This week, our brave two and a half musicians (Candace, Eva, and Megan) went out into the world in search of muscles and found them! They had to battle heavy rehearsal schedules, dodge around the forest of learning great amounts of music, and conquer the obstacle of tight purse strings, but, in the end, they returned triumphant. Candace found whiffle ball, Eva used her yoga mat, and Megan returned to good friends Steps on Broadway. Here are their adventures in their own words!
This was supposed to be the week of nothings. I just finished my master’s degree recital, and for me, a post-performance week is a week that should be of bizarre emptiness. One tends to wander around aimlessly wondering “But what do I do now?”
This was hardly the case, both musically and physically. In practicing, I’ve discovered how much focused my sound is with better hand position. I’ve also discovered how to make a beautiful, thick Brahms sound. I know it doesn’t sound like it has a lot to do with ‘exercise’, but it is always exciting for me to discover how I use my body in relation to practicing, even though it is always in retrospect.
However, I am dying of soreness today. I mean, honest to goodness, dying. My butt muscles hurt, my right shoulder hurts, I had to stumble and wince to take off my shoes because I had to bend down. Who would have thought that wiffle ball would be the cause of all of this? Yesterday, we hosted “Baseball for Idiots” for our friends who are conservatory students. (If you don’t know, conservatory students are a lazy and paranoid breed – we don’t do anything for fear of injury!) I can’t hit for shit, but will swing like hell, and have discovered that my boyfriend’s lessons in teaching me how to throw has paid off. Throwing a plastic ball really hard requires me to do so much following through so I’m definitely not use to that. Nor am I used to athletic position, and having flexible bent knees. The pain feels good, although I hardly consider playing and running around with plastic bats and balls as exercise. My soreness reminds me that something seemingly frivolous counts too!
***Muscles for Musicians note – even if you don’t have a conservatory team – you can check out various wiffle ball groups in NYC for yourself. Here is one that I found by using the powers of google! ZogSports Wiffle Ball
This week was a bit crazy, as I had a rehearsal every night Monday-Friday after I got out of work, which is from 10am-6pm. (Of course this is going to continue through the end of May.) So my main goal was to not stress eat and make terrible choices- I think I mostly succeeded in this. I managed to pack my lunch a few days this week and find healthier on-the-go dinners like wraps and salads. Also trying to snack on fruits or trail mix during the day rather than those baked goods. As far as fitness, I did a lot of running around and was active in blocking rehearsals- so I added things on like taking the stairs every time I had the chance, and actually pulled my yoga mat out a couple mornings to stretch and do crunches/lunges. I think morning is the best time for me to do anything like this when I’m so busy, as I really have to make an effort to get to bed as early as possible at night. So this week it was all just little stuff that I tried to add to my routine, and I hope I can tack on a bit more this week!
This week began with Robin Powell’s pilates class at Steps on Broadway, because I felt the extreme need to strengthen my core. The previous week I was relatively sedentary, and I always feel like a good pilates class is what I need to get myself centered and back into an active lifestyle! I also adore Robin’s class as she is endlessly supportive and gives the appropriate modifications to make the exercises appropriately challenging for all levels taking her class. Tuesday, between an audition and the “managing your cash flow” class I’m taking, I squeezed in my new favorite jazz class in the world, Lisa Gajda at Steps on Broadway. (I’m hoping to do a special entry JUST ON THIS CLASS. If you can make it – GO! All levels! Broadway and beginner! It’s 2:30-4:00, Tuesdays and Thursday, at Steps on Broadway. It’s simply the best.) I thought I was off to an awesome start with TWO CLASSES in two days, but alas, that is where the physical activity classes ended for me last week. However, I did attend two dance auditions, which counts, right? One was disco themed (which made me really want to try a disco dance class!) and one was very “Jack Cole/Fosse.” I also went on a New York Walking Tour via Ghosts of New York. I would say 90 minutes of walking counts as exercise, AND I got to learn a lot about New York history as an added bonus! I would definitely recommend checking out various walking tours around the city for light physical activity and educational fun!