That one song

Yesterday I went for a seven mile run with some nasty hills at the end. When running I sometimes listen to podcasts, sometimes I run silently, and sometimes I play a workout playlist on my iPhone. Yesterday was a playlist day. The songs we choose to put on a workout playlist have to reach us at a place to inspire and motivate us beyond our current physical, emotional, and psychological limits.

I was hurting. I wanted to stop. My legs were burning. I was rounding the corner to my street and had the choice to turn into my driveway, or I could run repeat sprints on the hill (my street is a 1/10mile steep hill that I often tell myself that I should run hill repeats on) at the end of my run. Usually I bail out on these hill repeats because they suck. They also hurt a lot. As I was turning the corner this song came on.

I’m a fan musicals and most recently of the musical Hamilton. The history, the story and they lyrics speak to me and have motivated me to push past where I thought my limits were. When Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote variations of those songs with the Mixtape release earlier this year, I was instantly drawn to this version of the song My Shot.  I encourage you to listen to it, especially the Busta Rhymes verse (verse 3). He’s always been one of my favorite performers and when I heard the intro hook, I knew I had to push through. I was not going to throw away my shot. I started running the hill. Fast. Negative splits. Painful. Almost puking.

It felt awesome.

“My Shot (Rise Up Remix)”
(from “The Hamilton Mixtape”)
(feat. Black Thought, Busta Rhymes, Joell Ortiz & Nate Ruess)

The Hamilton Mixtape

[Black Thought:]
Ayo mugshots, gun shots, dope shots, jump shot
Take your pick, but you only get one shot
Advice from a schoolteacher to a young tot
Applyin’ a sticker to his Spiderman lunchbox
When even role models tell us we’re born to be felons
We’re never gettin’ into Harvard or Carnegie Mellon
And we gon’ end up either robbin’ somebody or killin’
It’s not fair that’s all they can tell us
That’s why you hustle hella hard, never celebrate a holiday
That’ll be the day I coulda finally hit the lottery
I refuse to ever lose or throw my shot away
Or chalk it up as just another one that got away
So I’m unapologetic, I’m on my calesthenics
If I have given it all I got I cannot regret it
My point of destination’s different from where I was headed
‘Cause I’ma shoot for the stars to get it
One shot

I said I’m not throwin’ away my shot
I said I’m not throwin’ away my shot
Yo I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwin’ away my shot
I said I’m not throwin’ away my shot
No I’m not throwin’ away my shot
Yo I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwin’ away my shot

[Joell Ortiz:]
When opportunity knock, you don’t send anyone to get it
Answer the door, welcome it, let it in or regret it
They said if you can’t beat ’em then join ’em
I said, “Forget it”
‘Cause once you join ’em you’re buildin’ a ceilin’ the way you’re headed
Be American, express how you feel and take the credit
Don’t settle for 87, go premium unleaded and
Take off, shake all the hate off, it’s over
It’s they loss, the payoff’s their weight off your shoulders
Must admit, I’m feelin’, I’m kind of um
Lighter as a writer with this fire and desire to go higher
Than a stealth fighter pilot with my eye on every prize
I surprise you guys, I’m a prize fighter
My nine to five describe, your scribe survive minor
Setbacks and take steps back from pied pipers
Be leaders, believers in yourself and mean it
I mean you only get one shot, take it or leave it

[Black Thought:]
I said I’m not throwin’ away my shot
I said I’m not throwin’ away my shot
Yo I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwin’ away my shot
I said I’m not throwin’ away my shot
No I’m not throwin’ away my shot
Yo I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwin’ away my shot

[Busta Rhymes:]
Rise up
If you livin’ on your knees, you rise up
Tell your brother that he’s gotta rise up
Tell your sister that she’s gotta rise up
When are folks like me and you gonna rise up?
Every city, every hood, we need to rise up
All my soldiers, what’s good? We need to rise up
We ain’t got no other choice, we need to rise up
Rise up!

Throughout my travels and journeys through life I’ve been searchin’
And been learnin’ to be the type of person to display how determined I get
When I’m certain, inside I feel that fire that’s burnin’
Like a knife that is turnin’, I fight while I’m hurtin’
Sometimes they’re right ’cause life is a burden
Like the pain from a bite that’ll worsen
Tryna stifle the light that’ll shine on me first and
Before I ride in a hearse and…
My breathing stops and
You’ll never take my one shot I got ‘fore I lie in the earth
And now I kill again on that Hamilton Hercules Mulligan
Readin’, inventin’, we feelin’ with a Huffington
Done with the sufferin’, we in the guts again, family rushin’ in
Wonder where Busta been
Feelin’ the hunger and feedin’ the lust to win
See I’ve been patiently waitin’ for this moment
To rise up again, that’s the way I was molded
And as the last one standin’ as the rest of them foldin’
Give me my one chance to grab the torch and properly hold it

[Black Thought:]
I said I’m not throwin’ away my shot
I said I’m not throwin’ away my shot
Ayy, yo I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwin’ away my shot
I said I’m not throwin’ away my shot
No I’m not throwin’ away my shot
Yo I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwin’ away my shot
I said I’m not throwin’ away my shot
I said I’m not throwin’ away my shot
Ayy, yo I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwin’ away my shot
I said I’m not throwin’ away my shot
No I’m not throwin’ away my shot
Ayy yo I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwin’ away my shot
It’s time to take a shot

[Nate Ruess:]
Woah, woah, woah, woah
Woah, woah, woah, woah

One thought on “That one song

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