Taking control

My life has been spiraling into the panic zone. Work is piling up, sleep is a rare commodity and my son’s going through some tough stuff with his dad, to boot. It doesn’t help that good old manic Iowa went from 51 degrees Saturday to about degrees Sunday overnight. It’s so cold it hurts to breathe, and that’s when I feel like even a dog walk is torture.

I grew up here. What’s the matta with me?

Blame it on my thyroid disease, bad circulation, old age–whatever. I’m a cold wimp. Less outdoor exercise means I have to get to the gym. Sometimes I just don’t have enough minutes in the day, but today I got there.

This morning I finally took the “bull by the horns” and started practicing my music for Carnegie Hall. Say that again? Yep, Carnegie. Ensemble Peripherie and I will be performing there next October. We have a “practice run” tour in March, and I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to look at the pile of new music that we will be playing. We’re talking fresh off the press new; great works by young, living American composers. Stay tuned for further updates on how you–yes, you!–can help me get to Carnegie Hall. It’s not all practice; I need a bit of funding help to get my soon-to-be-repaired cello and myself on the plane to Manhattan.

I may have scared the plumber who was replacing the trap under my kitchen sink drain this morning with the non-traditional sounds coming out of my cello. She (I use an awesome all-female plumbing company called “Beaday Plumbing”) was adding to the cacophony with a saw and running water. We were in perfect harmony.

After applying myself to my cello and teaching my two dedicated adult students, I was tired and hungry but still made it to the gym. I was thrilled that my legs felt really good on the bike, and then I just took off. Here’s a huge plug for Expresso bikes (and they don’t endorse me.) They make indoor riding fun with little videos. The rider has to break, shift gears and steer so texting or talking while riding just isn’t going to happen, like on a real ride. Expresso offers a pacer (that you can control the speed on) and also your own “ghost” from a previous ride. Today I smoked my ghost by more than 6 minutes. This never happens! I think smoke was coming out of the back wheel. Really, I just felt stronger, my ankle felt great, and I had a lot of stress to burn out.

And the rest of the day has been a happy endorphin-enhanced dream. I was patient with my high school cello students and bought a t-bone to share with my son after his dance class tonight.

Little by little, one issue at a time, I will take control and conquer my stress. Thank you bike and thank you cello-time today.



8 Replies to “Taking control”

    1. Hang in there. We’ll be back on the road in a few months! With some good gear and determination…thanks for writing for women, Ashley! You have an adorable dog. Rose (my dog) thinks biking stinks and running rocks. Guess why?

      1. Just a little longer, I can do it! =)

        And thanks! Yes, his big goofy ears make hearts melt. But I’m jealous–Rose looks so cuddly! If I tried to sleep like that with my dog, he’d run away in a huff.

        And I give up…why? I need to know!

      2. Rose gets to run but gets left behind on bike rides. 🙂 She actually gets excited when I start lacing up, but if I get my bike helmet she goes on the couch and lets out a big sigh. Right now since it’s all indoor at the gym she’s pretty disappointed daily, but we got a good run in outside when we had a warm front last week! Poor thing. I need a doggie dreadmill.

      3. *face palm* yea that makes sense. I tried to take my dog with me biking once. He darted, with me still attached, and dragged me to the ground. It wasn’t pretty =) … or fun.

  1. Hi, Amy! Remember me? I am still playing my cello and getting better. You would be proud of me! I can relate to the stress you are under. I took a new job as an elementary principal at the Catholic school in town here. I am not sure what I expected, but what I have is more than I ever thought I would have to deal with. I can relate to the stress you are under! I like your resolve! It’s inspiring. Good luck!

    1. I hope your job is fulfilling in many ways, even if challenging. I’m sure you’re good at it! Exercise really helps me to combat any negativity that creeps into my day–even a half-hour walk outside. Paul and I are loving some easy yoga once a week, too. Take care!

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