looking under the hood

i’m not waiting for the new year.  that arbitrary reset day is not better than any other day.  i want a better me, and i want the overhaul to start now.  i am jumpstarting the process with daily journaling (and this app).  the wife does this religiously (literally and figuratively) and she is turning out ok, so there must be something to it.  i'm gonna track my personal crusade right here with a brief weekly synopsis.  the purpose of documenting this is twofold; it keeps me accountable for what i want to adopt as a lifestyle change, and offers an opportunity to help anyone else that is looking for inspiration.   want a workout buddy?  need a practice partner?  trying to clean up your diet too?  want to check out new music?  let's do this.  i'm starting with the man in the mirror.  i really am asking him to change his ways (plus i came up with a clever acronym to help me remember). it's kinda like wwjd, minus the commercial exploitation.

many of my friends (greg, matthew, john, dave, jodi, the wife) are practice junkies.  i go through this in spurts, usually when i have something pressing in front of me. i am tired of sounding like the same old me.  i want new ideas, better ideas.  i want more control in my embouchure.  i want cleaner technique.  i want to strengthen my time concept.  i want to deepen my personal voice. the best progress i witness personally happens when i log my minutes, just like they do in middle school band.  the numbers don't lie.  no more talking shop and rehearsal face time counting as practice.

i remember reading an interview with david harrington, founder of the kronos quartet.  he mentioned that he spends almost 8 hours daily listening to new music (to his ears).  i need to listen to more stuff.  i try to keep up with what's going on today while catching up on what i neglected yesterday and, let me tell you, that's a bunch of music.  after teaching this stuff all day, often times the last thing i want to do is hear more music.  it's tough to not listen critically, but i need to work on this.  i want to become better informed.  i want to keep up with the current developments in my field.  i also want to listen to all those ted talks and npr podcasts that everyone sends me and that i never check out (sorry).  i finally have internet in the home (after a 3 year hiatus), so that should make things easier.  so long, ho-hum tv programs. hello, new and exciting music (to my ears).

my diet leaves much to be desired.  i don't eat fast food red meat, or candy.  i don't really drink much anymore.  however, there are plenty of holes in my food consumption plan (or lack thereof).  guilty pleasures like kraft mac & cheese and jack's frozen pizzas need to be shelved.  late night eating must be eliminated.  eating out should be curbed (with the exception of my thursday indian buffet lunch bunch).  i heard kevin love say that he won't eat in restaurants because he is unaware of what they put in their recipes.  i pledge to do more cooking at home, eating more veggies, and blending smoothies in my magic bullet.  it's time to go back to taking my vitamins and saying my prayers like a good little hulkamaniac.

i always feel a thousand times better after burning off a mess of endorphins while in the gym.  i like the discipline of completing a p90x workout and need to eliminate the stress of my daily life in a productive manner.  turns out, bitching isn't very productive.  i have built a gym in my house but haven't done much with it in the past three months.  i imagine that the wife would appreciate me justifying those expenses, i want to take advantage of the convenience i have configured for myself.  working out is good for my self esteem, gives me more energy for the day, and keeps me from needing to buy more clothes because the old stuff doesn't fit so well.  more cardio, weight training, and yoga!!!

so, here i go.  wanna join me?


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  2. Thanks for sharing, Mike. Some of those pieces have happened naturally with my move north (the workout part--if I want trees cleared, I do it myself :-) and fast food places are virtually nonexistent in Ely; the Practice and Hearing pieces don't apply but I can substitute verbs that do. I appreciate your honest self-analysis and commitment and am inspired to do a similar process with myself. And I'll keep reading what you write...