Be Tough

Sometimes I write blogs as if I can see sunshine and rainbows in any situation but the truth is sometimes the road gets rough and I have to just be tough to get through it.

Sometimes things just sort of suck. Not many things are as easy as sitting on the couch and watching Netflix.

I backpack a lot and the image of an outdoorsman usually includes some kind of communion with nature. But I hate bugs. I don’t like them in my face on the trail, in my tent at night, or buzzing around the “facilities”.

I once woke up in the middle of the night to find a skunk rooting around in my pack. At no time during the hour I spent trying to ward it off (from a safe distance) did I think “Wow, what a magnificent creature of nature!”

I almost never enjoy hiking uphill for an extended period of time. I have been in the middle of a 3,000ft climb and actually felt like I would be sick if I had to continue uphill any longer.

If I want to enjoy the whole activity of hiking, sometimes I just have to deal with things. But it isn’t about just dealing with it or putting up with it. Its about developing an ability to tolerate the less-than-pleasant stuff so that the bad doesn’t overpower the good. I have hiked with many people for whom the bad bothered them so much that they missed all the amazing experiences of hiking.

It is the same with music. Playing a tricky passage 100 times in a dark practice room is not necessarily my idea of a good time. But I have developed a tolerance level for detailed work that prevents the madness from overshadowing the joy of music making.

And I did not develop that tolerance by letting myself become frustrated and disenchanted with these less-than-fun activities. I have certainly had my fair share of frustration but I think I got tough by not letting it get me down. I can’t prevent my need to practice technique any more than I can prevent bugs from buzzing around my head on the trail. Since I can’t do anything about it, I might as well find a way to deal with it.

So rather than complain about it, get frustrated with it, and become disenchanted, just be tough! It makes things far more enjoyable.

(Featured image from zimbio.com)

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