I love to run. I try to run 2-3 miles at least 2-4 times per week. It helps me maintain my energy level, my optimism, my weight, and it even keeps my body’s chemistry in balance. Musically speaking, running improves my stamina, my phrase lengths, and my confidence. Running makes me a better person and a better flutist. I love it!
A few weeks ago, I took a break from practicing, tied up my running shoes, and told my husband I’ll be back in 25 minutes. I had a fantastic run! The air was just right. The temperature was just right. The birds were singing. And when I returned home, my “runner’s high” (endorphins, etc.) was about as high as it could get. After some nice stretches and a glass of water, a thought occurred to me: let’s try to practice right away. So, I ran upstairs, picked my flute back up and, BAM!, biggest sound of my life, amazing full-of-life phrases, and an almost aggressive (but still beautiful) style. I was on top of the world.
After only about a half hour, when I thought I was going to pass out, I put my flute away and starting thinking about what just happened. Well, for starters, I had all of that positive energy still surging through me from my “runner’s high” (it’s a real thing). Second, my heart was still working a little harder than normal, but my lungs were still feeling uninhibited and huge, and sucking in every last bit of air in the room with every breath. Lastly, after pounding pavement for nearly 30 minutes, I was still feeling quite athletic and applied (transferred?) that bit of power and motivation toward my flute. So, combine those three elements, and you become a pretty amazing, powerful flutist.
My goal is to remember how all of this felt and put it to work every time I put my flute to my mouth. I mean, what a sound!!! I want to play like that all the time (musically appropriate, of course). I will probably run this experiment a few more times to help remind myself. Not only did it give me unlimited confidence and a huge golden tone, but it was thrilling for me. I loved what I was doing beyond all measure. I want that every time I play!