Tag Archives: music

“What the frak does a number mean?”

11 Jan

For the last couple of days I’ve been having these low self esteem days. I look in the mirror and see this ginormous person staring back at me and I start to wonder how anyone would like her let alone love her. And to make matters worse, this morning I thought it would be a good idea to weigh myself. Needless to say, it wasn’t what I was expecting to see. It’s lower than my worst, but higher than I’d estimated. If I’m being honest with myself, I was devastated.

Today I tried doing things that I enjoy to take my mind of it – listening to Disney’s Frozen soundtrack, watching a few episodes of Boy Meets World, even doing an intense cardio workout (20 minute Biggest Loser workout from the ‘At Home Challenge’ DVD and a 3 mile at home walk with Leslie Sansone), but none of that really knocked me out of my funk.

Insert one of the best and most supportive friends I have! She helped me see things clearly again. Our conversation went something like this:

Her: “Do you eat healthy things, as in, you don’t gorge yourself and you eat fruits and veggies? And try not to go crazy on sugar?”

Me: “Yeah. I track everything I eat in the Myfitnessapp.”

Her: “Do you exercise, and enjoy it, in hopes of bringing your body to a better place?”

Me: “I really do.”

Her: “Do you have family, friends, and an amazing boyfriend who loves you?”

Me: “Yes.” 🙂

Her: “Then what the frak does a number mean?”

Me: “I don’t honestly know.”

Her: “Nothing, that’s what. It is more important that I feel good, and eat things I enjoy in moderation (unless they are healthy). So take a deep breath, remember that water fluctuations bump your weight +/- 2 pounds a day, and know that its more important that the shell is healthy than the actual size. Yeah, I know you know all this… but I think you could use a reminder.”

And it was at this point in the conversation when I mentioned how I felt when looking in the mirror. Her kind words overwhelmed me.

Her: “Nononononono. So, so wrong! “Ginormous” is not a word I would use to describe you. I would call it… “curvy, for better hugs”! So take it back a piece at a time — Look at that swooshy grown-up haircut! Check out the stylish, intelligent glasses! Be blinded by the million-watt smile! Have pride in giving the best hugs, because you love people just that much (and there aren’t any pointy elbows in the way, lol)! Basically…. how can anyone with a functioning brain NOT love a person who has so much love and so many smiles to give? So, just know that I think you’re awesome, and I think that other people think that too.”

Everyone needs someone like her in their corner for the hard days. And she’s right. Ginormous, defined as ‘extremely large’, is not me at all — not really, I’m more curvy like she said, always have been, but with a little more work, hopefully won’t always be.

I have a goal to run/walk the runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon this November and I know I have a long way to go for my training. But I’m discovering that training and weight loss aren’t 100% physical effort, a good portion is mental — believing you can do it, picturing that place you are striving to get to, knowing without a doubt that nothing will stand in your way. This is where I believe I struggle the most and at times I wonder if this lack of self belief will be harder to change than my physical appearance.

We all go through our ups and downs along this journey and I truly believe that we can learn from others struggles, that’s why I’m sharing this with you tonight. While this may be my personal journey to self discovery and better health, but I will never survive without my support system — my family, my friends and you, my blog family. We are all in this together.

I’ll end this tonight on an up note by sharing a song that has seen me through previous hard days and continues to offer the support I need when things get hard. I love the chorus — it reminds me that these hard days don’t define me and they won’t stop me.

You’re an overcomer
Stay in the fight ‘til the final round
You’re not going under
‘Cause God is holding you right now
You might be down for a moment
Feeling like it’s hopeless
That’s when He reminds You
That you’re an overcomer
You’re an overcomer


You know you were a band geek when…

23 Jun

Okay, I admit it, I was am a band geek. Actual, if I’m being honest, I’m a music geek! Always have been and I always will be, there’s just a way music touches my soul that nothing else can!

MusicFriday afternoon my little sister got home from babysitting and told us there were band member practicing on the football field… actually I think she may have said something more along the lines of “there’s a bunch of shirtless band guys at the high school.” So of course we (my sisters, mom and I) piled into the car to check it out!

