Joshie just posted a video link over at FB to the Pointer Sisters' "I'm So Excited" from 1982 (sorry I can't embed it), which has meant the tumbling in of some serious high school memories. As my sister can tell you, this was the song I listened to over and over (and over) before every one of my high school games on my walkman or car tape player (depending on whether the game was home or away). My focus song.
In watching the video just now, I realized that while the video renders it as the ultimate going out song, for me the song conjures the long treks to away games, the back of a bus seat in front of me, missing chunks of black rubber, my teammates (like me) wrapped--rapt?--in headphones, my cheerleader friends chattering and shimmering.
Before every one of our games, no matter how important, I was super nervous and keyed-up, and this song helped me to re-interpret those autonomic responses--heart racing, mind darting, sweating--as sheer exuberance rather than fear. This song is largely why I associate the high school portion of my career with utter positivity and happiness (even though objectively I know there was lots of pain and suffering). At some point, my team started running out to this song--in a layup line--and the exuberance spread through the bleachers. I hadn't realized that the song was at that point 5 or 6 or 7 years old. Its liveliness endures; it makes me want to pull on short polyester shorts, long stripey socks, string up my hi-tops and do some passing drills and figure eights with old friends.