The short story is this:
- It’s February, the deep dark of winter, and it’s literally snowing as I write this.
- I’m not phased though because as many of you know I have epicanthic folds which means, basically, I was born with eyes designed to withstand the effects of cold, freezing wind and snow blindness. Essentially I’m genetically predisposed to bossing bleak low-light winter environments.
- Buuuut the PMA for riding in 36 and raining is not exactly on high either.
- Normally that’s okay for this time of year but this isn’t a normal year.
- You see, I’m about to go Subject Athlete on myself. Big Time. More on that coming up very, very soon. For now I can say this, if I was a rapper I would effortlessly rhyme __________ (the thing he thing I’m doing SA on) with the expression “throw your hands up.”
- With that in mind I need to get PUMPED and stay PUMPED.
- That’s why I commissioned Slovenia to build me the Ultimate workout mix tape. Something to motivate the shit out of me. Literally.
- Wait, no, metaphorically. Fuckit. Both.
- Point is I need to tap into the WORKOUT ZEITGEIST pronto and boy let me tell you nothing patches you into the WZ like New Wave music. That’s a proven fact, just ask Olivia Newton John, Jane Fonda, the 80’s, or any modern day Step Aerobic Class, of which, (not?) surprisingly, there remain quite a few.
- What’s at the core of working out, getting fit and smashing something that easily rhymes with “throw your hands up.”
- And what’s endurance about?
- You remember a few years ago when the world including my mom bought barefoot running shoes and read the book Born To Run and then got super serious and in some cases permanent life debilitating pediatric issues? Anyway, it turns out more than running we were born to sweat. And that’s why we’re the ultimate predator and hunter. Cheetahs are fast and can run away from us no problem but what if we keep coming? Low key shuffle style. At first the cheetah looks up and just bolts down the Serengeti for a few miles. Then fourteen minutes later we show up again. This the time the cheetah is like WTF is wrong with these assholes but doesnt get into it much beyond that before getting up the road another couple of miles. Again, after 14 minutes we roll up. This time the cheetah is like shit this is really cramping my style. Also, wait, speaking of cramps my legs all four of them are hurting but these glossy, gleaming two legged fuckers are still coming RIGHT at me. Two days later guess who’s eating who. Meat has protein, protein leads to bigger brains, bigger brains leads to S.T.E.A.M (science, technology, engineering, art and math, STEAM leads New Wave Music, New Wave Music leads to sweat.
- Full. Fucking. Circle.
- I give you Yu Sweat. A deep dive into the WORKOUT ZEITGEIST via an 80’s musical phenomenon called Yu Wave.
- I know what your saying your saying but why Slovenian New Wave inspired sweat. Why not Bruce Springsteen or New Order inspired sweat?
- Because I’m friends with this dude Marko who lives in the Slovenia. And it turns out that they ruled the 80’s so hard. And this music and these videos drive me wild. This playlist makes me want to WORKOUT SO HARD. That’s why. Okay?
A slightly longer and sorta parallel story.
- A few years ago we worked with Kelli Samuelson to create an all women’s cycling team called LA Sweat. She wanted some help with the name and the original branding & concepting. At the time Kelli lived in Los Angeles. We talked a lot about how traditional Professional Bike Team names are categorically sad face. At best. At worst they’re defeatist, depressing, criminally stupid, etc. Like fuck me the lack of imagination and spirit is borderline breathtakingly. Come on people give us something to root for. Give us a mascot, an animal, something that goes fast or is fierce or at the very least is just plain cuddly. Go Ducks! Team Sports have been doing this right for millennia but nooooooo cycling thinks flooring companies and banks are what really gets folks excited. Nope. It’s place, which is community and hometown pride and the best aspects of localism. And a concept that becomes your POV, your essence, your MO, your voice and brand and your “there.” Aaaaaaand LA Sweat was born.
- Meanwhile I met Marko through this other Slovenia dude named Klemen, owner of Pici-Bici.com, who at the start of Stage 11 of the 2013 Giro D’Italia in the town of Cave DeL Predil introduced himself to me and we became friends.
- Thus began what would become a pretty serious fascination with Slovenia.
- All I knew about Slovenia up until that point was from the 1981 American Military buddy movie Stripes starring Bill Murray, Harold Ramos and John Candy. In the movie John Winger, Russell Ziskey and two female MPs, Louise Cooper and Stella Hansen, drive an EM-50 Urban Assault Vehicle, an armored personnel carrier disguised as a recreational vehicle, into Slovenia. Which they describe as “just like Wisconsin.”
- Oh, and I knew that Slovenia was part of former Yugoslavia.
- But that’s not true. It turns out I misremembered the movie. It’s not Yugoslavia, its Czechoslovakia. Going to Czechoslovakia is like going to Wisconsin.
- Hand to head emoji. So yeah, I knew NOTHING about Slovenia. Except that the mountains they share with Italy are fucking DOPE AF.
- Anyway, over the next few years Marko and his friends began to educate me.
We talked about the crazy soviet Time Portal monuments that litter Slovenia, Bosnia and Serbia, teeshirt graphics, mountain bikes and publishing.
And, eventually, naturally, as one does, we talked about New Wave music.
- It turns out Slovenia basically crushed the 80’s. C R U S H E D. The music, the music videos, the outfits, ALL OF IT, so good.
- They call it Yu Wave.
- Again, remember, around the same time I was working with Kelli and LA sweat.
- I was like wait. Yu Wave and LA Sweat kinda share an energy. What if we made a winter workout mix for LA Sweat called YU SWEAT!? So we did.
- That was five maybe four years ago. Give or take a year.
Steve Hockett Race Book
Turns out Steve from England is my favorite Cover Tech™