Defying Gravity, an inspiration

A couple years ago I was lucky enough to be able to see the Broadway show Wicked here in Portland. It soon became a favorite! I’ve read the book (not nearly as good as the musical, in my opinion), and seen the show a second time. I workout to the soundtrack, OK just a couple songs (Popular and Defying Gravity), but it really is a great motivator!  If you were to listen to the song, you would hear why this is an inspirational song for me. Not because it’s warm and fuzzy, but because it’s raw, gritty, emotional, and sad.

Most people know the story of the Wizard of Oz, this is the story about the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch, and how they became Good and Wicked. But what most people don’t know is that this story isn’t just about those two huge characteristics  There is a huge amount of body image and self-esteem topics in the show. For me, when I saw it the first time, I was in awe, totally enamored with this story and how much I “sided” with Elphaba (the Wicked Witch), and I related to her! She was born green (in the book it explains why, the “doctor” gave her mom a potion to drink to prevent a child who couldn’t walk, which is what happened to her older sister. The potion turns her green.). Elphaba grows up and goes off to college and is tormented by not fitting in. She befriends Glinda who at first judges her and assumes the worst. Then they are expected to room together in the dorms!! Well after a few songs (lol) they become friends.

Glinda performs Popular while making over Elphaba, which is a great song-catchy! Glinda becomes a champion for Elphaba, being her friend guiding her and supporting her in her endeavors of Animal rights (Animals-with a capital A-are animals with what could be described as a human intellect). The Animals are being killed and she wants the Wizard to help. She realizes to get his help, she’ll need to go out on her own, to Oz. She is at a fork in the road, go where she needs to go (based on her goals of Animal rights) or stay in school with Glinda and not be truly happy. At the end of the first act, this song is sung by Glinda and Elphaba, as the citizens of Oz riot, looking Elepha accusing her of harming Animals, calling her Wicked for the first time.

The cut that I linked below is amazing, it’s the whole scene (7 minutes long), and you get the whole feel of their friendship and how hated she (Elphaba) was. But you can see the love in the song, for her friend; you can hear hope and strength to carry on; you can hear that nothing is going to stop her from her goal. THIS is why I love this song, why it’s an inspiration to me and why I will listen to it when I need the push. And trust me there have been times when I need the push. The part in the song (lyrics below) that I turned red (specifically red bold), that’s the part that gets me. THAT is how I feel when I am pushing through the last 30 seconds of running, sparring; the last 5 crunches or leg lifts; when I can’t break through a board. Listen to the song, read the lyrics; you will get a better understanding of why I am choosing to lose half my body weight. I am talking all the negative from my years of growing up and channeling it to succeed.

To get the full (pardon the pun) gravity of this song, please watch it on YouTube and see why it’s such a powerful song! And if you really want to have some fun, while working out their is a dance mix of it, which is on the 5th anniversary CD of the Broadway Cast Recording. That’s the one I work out to. 🙂

“Defying Gravity” From the Broadway musical Wicked

GLINDA
(spoken) Elphaba – why couldn’t you have stayed calm for
Once, instead of flying off the handle!
I hope you’re happy!
(sung) I hope you’re happy now
I hope you’re happy how you
Hurt your cause forever
I hope you think you’re clever!

ELPHABA
I hope you’re happy
I hope you’re happy, too
I hope you’re proud how you
Would grovel in submission
To feed your own ambition

BOTH
So though I can’t imagine how
I hope you’re happy right now

GLINDA
(spoken) Elphie, listen to me. Just say you’re sorry:
(sung) You can still be with the Wizard
What you’ve worked and waited for
You can have all you ever wanted:

ELPHABA
(spoken) I know:
(sung) But I don’t want it –
No – I can’t want it
Anymore:

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I’m through with playing by the rules
Of someone else’s game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It’s time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes: and leap!

It’s time to try
Defying gravity
I think I’ll try
Defying gravity
And you can’t pull me down!

GLINDA
Can’t I make you understand?
You’re having delusions of grandeur:

ELPHABA
I’m through accepting limits
”cause someone says they’re so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I’ll never know!
Too long I’ve been afraid of
Losing love I guess I’ve lost
Well, if that’s love
It comes at much too high a cost!
I’d sooner buy
Defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye
I’m defying gravity
And you can’t pull me down:
(spoken) Glinda – come with me. Think of what we could
Do: together.

(sung) Unlimited
Together we’re unlimited
Together we’ll be the greatest team
There’s ever been
Glinda –
Dreams, the way we planned ’em

GLINDA
If we work in tandem:

BOTH
There’s no fight we cannot win
Just you and I
Defying gravity
With you and I
Defying gravity

ELPHABA
They’ll never bring us down!
(spoken) Well? Are you coming?

GLINDA
I hope you’re happy
Now that you’re choosing this

ELPHABA
(spoken) You too
(sung) I hope it brings you bliss

BOTH
I really hope you get it
And you don’t live to regret it
I hope you’re happy in the end
I hope you’re happy, my friend:

ELPHABA
So if you care to find me
Look to the western sky!
As someone told me lately:
“Ev’ryone deserves the chance to fly!”
And if I’m flying solo
At least I’m flying free
To those who’d ground me
Take a message back from me
Tell them how I am
Defying gravity
I’m flying high
Defying gravity
And soon I’ll match them in renown
And nobody in all of Oz
No Wizard that there is or was
Is ever gonna bring me down!

GLINDA
I hope you’re happy!

CITIZENS OF OZ
Look at her, she’s wicked!
Get her!

ELPHABA
Bring me down!

CITIZENS OF OZ
No one mourns the wicked
So we’ve got to bring her

ELPHABA
Ahhh!

CITIZENS OF OZ
Down!

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