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July 31, 2011 / Angela McCuiston

It’s a Wild Ride…

So life has been crazy, lately.  I know, I know, I was on a roll, posting a few new blog posts every week, and believe me, I have more than a few drafts in the works, but I just haven’t been able to get to them.  I could put something out just for the sake of generating content, but I don’t feel that serves much of a purpose.  I like to spend time on my articles; researching the content, searching for the right images and references and working to make it something I can stand behind.  So, I’m afraid you’ll just have to bear with me for awhile as life gets even more hectic for me in the next two weeks.

So What the Heck Have I Been Doing???

Well, let me lay it out in bullet point format…I like bullet points. 🙂

  • I travelled to Tennessee to spend two weeks with the Army National Guard Band.  We were engaged daily with the TN Arts Academy Conducting Symposium.  While there I got to play woodwind trios, organize the Army Band library (I’m in awe at the amount of music we have) and network.
  • I bought a road bike!  I’d like to introduce you to my new friend, Lexa:
    My new bike!
  • With a new bike comes a lot of work – learning how to ride, acquiring the proper gear, skills and logging miles.  I went on a 40 mile ride yesterday and while it was fun, it was humbling to be with a group of people who rode faster than me – I found out just how far fitness-wise I have to go!
  • I’ve been working like a mad-woman on my NFA  presentations I can’t believe it’s 2 weeks from now!!!  It’s crunch time now – getting all my presentation thoughts, handouts and ideas together.  I’ve also got the great news that I’ve been selected to participate in the NFA Career and Artistic Development Committee Mini-Conference, where I will be presenting Music Strong as my business and being mentored by great people in the flute world: Eva Amsler, Alberto Almaraz, Stephanie Jutt, Laura Barron,  and Jill Felber – so I’ve been getting those materials together, too.  In addition, I will hopefully be assisting Flute Specialists at their booth at NFA.  So it’s going to be a BUSY convention!  Oh, and did I mention my birthday is the 12th?  Right in the middle of the convention – not a bad present. 🙂
  • I’ve been promoting Music Strong like crazy and have gotten a lot of work done!  We now have T-shirts for sale!! You can order them on the Music Strong website .  I’ve also gotten new business cards, been sending out announcements for my NFA presentations, and I’ve launched the PC Beach Boot camp!  We’re having a great time so far and if you’re interested in coming, we welcome all age and ability levels – you can tailor the class to your needs and what you can do.  We meet every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 5:30 at the PC Beach Pier Public Access.  And speaking of promotion, you might find some “Groupon” type deals for me in the Panama City newspaper, soon – they’re launching something called “Deal of the Day” and I plan to be a part of it!  So be on the lookout for that!

Ok, are you tired reading all this?  I am! So to finish up, I’d just like to let you all know that I WILL be posting soon, and I fully intend to do a NFA recap.

In the meantime, I’d like to wax poetic about my bike for a minute.

Why do I like it?  This thought has come to me more than once while riding and that is, I like it for the challenge. The mental challenge.  More often than not it’s not the physical challenge that is what is a struggle, it’s that it’s a mental challenge.  When you ride on a stationary bike, you can get off any time.  You can cite any excuse you like just to get off and quit.  When you ride a bike in the great out doors, you log a lot of miles and suddenly, you are in the middle of nowhere with no choice but to ride back.  Sure, you can get off and quit, but no one will come pick you up, you’ll have walk back, and who wants to do that when you’ve got a perfectly good bike?

My boot camp class is the same way, in a way: you can “get off” and quit at any point.  But you won’t.  Why? Because you’re there with a lot of other people and THEY aren’t quitting, and you don’t want to be seen as a quitter, right?  So you end up going farther, going harder, pushing yourself beyond where you THOUGHT you could go and that makes you stronger and can boost your confidence in a way you didn’t think was possible.  With every class I get sore and then I get stronger, physically AND mentally, and so do my “campers”.  With every ride, I can go longer, my cardiovascular endurance increases and my mental toughness increases because no matter how far back it is, no matter how hard the wind is blowing in my face and making it a struggle to go forward – I don’t have a choice, I HAVE to keep going.  Besides the fact that the scenery changes, THAT is why I love bike riding (and boot camp class).
So I hope to see you all at my class on Tuesday.  It really is a fun experience and who doesn’t love that feeling of accomplishing more than you thought possible?

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