Archive for May, 2010

MUSIC: The Big Reveal

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

If you’re a fan of HGTV and its home decorating shows, then you know that all episodes end with “The Big Reveal.”  The new space is unveiled in all its new glory, and often tears and multiple cries of “Oh My GOD” fill the air.

In the world of marching band, we have our own big reveal.  In seriously competitive groups, there is always much anticipation about what the band’s show will be the next season.  What will the music be?  What is the show’s theme or concept?  For students (and their parents) who will be spending hour upon hour (and much money, blood, sweat, and often tears) working on a band show, this is an important bit of information.

All bands reveal their new show in different ways, but many will make this unveiling into a major event.  This often happens at a Spring Marching Camp when the students get together, add in the new members from the middle school, and begin to work on marching technique and playing skills with an eye on the Fall.

I have seen bands turn out the lights in the bandroom, then dramatically blast the music over the speakers.  Sometimes show shirts are handed out (THAT requires a lot of planning!) and often the music will be handed out and the students get their first chance to play the show.

I used to unveal the show music and theme at my Spring Band Banquet, sometimes even having the guard captain appear in the guard uniform for the next season!  Drama and flair are a plus when making this moment memorable!

All of this may seem a bit “overblown,” but I do think it is always good to create excitement about the marching band.  It gets the community talking, and often encourages new students to stay in the band and participate in the Fall.  An exciting show and concept, and music that makes a great first impression, can really keep students engaged and on task for the Fall.  Make your “big reveal” something that will build momentum towards your best Fall ever!

FITNESS: Forced Rest

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

Workouts and exercise can be addicting, and many hardcore gym rats and bodybuilders have a hard time taking time off.  It is completely logical that your body needs time to recover from workouts, so it also stands to reason that looking at the BIG picture, your body would need some significant rest from time to time.

Professional athletes always give their body a rest from time to time.  Serious bodybuilders will often take a few weeks off from the gym after major competitions to allow their body to rest and recover, and to allow their mind to rest and “reboot” also.

However, those of us who don’t compete and are just serious enthusiasts or lifters often fail to take these rest periods.  Workouts are addicting and we can get a bit obsessive about things.

It also follows that often these rest periods are forced upon us.  Case in point: I just strained my back in the gym during a set of squats.  I am now taking a rest from the gym to let the back recover.   It’s not a serious injury, just a muscle strain, but it’s enough to keep me from going in and lifting.  This rest may just be a few more days, or it could be another week.  Time will tell.

Looking back, I should have seen this coming.  I’ve just been through months of serious training and heavy lifting.  Even the occasional “light day” in the gym often turned into a regular heavy day.  It’s just so much fun to move a lot of weight when you’re doing well and have a good workout partner at your side.

But my systems were off.  I was not stretching as much as usual, was under extra stress outside the gym, was not finding time for my regular cardio…. you get the idea.  And then this strain took care of these issues and forced me to get the rest I likely needed.

So if you find yourself forced into rest, don’t beat yourself up, but accept the “upside” of the situation and embrace the rest period.  Also take this moment to re-evaluate your life systems and see what you need to change….or get back to doing…that will help you resume your workouts in a better way and more “in balance.”  You’ll be back in the gym and enjoying your workouts again very soon.