Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day 1: Introduction

So it starts here.  It's a great feeling to finally put words down on something that I've been desiring to start for quite some time (almost a year).  Last summer, a few friends and PSU fans suggested to me that I should put together a blog about what I do to prepare for the marching season with the Blue Band.  At the time, I thought it was a great idea, but in the end I decided that focusing on myself was more important - I didn't want any distractions before/during my first season.  I didn't want any hype, any promises, or any more attention; I hadn't even taken the field for the first time. I didn't feel that it was right.  My only concern was to "do my job" and have a successful season, which it was.  Fast-forward eighteen flips and twelve months later and here I am.  As odd as it may sound, I'm not writing this for others; I'm doing it for myself.  I'm also not writing this solely to talk about what I do as the Drum Major of the Blue Band.  This serves a higher purpose, it's a way to sort out my thoughts, and a way to hold myself accountable to Improve. Every. Day., the phrase that I have really taken to heart since I came back to the Poconos after my sixth semester at Penn State.  I felt like my life became stagnant, I wasn't moving forward.  I'm nearing my twenty-first birthday, and aside from all of the social hoopla that comes with it as with any college-going person, thinking about that age just served as a massive wake-up call.  I periodically read other people's blogs and when I see other people making strides in their life and being successful, or something as simple as handling a bad day in a good way, I get some kind of inspiration from it - but then again, I'm not writing this to do the same for others.  I'm going to write in here every day (that I'm able to), and the hope is that I've made progress with something.  Who knows, maybe someday I'll want to reflect on things that I've accomplished, and the best way to relive it would be to read my thoughts and interpret my emotions.  Quite the long winded introduction, but I always feel that if a writer's exigence is justified, a potential reader can connect with the writing on a deeper level.  So here we go... if anyone has read this far, I'm glad you're along for the ride.

June 11, 2011

59 days - Blue Band Officer Week
66 days - Blue Band Marching Auditions/Band Camp Begins
84 days - Penn State vs. Indiana State

I'll forewarn you - this is going to be a lengthy post, I'm feeling talkative.  So here's the starting point - looking ahead and planning things out. One of my favorite quotes comes from former University of Massachusetts band director George N. Parks who passed away last fall: "If you fail to plan, plan to fail."  I'm a fan of seeing my progress, so I make to-do lists.  Well, my to-do list this summer has made like ivy and is near-smothering.  To put it into perspective, between now and August 9th, I have thirteen check-boxes left unchecked, as opposed to eight check-boxes checked.  Tack on a part-time job working at a local amusement park, teaching private music lessons (given that more students register), and the job of writing the drill for the Wallenpaupack Area High School Marching Band's fall field show, time is scarce.  Some of my other check-boxes read: "Frame posters for apt.", "Learn cover songs for PD", "Sell Ampeg 8x10", buy 4x10"", "Rake the rest of leaves", "Look for scholarships", "Prepare PSU fundamentals", "Prepare WAHS fundamentals", "Clean out front room"... just to name a few.  They're all unrelated things, they're all time-consuming, and they're all like ticking time bombs set to go off in 59 days, and I'm the only guy from the bomb squad who decided to show up.

I'm quite happy with today.  I got extra sleep on account of the rainy weather, there's no way yardwork was going to be done, which was my original plan.  I spent most of the morning and early afternoon playing bass, since I'm working towards joining a cover band this fall.  I used to play bass and sing in bands when I was much younger (search "The Great Digression" on YouTube).  The band (which I won't directly name because I'm not officially in yet) is in need of a bassist/backup vocalist, so I have a list of dozens and dozens of popular tunes that I have to learn by the time I get back to State College.  From what I'm aware of, they play at Darkhorse, Cafe 210, and possibly the Phyrst. Surprisingly, they make decent money, which I have a feeling I'm going to need a substantial amount of this fall... anyway, I made great progress on a few tunes in a short amount of time. 

I cleaned up around my room and listened to the Red Sox game this afternoon before heading out to the gym at 4.  I'm an absolute fitness fanatic, but, I kind of have to be in order to have a successful season.  I'm trying to essentially reinvent myself, which I have already, going from 130lbs to almost 170lbs in about 28 months.  There's nothing better than breaking past PRs (personal records), whether that's lifting or cardio.  Today I set a cardio PR on the elliptical - I judge my effort based on the calorie count and the average watt output - and I managed to burn 1069 calories in an hour, averaging 277 watts, which a year ago would have seemed completely insane to me, so it's a great feeling.

I came home after stretching and relaxing in the sauna and hot tub that are at my community center (part of my daily routine, and quite honestly my favorite part about home).  I watched the Belmont Stakes, and then started working on designing this page and getting it ready for the first post.  I finished early enough and I was awake enough that I decided to post something tonight.

I'd say today was quite productive... hopefully it's the first of many productive days.  In the future these will be more entertaining... I'm completely drained at this point - I'll be out as soon as my head hits the pillow.  Plenty more for other days - tomorrow is looming.

Thanks for reading.
Comments are welcome - don't be too harsh. ("Do unto others as you would want... etc, etc)

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