Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Bell-Ringing and Running and Their Relationship to Mood

It feels weird not to blog everyday. But I figured you people deserved a rest. I mean, you have lives to lead.

I'd like to share and reflect on some recent happenings at NBTR headquarters:

1. Last week I made a pretty bad mistake which left me in the depths of despair and crawling on my belly like a worm.

2. Saturday, I ran 10 miles. I walked a lot of it, so I don't have any idea how I ended up with a time of 1:57. I had to get 10 miles in because of the POSSIBILITY that was still just a POSSIBILITY that I would be running a half marathon on dec. 9.

3. If I just run slower, won't that stop me from walking?? I remember my first 10-miler, the Cherry Blossom, in 2006, the first time I'd ever run 10 miles ever, and I did that without walking. And I remember telling myself that all I had to do was slow down if I got tired. SO WHY DO I HAVE TO WALK NOW???

4. During my 10-miler, I tried out the Timex Ironman iControl for iPod watch—with the iPod—that was sent for me to review. I'm pretty sure the Timex/iPod people don't want me to review it—yet. Because if I reviewed it now? It would not be a good review.

5. After making my e-mail mistake last week, I was pretty miserable, but seeing David & Co. helped. A lot. Friends are good. Especially when they make you believe you are not the heartless bitch you think you are.

6. But of course I've been replaying my error over and over again, cuz I hear that's great for one's mental health.

7. Sunday night my bell choir was part of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, a big extravaganza at our church involving all our exceptionally good choirs. The "house" was packed.

8. We had three pieces to play. The first one went OK; we played it on our own. For the second piece, we accompanied the Little Boys and Girls choir. We had rehearsed the start with them—the start being the crucial part—once about 15 min before showtime. The first two notes were mine and mine alone. Which, ok, I admit, made me a little NERVOUS. Like I'm not the calmest person on the planet to begin with. I had to watch the choir director from across the room for my cue. I watched. Saw her mouth "Three, four," give a nod of the head and I was off and running, with the rest of the bell choir "chiming" (get it?) in after my start.

Here's the thing about playing bells: It's really easy to lose your place. Plus, you kind of have to keep counting the beats per measure to know when to play your notes. Plus, it's not like you can take the bells home to practice. I practice a lot with spoons. Or pencils. At work. Behind the walls of my glass office. (Paint that mental picture.)

So it's not so easy to watch a conductor from across the room and glance up and down at your music. (Well, I'm sure it's quite easy for someone who KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING.)

I thought something sounded off after the first four measures, but I kept going, until around the 8th measure or so when I got a poke in the ribs from the bell-ringer to my right and a whisper to "look up." I looked up and the choir director had STOPPED. We were re-starting. IN FRONT OF EVERYONE.

Well, of course we were. I had screwed it up. I knew that with the certainty that I know my own name. The Little Boys and Girls Choir had NOT screwed anything up. No, it was the great big NBTR (Run, Ring, choose your verb. Must start with "R" though).

Let me ask you: How many concerts have you been to where the choir had to start a piece again??????!!!!

Right.

There was nothing for it but to start again. So I did. As with most trauma victims, I have no memory of what happened after that. I do remember sitting down afterwards, doing some yoga breathing, trying to figure out how to tell our bell choir director that very obviously I was not improving, getting worse if that were possible, blah blah, I SHOULD QUIT, better for everyone, etc., and how to say it without sounding pathetic and whiney.

I was back in despair mode, coupled with the horrifying sense that I had done something so awful it was beyond words, when a miracle happened.

Our bell director, who was sitting next to me after the debacle, leaned over and said, "That little mix up? That was not your fault. It was because of blah blah blah."

9. Euphoria!!! Not my fault!!! Don't care what happened, it wasn't me!!! Want to kiss bell director. Restrain self.

10. Had been trying to find a replacement bell-ringer for Sunday, Dec. 9, so I could run the Blue/Gray Half-Marathon with David and Susie. Called a million (or several) potential replacements, left messages, no go. Monday night I came home from bell practice to a message that a bell-ringer from another choir would be happy to substitute for me.

11. Yay!!! Now can run 1/2 marathon on Sunday!!!

12. Oh shit. Now have to run 1/2 marathon on Sunday.

13. Bell-ringing is a lot like running. I'm not so good at it, it makes me a nervous wreck, it requires practice, there's lots of numbers involved, they both use the word "tempo" and you can't (usually) stop until you are finished.

14. It's a short ride from despair to euphoria.

10 comments:

Bex said...

oh, my god, I'm exhausted just reading this post?! :-) Yay that you found someone to sub for you in bell choir and that you get to run the half with susie and david. What was the dust-up at work about? EM me.

Juls said...

I'll agree with Bex. I'm exhausted. This is why you should blog everyday. You have soooo much built up words. Hahaha!

Best of luck in your 1/2.

jeanne said...

you people think YOU'RE exhausted! Try being me!
:)

Rainmaker said...

I played pit in the show band in HS, many of incorrect dings and dongs were done. At least you weren't playing the trumpet or something...that's somehow worse.

But the good news out of it all is that now you get to run the half. And halfs are fun! Good luck!

21stCenturyMom said...

I know what you mean about that short ride. I go round trip several times a day sometimes. And what is SO amazing is that my mood can improve 100% when absolutly nothing has changed.

Training is SO over rated. Have fun doing your HIM.

David said...

Really - get back to everyday posting. You never write posts that long and I am worn out too but obviously everything is coming up daisies for you this week. You're that good.

Ana said...

My high school band performance was stopped after the lead drummer, who was supposed to start us all off with a short, 'tat, tata tat, tat', screwed that up. Everyone sort of guessed where they were supposed to come in, and the resulting noise was awful. After a sympathetic stop and a, "Let's try that again" from the conductor, he restarted us. Then the drummer drummed as originally planned and all was well. It happens. No one really cared.

Anne said...

I've been on that emotional rollercoaster lately too. I think the half marathon will do you good. There are no bells to ring or technology to torture you, just miles to process.

Vickie said...

What an exciting life you lead! Good luck on the 1/2 Sunday!

monicac2 said...

This?

"There was nothing for it but to start again. So I did. As with most trauma victims, I have no memory of what happened after that. I do remember sitting down afterwards, doing some yoga breathing, trying to figure out how to tell our bell choir director that very obviously I was not improving, getting worse if that were possible, blah blah, I SHOULD QUIT, better for everyone, etc., and how to say it without sounding pathetic and whiney."

HILARIOUS!!! I'm so glad it turned out fine!! But .. so funny! :)