When we got to the school… this is what we saw:



Boston Crusaders practicing

This is only the brass ensemble, the drum corps, pit and the guard were each off practicing somewhere else.

Let me be the first to introduce you to The Boston Crusaders.

They are a junior drum and bugle corps. These musicians are between the ages of 15 and 21. They had to addition to be in this group. We talked to one of the volunteers and she told us that most of the students are from the Orlando, Florida area because once they make the group, the students have to attend a music camp (camps only in select locations) one weekend every month from November – May. At these camps they work on memorizing music and marching technique. Then in May, they all move into dormitories for a few months before taking their show on the road. They travel with 4 or 5 greyhound buses, a mobile kitchen which prepares four meals a day for the 200 members, supply trucks that store the instruments and cots for the corps members (they slept in our high school gym), a merchandise truck and a truck with bunk beds so the kitchen staff can sleep on the road while they travel (they have to be up at 4AM to begin preparing meals). And in case you were wondering, it costs 2 million dollars to move them all down the road each season! They also have a nurse and physical trainer that travel with them.

Which brings us back to why they were at my old stomping grounds…their first show of the season (which started Saturday and runs through the second weekend of August) was at one of the local colleges and my high school was sponsoring them. They got here around 3:00AM Friday morning, and this was their schedule for the day:

Boston Crusaders schedule

When we got to the school it was around 4:00PM, the HOTTEST time of the day, therefore they are all out practicing in swimsuits and everyone is required to wear a hat. They also all have silver instruments and are wearing gloves, to protect the instruments or to keep their hands from burning, i don’t know.  On the sidelines were tons of HUGE water bottles and it appeared that each member was wearing a fanny pack, we guessed they might have salt tablets in them, as well as sunscreen.

Boston Crusaders practicing

The drum corps and pit (percussion instruments that can’t be marched with and remain stationary during a performance, i.e. bells, tympani drums)  were using the practice field behind the school. We watched the different groups practice the same 30 seconds – 1 minute worth of music 5 or 10 times while we were there. The directors were amazing. They could pick out obscure individual notes and rhythms of specific sections and parts. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were able to narrow it down all the way to an individual player.

We decided to go back up later in the evening for the full dress rehearsal and show run-through. It would be the first time the whole ensemble practiced together that day according to the volunteer we talked to (her son was a Boston Crusader in 2006 and ever since she volunteers a couple of weeks a summer to travel with the corps). We went back up to the school around 9:00 PM and the stadium lights were bright and glowing, and to my surprise, there were a lot of people there to watch (small community, word travels fast I guess, and it was FREE to the public!).

It was really cool watching the whole corps practice. Again, they were still spot-checking 30 seconds – 1 minute worth of music and marching drill. There were three directors sitting up in the stands with a PA system picking apart the music and the drill. Then there were 4 or 5 “coaches” out on the field marching along with the corps picking apart posture, marching steps and horn angle (was the musician holding the bell of their instrument high enough…as a trumpet player I can tell you this can tire out your back muscles QUICKLY and these poor kids had been at this all day long in the hot sun). I felt bad for the members of the corps, the directors kept telling them they needed to commit more, focus more. Honestly, I have NEVER seen a group of young musicians MORE focused in my entire life. To me, they looked pretty dang perfect. The music sounded amazing, their marching lines were clean and crisp. They all hit certain marks are the EXACT same time, EVERY time. They didn’t trip. The guard didn’t hit the musicians with the flags, guns or swords they were throwing dangerously high in the sky… and let me just tell you, there wasn’t a lot of room between the guard and the musicians, I would have been scared for my life.

