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Why training is like playing a musical instrument.

How on earth can you possibly link the two?

So one day you decide to learn to play a musical instrument like the piano or a guitar. Let’s be honest for an extended period of time right at the beginning it sounds bloody awful. What’s actually happening is that you are learning all the possible combinations of how not to play. 

This is the same as your first training sessions. It’s awkward, doesn’t feel right,  bloody uncomfortable and sometimes you wish you never started.

Over time as you’ve discovered most of the ways how not to play the guitar or piano you begin to narrow down the possible combinations of playing well and you actually start to sound ok. Maybe your family or friends will have stopped complaining and commented that you sound much better. 

Again once you get into the rhythm of training you’ve become accustomed to how to avoid the training mistakes and you begin to enjoy training for its own sake. People may comment on how much better you look or how much more active you’ve become.

This stage can have its own challenges as you’ve been learning to play for a while now and you’ve almost made it but boredom or distraction kicks in. This is where most people eventually give up. Afterwards they always say they wish they would have carried on and it’s the same with your training. It’s important at this stage to plough on, take mini-breaks to keep things fresh and your enthusiasm going.

So what happens when you eventually master the instrument?  It has been said  that when you really know how to play that it’s not the notes themselves that matter but the spaces and pauses and gaps in between. This gives the music the gravitas and feeling  and is where people can really appreciate the skill and talent of a musician.

Here again there is a similarity to training, over years of consistent effort and advancement it could be said that it’s knowing more about when not to train rather than the training itself that becomes the fine art.  You never advance when in the gym or in the road but the days following when your body learns to adapt. The most skilled athletes recognise this and will instinctively know when it’s time to push on but also when it’s time to let your body do its thing.

Learning to play an instrument like training is a lifetime’s journey and as every good musician will tell you they is always something more to learn and refine. 




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