While fitness makes up a good portion of my interests today, that hasn’t always been the case. I’ve touched on me being a music major before only briefly, but it’s a big part of my past. I went on a pretty cathartic walk this weekend in my favorite forest preserve and it got me thinking: music and fitness aren’t all that different. If I want to reach my goals, I just have to use similar tactics.
There were many parallels I found between singing and exercise. There were physical limitations to both. I could only sing so many hours in a day before my voice gave out and I could only workout for so long until the work became more detrimental. Both rely on rhythm for success whether it be the cadence of your run, the tempo at which you’re lifting weights or beats in the music that allow the singer to convey a specific emotion. The most important similarity between them to me is that you get out what you put in.
I’m here to drop a truth bomb: if you workout regularly and you eat right, you’re going to see results. Yes, there are exceptions to every rule and you may think you are one, but before you go telling me I’m wrong tell me you have actually adhered to every single guideline placed in front of you and never strayed. The unfortunate fact of it all is that we’re human and this isn’t the easiest thing to do, but fitness, like studying music, thrives on consistency. If you practice your scales everyday, you will eventually nail them. It just takes time and patience. The more you practice and work towards your goals, the better you’ll get.
It’s just that time and patience thing that gets us when we’re talking about fitness. We want it now. We want to be better, be stronger, be faster, be fitter, but we’re not willing to put our time in to do it. A great pianist does not get to be great by sitting down at the keyboard three times a week and only playing the easy pieces. Just as the professional bodybuilder does not get in shape by working out occasionally while eating the cheapest, fastest food available to them.
This isn’t something new. It’s just fact. In college, they used to harp on us “practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect”. And you know what? They weren’t wrong. Focus on your form when you’re working out to make sure you’re doing things the right way that are going to benefit you the most. Do your research.
But they “perfect practice” people weren’t entirely right. You have to play those wrong notes and have those kind of sucky workouts to know what to change to get better. We learn from our failures and the quickest way to find out how to do something right, is *spoiler alert* to do it wrong first. Don’t be afraid to fail or to try new things. If every musician who ever missed a note quit after, we’d live in a pretty silent world. And if no one tried new things with composition, there’d be a lot more organ music around and a little less Britney Spears.
So, my main take aways from what my walk taught me. Whether it be singing, fitness, or something else entirely: you get out what you put in. Work for what you want. You can never really get it unless you try.