Saturday, July 2, 2011

In Praise Of Idleness

It's very hard for me to truly enjoy time off! In the past I've filled vacation time with lots of chores around the house, extra reed making, practicing, etc. I'm a person who likes to stay active and intellectually engaged.

I've learned that I'm not very good at doing nothing at all. I get fidgety and restless very easily.

Therefore, the kind of vacation that I enjoy the most is one spent traveling. It's therapeutic to get out of your own surroundings and see another part of the world.

Earlier this month I had a most wonderful vacation trip with my family in the Southwest. The stunning scenery and climate was just the thing to take my mind away from the countless hours of practicing and reed making of the past winter and spring.

I didn't touch the bassoon for two weeks. We had a good, old-fashioned family vacation driving around various sites in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah.

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" is an old adage that rings true to me! I've read that your brain and body need time to absorb and recover from mental and physical activities. Some of this is done during sleep, but it's also true that your brain and body aren't really idle during rest and relaxation. The brain is processing new tasks it's learned. The body is building new muscle and new protein chains to adapt to exercise.

These processes can't be rushed. They take time, so it's wise to enjoy it!

I'm getting back in shape both with my running and with the bassoon right now.

The first day back on the bassoon is fun.  I've got lots of good reeds from my furious reed making prior to the IDRS Conference. It's fun to make a beautiful sound on the bassoon again! The second day is when I realize how much I've lost over the time off. My embouchure is tight and weak, my tone unsteady, my fingers unsure. Thus, the hard work begins again. There are no short cuts!

Since I've targeted no races for this summer, I'm focusing on keeping it fun and relaxing. I'll be doing more slow, long runs and spend very little time on the track with speed work. I'll seek out more trails for running and fewer busy roads. I may get lost a few times or have to run farther than I had planned to get home, but there will be more freedom and adventure in these jaunts.

1 comment:

  1. I've access to a gym but I have no gym equipment at residence. The core workout I really feel are useful to me are the treadmill and stairmaster. I’m interested in losing the pot-belly, not getting six-pack abs.