This past week has been one more of background work and fitness than of playing and recording music. Being the March “break” in this neck of the woods, KG (Kevin Gorman) –a teacher of music himself – had rightfully earmarked this time as some he would take for well-earned R & R. I admit that at first I wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of leaving our recording duties for a week with our release date looming. However that feeling quickly passed. My selfishness dissipated when I thought of how great it would be for Kev to get out of that place for a few days. And he has. Good on him.
I confess the break has been good for me too. I’ve steadily chipped away at the mountain of background work that (in my mind) needs doing before we go to press with the CD. The process of creating the music has taken far longer than I’d hoped, but I can see that it’s been a blessing in a way, as I’ll have built a much stronger foundation and will have a better plan of attack for when the time comes to hit the streets with it. I still fight myself at every turn, wanting to do everything all at once. But I’m slowly getting it into my thick skull that the only one who gives a flip about all that is me, and that it’s okay for me to take my time.
To that end, I’ve made a concerted effort to improve my overall diet and fitness. I’m not trying to be perfect. Just better. And so far, so good. In fact, my wife has somehow roped a whole community of friends and family into what she calls the “100 day challenge,” which started with her suggestion that they all could do 100 sit-ups for 100 days and encourage each other along the way. Within 24 hours, it had morphed and changed into all sorts of people taking up a challenge of their own (not necessarily sit-ups) and deciding to join the strength of the group to help them along.
After a few hours of chuckling at the notion, I realized it was a good opportunity for me too. Why not? So, having already been a couple weeks into an effort to work harder at the gym weekday mornings (I meet my pal Derek there to do my back stretches and play squash), I decided I’d jump into the challenge in my own way: I pledged to alternate doing 50 push-ups and the “plank” for a full 60 seconds every other day.
After the first day of push-ups, my arms were so sore I could hardly swing the racquet at squash the next morning. And the next morning. And the next morning after that! But later in the week, it got a lot easier and I began to feel better. As for the “plank,” 60 seconds may not sound like much, but when you haven’t done much to strengthen your core in a while, it’ll burn if you do it properly. Look it up and try it. And good luck to you.
Coupled with those efforts, I have a three-year-old who decided that he wanted a pair of inline skates (roller blades). I wasn’t so sure about that, since he’d never been on real skates, let alone rollers. But he was adamant so, figuring ‘if you can’t beat ‘em,’ I bought a pair of blades and pads for him, and a pair for me.
Well, wouldn’t you know … the kid took to it right away. We’ve been outside with them every day since, and I’ve taken to “skating” around the neighbourhood, surprised to find that it’s a great help to my back because it truly requires core strength to maintain balance. I never considered that skating (which I’d not done in almost 20 years) would be a good full-body workout. But it is.
We also have been enjoying watching and playing hockey a great deal. I’m very glad for that, as I was rather good at hockey as a youngster and I always loved the game. But then I went through a 15-to-20-year stretch where I quite resented that I was “supposed” to love it just because I was born in Canada. I know, I know: that’s stupid. But the whole thing has come full circle and I have fallen in love with the game again.
The way I figure it, I have a lot going on in the “100 Day Challenge.” Push-ups. Plank. Squash. Inline skating. Commitment to better diet.
And it just so happens that our CD release is within that 100-day window.
So it would seem there are many challenges to be faced in this next 100 days. But I’m up to it. I may not have much new to report from the studio. But things are moving forward. I feel good. I’m happy. And I hope KG is getting the rest he deserves.
More fun times ahead.