the superficial and unjust bullshit this world dishes out or in favor of the amazing gifts we all have been given.

Anyway, when I put on the headphones, I GET INTO it.  It doesn’t matter what type of music it is, I don’t really care who sees me, and I’m not sure I could stop it if I did.  I’m probably not a fun guy to sit next to on a plane, as I spazz out and jam my way through the entire flight (oh please let this clown go to sleep).  It results in many different types of gyrations and actions, varying from genre to genre.

Mainly, I am an air guitarist, which my actions reflect.  But, I can pretty much air-play anything.  However, when you are listening to the upbeat R and B stuff, trying to walk at a brisk pace on a treadmill… the ol’ air guitar just doesn’t apply.  So once I got on track, I just knew what my new friend was talking about in reference to my “conducting”.

My final treadmill session had included one of the greatest “two songs that were meant to be together” combos of all time: “As” and “Another Star” off of the Stevie album.

Beth and Steve agree on Stevie.  This CD is uplifting.Lyrically and musically, if these two songs don’t lift your soul… you probably need to do some soul-searchin’.  For me, the beat, the vocals, the music, and the message of Stevie and his fine group of musicians (including George Benson, Bobbi Humphries, and others) is so amazing, so overwhelming… that I literally find myself lifting my hands to the sky… flooded with love and the a feeling that only love can provide.  Love of music, love of my family, love of all the things that I appreciate about being alive.  I don’t know what the spirit is for sure – but it sure fills me when I hear these two songs (I’m listening to them again right now for inspiration, and it’s happening again).

So I explained to the lady what I was listening to, why it was causing me to close my eyes and rhythmically wave my hands out around – she understood.  We talked about what I do for a living, and obviously why, and she said she was going to visit the store later this week.

And then I went back to the treadmill.  Session playlist: Blazing guitar with Pat Traver’s “Makin’ Magic” and Michael Schenker Band’s “Built to Destroy“.  Hello again, air guitar.

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4 Responses to “I am not a conductor, but I play one on the treadmill.”

  1. sari says:

    You really can’t go wrong with Stevie.

  2. debbie says:

    I have “Songs in the Key of life” and thought I was the only sentimental geek that felt that way. Good to know I’m in good company.
    I going to go and put it on now…

  3. [...] When I dip my head down at the beginning of “Woman”, it’s because that snotty little guitar riff made me involuntarily do a little “Bill and Ted” air-guitar wank.  I can’t help it (see the treadmill post). [...]

  4. [...] it was hit or miss.  While I love the Songs album enough to have written a separate blog about it (I’m Not a Conductor, But I Play One on the Treadmill), it’s still a $21.99 double CD, and although millions of people know what I mean when I say [...]

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