The workout mix: a time honored tradition of fitness enthusiasts in gyms all across the world. Few things can inspire an athlete to push harder, to work longer … or to start a fist fight with other gym goers better than a carefully selected list of songs intended to get the heart pumping.

In recent weeks, Old Man Fitness has delved into some of the darker aspects of the fitness lifestyle: the injuries, the pain, the motivations that drive us to push beyond our comfort zones, but every once in a while, it’s important to remember what got us into fitness in the first place. No, I don’t mean the first organized sport you participated in, or the sad realization you had at 28 about needing cardio to avoid buying new pants … I mean back when fitness was a byproduct, not the goal: back when moving your body was about having fun.

At some point, years ago, running wasn’t “cardio,” it was just what got you to the other end of the playground faster – back when food was food and we never worried about the caloric content, back when when we tapped our pencils on our desks, impatiently waiting for recess to start so we could stretch our legs, our lungs, and our imaginations.

Eventually, our days grow fuller, more regimented, and “fun” becomes a vague concept we associate with far away tropical locations or the few fleeting days a year we’re able to sneak away from our jobs, responsibilities, and social lives to gallivant around in the woods with a rifle or a pack. We stop running across playgrounds and start jogging around the neighborhood. We stop tapping our pens on the desk in wait for recess, now looking at the clock and pining for the blessed reprieve of our beds… “only ten more hours to go, and I can finally get some sleep.”