Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Intermezzo: Or why music & running are not so different after all

As I was sitting in orchestra rehearsal on Monday night, I started to realize how many similarities there truly are between being a musician and being a runner. While I had always known how music and math were linked, I never thought about the relationship between my two favorite past times. Here is a list of everything that I have thought of so far

1. Both activities are easier to begin at a young age. The older you get, the harder it is to learn how to read music, and the older you get, the harder it is to start running. There are exceptions to the rule, but had I started running at the same age I started playing the flute, odds are that I would probably be much better at it. 

2. In running, we call it base building and speed work. In music, we call it practicing scales, etudes, arpeggios, long tones, and music theory. There has to be that foundation before learning music before a concert, or before beginning a new training cycle for a race. 

3. At rehearsals or at a concert, it is easy to see who put in the work, and who didn't even look at their music. While this is not as easy to spot in a race, each individual knows whether they trained to the best of their ability

4. Confidence is key. No matter how much you prepare, you won't do nearly as well if you do not believe in yourself. This applies to both races and concert. Stage fright and taper madness are far more similar than one might believe. 

5. There is always something new to learn both in the running world and in the music world.  There are just as many interpretations of Mozart's "The Magic Flute" as there are books on running technique. No single way is entirely correct. It is up to the individual to determine what works best as each scenario is unique. 

6. Playing in groups is fun, but you have to have the confidence to stand on your own two feet. As a flute player, there are times when I play the same part as others, and there are times when I am playing the melody on my own, and I need the confidence to pull off solos since all eyes will be on me. In running, going with a group is fun, but ultimately, each person has to be able to run their own race. 

That's my ramble for today. On a different note, after considering my candidates, I have decided to give my triathlete entry to a high school friend who like me, is a musician and an athlete. Not only is he a talented trumpet player and athlete, he has devoted a lot of time and energy raising money for charity. Chris Coletti, I look forward to seeing what you're capable of in July 2013. 

Thanks for reading! 

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