When it was finally time for the full dress rehearsal run-through I was excited! After watching the different parts and pieces I was excited to see it all come together before my eyes. Let’s talk costumes for a moment…for the most part, the drum and bugle corps reminded me of a soldier’s uniform from wars long ago – maroon undershirt, medium gray coat with double-breasted buttons, white plume (feather in the hat) and black suspender pants, shoes and gloves. The guard (made up of males and females) all had different costumes which surprised me and was a bit distracting in my opinion. The various costumes included shorts, pants, dresses, skirts, fitted coats, coats with tails, coats without tails, long coats, short coats, off-the-shoulder shirts, and other combinations.

The show was FANTASTIC. I wish I could show you, but cameras and video recordings were strictly forbidden as no one has seen their show this season yet – yeah for previews! But I CAN give you my review…

The 12 minute show began with one of the guard members standing alone in the center of the football field. As the pit members began to play, the rest of the corps ran onto the field. I had thought someone had tripped, but it turns out they were all suppose to fall! A single member of the brass ensemble took a knee and began to play facing away from the audience — it was a haunting sound. The single guard member dances around the fallen corps. And then, just as gracefully as they had fallen, they stood and began to amaze the audience with their drill. I felt bad for one of the corps members, when he stood up, his plume came out of his hat (I wonder if he noticed?) and was there on the football field, just waiting for someone to trip on! But lo and behold, a member of the guard was paying attention and smoothly scooped it up all while staying in character. She danced around with it in her hands for a moment or two, and then when the opportunity presented itself, she shoved the plume down into the casing around one of the quad drums. GENIUS! The show continued, and it was fun being able to pick out parts of the music I had heard them practicing earlier that day or watching for the crab step the drum corps had perfected. One of my favorite parts happened about halfway through the show, the corps was nearing the end of a song and they all appeared to be about to slam their instruments into the ground when they changed their minds at the last second and paused forming a zig-zag line of brass! The strength and control in that move alone was impressive! This was followed by everyone running and falling to the ground (they spend a good amount of time on the ground, I sure hope they don’t perform anywhere muddy this season!). The guard member that started the show once again took center stage as she walked down a make-shift stairwell created by the other members of the guard out the their guns! She then danced and tumbled through the fallen corps members and when she passed, they stoop up. It was almost as if she were the resurrecting angel or something. The other guard members came running, crawling, falling and stumbling to the front carrying bright orange flags. It was a beautiful thing to see and the whole performance gave me chills.

But at the end, I was left wondering about the story line.  Had I witnessed a war and the aftermath or a zombie apocalypse? I’m not really sure, the way they were moving and the sound of the music really leaves it open to personal interpretation. I hope that when they perform for real they tell the audience the names of the songs, I bet that would give some much-needed clues to help follow the direction and vision of the performance.

I will leave you with this, I would personally love to see them again! If you get the chance to see them perform JUMP ON IT! I can promise you wont be disappointed!  For a complete list of all their events this summer, check out The Boston Crusader’s Summer Tour Calendar!

Sunday Morning

21 Apr

Right now I’m sitting in church, it’s about 10 minutes until the service starts. All around me people are greeting each other with friendly hellos and hugs. Asking how the week went and providing encouragement.

But my favorite thing about getting to church early is listening to the worship band practice. The drums, guitars and keyboard are magical, setting the mood for the service. Just sitting here, unmoving I can feel every beat pounding deep in my soul. It’s refreshing, energizing, uplifting, healing and calming. Music, unlike anything else has a way of speaking to me on a deeper, personal level.

And of course I get excited when I hear them practicing some of my favorites. I love singing along, I can lose myself in music and the message.

I hope you are having a wonderful Sunday morning as well, service is about to start, today’s message: “Tough Times, Tough People with the True God.” And as the pastor says every week “walk with the King and be a blessing!”

Daily Prompt: Playlist of the Week

10 Mar

“Tell us how your week went by putting together a playlist of five songs that represent it.” – WordPress

In no particular order, this would be the playlist for the last 7 days….

1. Walking on Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves

2. Catch my Breath – Kelly Clarkson

3. When Can I See You Again – Owl City

4. I Don’t Have to Be Me (Until Monday) – Steve Azar

5. Somebody’s Chelsea – Reba McEntire