1) THERE IS ALWAYS GOING TO BE SOMEONE ‘FITTER’ THAN YOU. Whether in the gym or in the world of music, no matter how far you go, no matter how fast, no matter how hard, there will ALWAYS be someone ahead of you. Best not assume you know anything about their life and how awesome it must be. Best, if you must, see them as an inspiration to keep you going. But go your own way. You are not doing this to be like somebody else. If you are, get ready for disappointment.
2) THERE WILL ALWAYS BE SOMEONE ‘WEAKER’ THAN YOU. There will always be someone behind your pace, either struggling, or perfectly content to be doing less. Do not look down on them as weak or as amateur. You know nothing of their path, nor of their goals. Maybe they are rehabbing from some accident, maybe they are already ten times stronger than when they started. You don’t know. This is not a race. If they catch you staring, smile at them in a way that implies congratulations, inclusiveness and encouragement, because… It is the same with someone who can only play three chords and sing off key. That song they’re singing may be keeping them afloat through a difficult part of life. Good for them for singing it.
3) EVERYONE IS IN IT TO BETTER THEMSELVES IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER. If someone has managed to get off their couch and get their bodies into a gym, to me that already seems miraculous. The same can be said for anyone who has managed to write a song, book a show, stand on a stage of any kind and share it with others. Both are acts of faith, courage, hard work, and wanting to improve as people. Hooray for everyone. That being said…
4) NOT EVERYONE IS IN IT FOR THE RIGHT REASONS. Amid the sweating health, skill and enlightenment seekers, there will always be posers. There will always be people more concerned with their fashion, who they are impressing, and what kind of attention they can get. That is not what fitness, nor what music is about. Attention is a by-product not a goal. It’s ok to enjoy it.. but you know exactly who I’m talking about. The ones who don’t actually care at all about what they say they care about. Pay little attention to those people. Don’t judge the people who do pay attention to those people. Don’t be those people.
5) THERE ARE SPORADIC GO-GETTERS AND DISCIPLINED LONG-HAULERS. It is easy to pursue anything passionately if you devote yourself for a short amount of time. The real deal is found in the ones who have come to realize their life is really not manageable without it. The ones who have managed to strike a balance and pace that allows them to stick to it so their heart, mind, soul and body are working to support each other in a substantial and long-lasting way. But hey, hooray for the sporadic go-getters too. (See #3)
6) THERE ARE THE ONE-TRACK ENTHUSIASTS, AND THE MORE GLOBAL SEEKERS. You might just be obsessed with heavy metal and with abs of steel, you might only love to zumba your ass off and listen to “world music”, or you might be the type to want as many styles and skills as possible. One is not better than the other. The age-old debate over perfecting one thing versus building multiple strengths in a less focused manner, has still never been answered. In general, though, in both fitness and music, being open to more than one aspect tends to strengthen other aspects. And trying new things is fun.
7) YOU CAN FLEX YOUR HARDEST AND ‘KILL IT’ – OR YOU CAN GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS. With every exercise I have tried, there is a way to do just the motions so you can keep going in class and look like everything’s ok, and then there’s a way to do the motions and engage every muscle in your body to do so. The same goes with musical performance. What’s certain: The more engaged you are, the more results you’ll see.
8) THERE IS ASTOUNDING AND WONDERFUL DIVERSITY – Fitness and music can be achieved and practiced by folks of all, shapes, sizes, and backgrounds and seeing this healthy diversity every day is inspiring and beautiful to behold. Though I haven’t tried singing with the other ladies in the therapeutic whirlpool yet, I bet you the acoustics for harmonies are great!
9) FITNESS INSTRUCTORS HAVE TO PROMOTE THEMSELVES TO CREATE A FOLLOWING, EVEN DIGITALLY, JUST LIKE MUSICIANS! This actually surprised me, but fitness instructors, yoga teachers, etc., have to promote themselves and create a following in order to get more teaching gigs. Makes sense, but I never thought about it before. Many of them have facebook pages, and have to go through the similar awkward rigmarole of asking people to like their page. Yuck, but on the other hand, why not? Respect your instructor and the work and discipline they’ve put into making it as far as they have. If you like their classes, tell people about them, including their employers. Respect your musicians similarly. Spread the word!
10) THERE ARE NO RULES, (OTHER THAN BASIC HUMAN CONDUCT TOWARD OTHERS). WHETHER FITNESS OR MUSIC, SET YOUR OWN REASONABLE GOALS, DO IT BECAUSE IT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD, FIND YOUR OWN RHYTHM, SET YOUR OWN PACE, AND GO! WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??? IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO START, AND THERE IS NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT!
PS - there are many more possible points of comparison.... but nobody seems to like reading more than 10 things these days... ;)