Friday, November 15, 2013

Practice Makes Permanent

Even though I haven't really practiced by cello for 7 years, I can pick it up, work on a not-too-difficult piece a few times, and perform it with confidence. Why is that?


Before I graduated from high school, I practiced daily for 4 hours. For a professional or aspiring professional, that isn't much, but it is a lot for someone playing for fun. I practiced hard and I practiced well. It made my fingers know what to do. Even now, 7 years later, I can pick up my instrument, and play it---not as well or as skillfully or as beautifully or with as precise technique---but I can make my way through my old repertoire and new pieces. And it still brings me joy.

red cello
Cello image from here.

I wish that I kept up on my cello better. However, because I wasn't studying music at college, it wasn't practical to practice for 4 hours, or often even 1 hour. My productive and persistent practice stuck with me.

This is a goal I have with running. I don't have 4 hours to dedicate to it. Most days, my entire workout is an hour, tops. By being careful about my technique while I run, I can enjoy it more in the future. I'm trying to not heel-strike, I'm trying to increase my cadence, I'm trying to keep my shoulders relaxed (this is tough with the jogging stroller). I also try to do some running drills each week. When I have learned something well, I won't have to think about it and can enjoy my runs for many years to come.

No, I don't have a coach. Maybe someday. But for now, reading articles and self-correcting is good enough for this runner.

Good running form
Running image from here.

Today's Workout
Body weight exercises
30 minutes of yoga

Can you still pick up your instrument and enjoy it? What is your instrument?

What have you committed to muscle memory?

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