Back to basics

It’s been awhile since my last post. I needed some time to step back, and re-center myself. Christmas was crazy, and came with its usual Christmas cold. And then the new year started, and I jumped right back into teaching, training, and appointments. It has been hectic, complicated, and tiring at times. It has also been fun, exhilarating, and triumphant. I’ve had break-throughs in running, and playing the violin, both of which have made me step back, and re-evaluate things. This year has started off by going back to basics:

Back in December Jeff, and I reevaluated my injury recovery, and race schedule. The spring marathon went away, and shorter races popped up in its place. It was an easy decision, and as soon as it was said a huge flood of relief came over me. I needed a break, and get back to basics. A break to get stronger, go back to the beginning, and sort some things out. Since then I’ve gotten stronger, sorted out my form, and fallen back in love with running. Thanks to some exercises from Christi, and Pilates once a week with my friend Laura I am a stronger, and better runner. Since the 1st of the year I’ve run two 10ks, and easily taken off 2 minutes from personal best. The way I talk to myself has changed as well. It has changed from “maybe” to “I can.” Now I look forward to races, and training, and know that when I get to the next marathon I will be a better, stronger runner ready to tackle the challenge. There’s one I might have my eye on for the fall 🙂

Holidays never seem like holidays when you’re a musician. They are full of gigs, students wanting to learn Christmas music, and family issues. By the time I got to my last gig on Christmas Eve I was exhausted to say the least. It came as no surprise when I started feeling bad Christmas day. In an effort to get in as much practicing as I could on some things I skipped over important things. My playing showed it. I was becoming more, and more unfocused, more out of tune, and less consistent. That needed to change. I needed to get over the mountain of memorizing the Bach fugue I had been working on for most of the year. I needed to listen to what I was doing more. I just needed to focus. If I had been my own teacher I would have been crazy with frustration. If my teacher felt that way he never showed it. In the past week I’ve gotten things back under control. I’ve focused on making sure I get all of the basics covered before going on to more involved music. Scales, arpeggios, shifting, and double stops must be done every day. They keep my practicing, and playing honest, and grounded. They make all of the other music better. I am holding myself to this new rule. All week I’ve gotten the basics done before moving on to other things. I can hear, and feel the difference. This next week brings the added challenge of rehearsals and concerts. I am sitting 4th chair 1st violin, the highest I’ve ever sat with a professional orchestra. It’s just a regional orchestra, but still I feel I need to hold myself to a high standard, and continue showing people what I can do. In both running, and music I’ve made my goal of 2012 to start realizing my own potential. I am the only person who can hold me back. It’s time to keep moving forward, starting from the ground up.