I do it, and I do it big. Here's to not forgetting about it.

Posts tagged ‘Musician’

Never Silent – Noise v. Music: Race Report 

I have a confession to make. 

While I can honestly say I was proud of my performance in last week’s 5k, I wasn’t “satisfied,” and thus my quest for my next 5k before marathon training began hours after last week’s finish. I shared this with 3M, and naturally, she responded with suggestions. Though I was unsure if I could really make any gains in a week, I thought, ‘what the hell. I like to race. Let’s see what happens!’ 

I didn’t run at all this past week, as I was unusually tired and feeling in limbo before my marathon training is to start. I just tried to eat cleanly and show up rested. Last night, I was setting out my clothes/equipment for today and realized I did not see my wireless headphones. “Meh,” I thought. My phone on my arm felt heavy last week anyhow. “I’ll run without music!” 

Mind you, I have never run a running race without music. The last time I raced without music was at the end of my 70.3 almost 2 years ago. “Whatever. It’s ‘just’ a 5k. The silence won’t be a big deal.”  At the horn, I realized something quickly. 

There. 

Is.

No. 

Silence.

I mean this both literally and figuratively. Of course, there were plenty of things to hear as I struggled in the heat and humidity. Parents encouraging their kids. The occasional cowbell. My feet. My clearing my throat. My feet. The ducks. My feet. 

My feet. They’re loud. Seriously. 

Soon after I began mile 2, I felt very tempted to slow down. “You can slow down. You’ll still probably beat your time from last week.” Then, “It’s hot. Why am I doing this.” This was followed by the inevitable, “I am whining about 3.1 miles. Am I really strong enough to complete 23.1 more?” 

Oh, dear. I wish that no music meant silence. Quite the opposite. The inside of my head is incredibly noisy. I often tell my classroom students that we are in a music room and not a noise room. Our music is intentional, our noise is scattered and rarely pleasant. The music that I play during races helps to distract me from the noise in my head. I became thankful for my loud, musical feet – the organized, steady beat of my progress toward the finish line. Keep making music. Keep moving forward. 

I crossed the finish line in 33:27 – 1:05 faster than the previous week. Music triumphed over noise once again. I know now that if I am to complete a marathon, I must become a better musician. 

Always multitasking.

Just As I Am: The Dangers of Knowing Too Much

Most civilians know how stressful music making situations can be. By civilians I am referring to amateur musicians, of course. I say amateur musicians (as opposed to professional) because all of us have musical experience. There is not one person who does not listen to music and analyze it. We sing along, even when it is by ourselves. Only a complete asshole a very unsure person wouldn’t participate in a communal happy birthday, right? Professional musicians just have the ability to express their tastes and preferences with a greater degree of specificity.

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Das right. I’m fancy. But nobody ever thinks of the perils of being fancy, least of all Iggy.

So I’m in church last week (this triathlete loves Jesus) and we’re worshipping the Lord in song. I must confess – this is my least favorite part of the church service. “But Lady J,” you say. “This makes no sense. You love music. You love Jesus. Music + Jesus = winning, right?” Only when done my way, silly billy. I love singing my favorite hymns on my bike. I love playing through them early mornings as I have tea and (not so) quiet time with The Lord. Meanwhile, this choir and worship leader are up there, singing songs that I may not know, invariably in keys that are uncomfortable for my voice.

“Still,” you insist. “You are a trained musician. Your voice cannot be that bad.” Please. When did I say my voice was bad? It’s just not the best it can be because I have not rehearsed the songs and the worship leader was not considerate enough to contact me regarding an appropriate key. Some
Christians, man.

“So, what you’re really saying is that the talent with which God has blessed you – you’re allowing your knowledge to get in the way of thanking Him for it.”

Guilty.

It’s not as though I am embarrassed of my voice, like others often are. Hell, I’d have to care about the opinions of those around me in church to be at that point. In truth, that kind of concern would probably be a step forward for me. My perfectionism is manifesting itself yet again. God, I want to give you my best. I hate when my technique is wrong. I hate when I yawn as I’m singing praises. But Christ’s death on the cross was probably not to pay for all the off key singing.

I’m sure it didn’t help, though.

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