This past weekend I joined a bunch of former high school band-mates and my middle-school band director down in Connecticut and played along with a group called “In Deep” on a handful of tunes. We jammed away to the brassy parts of 25 or 6 to 4 by Chicago; Brick House; Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder and a few others. For the most part it was great to play and fun to see other musicians again aside from the ones I see at my job for 30 minutes a day of playing. I do wish it had been more of the laid back jam session I was anticipating and less of a strict Set Of Songs concert that it ended up being. Yet fun was had.
Something I noticed with playing Saturday night, which I feels ties in strongly to my reduced appearances of late at the swimming pool, is that my lungs don’t have as much hot air to blow through the instrument as they did just a couple weeks ago. Just goes to push a bit more light onto a previous thought of mine that swimming laps twice a week really has been improving my fitness levels – as seen in the levels of breath I have available for tooting my little silver horn. My stamina for long notes or long “licks” definitely sees an increase in weeks that I’ve been swimming more consistently; even though my size remains pretty much the same.
At any rate; certainly not an epiphany moment of any self-important sort; more of a clinching of a few ideas that I’ve been having regarding the relationship/correlation between the strength of my musical ventures and the commitment to my extra-curricular (so to speak) physical activity levels.
Yet, no one looking at me playing, aside from perhaps those who hear me every day, would be able to tell at a simple glance or few note-listen if I’ve had a two-swim session week or a few week stint of swimming lap-lessness. No one can look and KNOW any one person’s personal activity levels. No one has a right to judge another for what perceived lack (or over-abundance) of physical activity another person seems to have. Each person is their own best judge of what their body needs and what they are comfortable and happiest and able to provide in the way of activity. Each Individual. Not me, except for myself; not you, except for yourself.
I know by the feel of my airflow and the strength of my arms when I play that jazzy horn just where my own personal level of fitness is falling. I have been learning how it feels when I am less fit than I could be and when I am more fit than usual. Yet something that bears repeating is that there is no moral obligation for me to remain on either side of my own personal fitness or health spectrum. I’m not a fat woman advocating that you choose to “Remain Fat” and therefore deny all possible physical adventures. Nor am I a fat woman declaring that you must Be Healthy (in all the stereotypical diet-minding meanings of the word) to prove your worth to the world despite your size.
What I am thinking and trying to get across in a rambling way here is just that: I am the only truly good mental keeper of my own level of fitness. I am my own best judge for my level of health. Only I know when I am full of just enough hot air to play my trumpet the way I want to play. Just as you are YOUR own best judge of your level of health on your own personal fitness spectrum. Anyone that tries to tell you otherwise is likely trying to sell something.