This week I did something very silly. In fact, I did a whole string of silly things that led me to be in a whole world of pain yesterday.
I've started playing bass clarinet and I'm on a mission right now (I will tell you more about that closer to the event). I've been playing the bass for a little over 2 weeks now and progress has been awesome.
I've been working on bass for about 3 hours every day, and an extra hour or so on Bb and A clarinet. In the first week I was still being smart so I got 3 massages during the week. The bass is very big and heavy and my body isn't used to it at all. High notes are still a challenge and I've been playing scales and "over the break" exercises more than I'd like to.
Yes yes, my ego came into play big time: "So, you're a professional clarinettist huh? How come you can only practise mega basic stuff on the bass?" I would reply back: "Well, as professional clarinetist you know that the basics are super important, you can't just skip them, it takes work". Ego: "Well you must really suck since you can't even play the high notes yet". Me: "Shut up, I need to practise". Ego: "Yeah, like that will help"
Then my creative side would take over again and I'd actually enjoy being a student again. For me this is the basic mindset of being a teacher: remember that in so many areas in your life you are going to remain a student forever (ego hates that one, hehe).
So in week two my control freak made an appearance: "So yeah, you had a massage on Monday already, who has 3 massages a week anyway? Are you a little princess or something?". Me: "We are doing a lot of hard work and we need to take care of our body." Control freak: "You'd be better off doing more practise, you don't have time today and you need to go pick up your kids from school."
One of the silly choices I made was to not get that 2nd massage as I could feel my left shoulder starting to protest. Of course I also had a little sniffle going on that made me feel a lot weaker and short of breath (hindsight is awesome isn't it!!). I tried to reason with my body that we'd get a massage on Friday.
Enter Thursday night (aka the night after my body had requested a massage). Blinding shoulder pain, nice (NOT). My body said: "CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?"
I said: "well, no need to be so dramatic with the blinding pain and all.... would you like a salt bath body?" Body: "YES BUT I'M STILL MAD" Me: "I'm sorry."
On Friday morning it hurt to breathe. My body had been sending me subtle clues throughout the week but being totally engrossed in my mission, being backed up by ego and control freak I didn't listen......
I now clearly see that this old model does not work for me anymore. Yesterday I made peace with my body (or at the very least we are far along in our peace talks). I took care of her with an oil massage and gua sha (scraping) treatment. Then we enjoyed infrared warmth together and it became very obvious to me: take care of yourself first. Always.
Especially in physically demanding jobs and as moms (or those who are deliciously mad enough to combine the two). There is a balance between giving up too early at the sign of a minor ache and the wisdom of feeling "stop and rest, my child".
So here I am. Older and wiser yet again and maybe this lesson will stick now as you always teach what you yourself must learn.
Now go love your lives and bodies, dammit!! xoxo