MARION — Growing up, I was a faithful three-sport athlete, participating in soccer, baseball and basketball.
But now, I don’t play any of these sports.
I loved the sense of community I got from working hard with my teammates. But sports weren’t the best fit for me.
My severe lack in coordination and “good feel for interpretation” led me away from sports and into music.
Sports remain a passion, but I felt more able to push myself in music.
Sports and music intersected when I was in fifth grade. At that time, I had a firm distaste for musical extracurriculars. I assumed the Marion district’s musical program had shown me all it had to offer in elementary school. By third grade, I was convinced it would never take me passed “You Are My Sunshine.”
I didn’t know I could put my all in it.
Sports, on the other hand, yielded a strong sense of accomplishment. And, up until fifth grade, that feeling was easily earned. I thought if I didn’t practice but put it all out there once the game started, I would do good enough.
I then discovered the line between good enough and good becomes more defined in fifth grade.
My peers were able to run faster, throw/kick farther and react quicker. This made it hard to enjoy the sport.
So, when the middle school introduced band to fifth-graders, I was more than happy to jump the sports ship. I told myself it just wasn’t my thing, and that was the only reason I didn’t get the results I wanted.
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As it turned out, that mentality doesn’t work in music either. Where my teammates outdid me physically, my bandmates outperformed me by playing higher and faster than I could.
I was stumped.
Having never taken the time to practice on my own, I was oblivious to the benefits. I contented myself with stagnation until I somehow got a solo in sixth grade. I didn’t have a section to hide behind. I would be exposed to the band and later an audience.
I had to get good.
So, I practiced. It was hard. To a sixth-grader, the lack of instant gratification made it futile. It was a fruitless effort until I played again. Miraculously, I sounded appreciably better.
This encouraged me to actually delve into music.
Through the past four years, I have noticed many similarities in the disciplines of sports and music. Show choir requires coordination just as soccer does. Marching band and baseball force you to endure the elements.
Most importantly, all of these passions require practice to have appreciable effects.
I got what I gave.