I am on a 365-day challenge. The goal is to work on rhythmic patterns with my hands and feet for 365 straight days: a minimum of 1 hour a day working the hands, and another hour working the feet. That sounds like a big enough challenge as it is.
Time has to be set aside, schedules need to be rearranged, and each chops session takes place whether the family is at home or away (believe me… they love my practice pads). I’ve done these chops sessions while traveling to and from gigs with Brad Wilson’s band. Brad drives and I sit in the truck, quietly working rhythm patterns. It is about the hands and feet, not the sticks and pedals. I even "chopped out" while being hospitalized earlier this month.
Candidly I missed one day: June 11(Day 222), the day before surgery. My Wendy and I spent that day preparing for surgery, visiting the oncologist for the first time, and scheduling the dental appointments. I spent a lot of time talking, texting, emailing, and DMing friends and family about the surgery too. Before we knew it, it was sleepy-night-night time for the drummer and his Wendy (we had to be up at three in the morning to get to the hospital in Fresno by 500).
I did the surgery day (Day 223) session while sitting in post op while waiting for a room to open up. It is about the hands and feet, not the sticks and pedals. I am good to go as long as my hands and feet can go through the motions.
The Thursday session (Day 224) went down in the hospital room while waiting to be discharged.
The make-up session (Day 222) was accomplished when we returned to the house. I sat at the practice pads, my arms remaining stationary as my wrists and fingers did the light and low-effort work of bouncing the sticks off the pads. The footwork was all in the ankles… using light touches on the pedals and letting the pedals do the majority of the real work. It felt oh so good to be home and on the pads!!!!
I am at 241 sessions as of this writing. So… let’s add some more challenge to the 365 day challenge, shall we? Let’s go through radiation and chemotherapy while completing 124 more chops sessions.
Issues caused by radiation will be cumulative in nature. I’ll undergo radiation treatment five days a week, for six to seven weeks straight. The first few days will present no ill effects. The issues will set in and intensify as the treatments continue. Plus they will throw a weekly dose of chemotherapy in with the radiation treatments.
The chemotherapy takes its toll on the body as a whole. It weakens and compromises the immune system so I may wind up being housebound for a day or two after each chemo session. There’s got to be more ill effects too. I am very clueless about all this stuff at this point. That will change soon enough… I’m will get up close and personal before all is said and done.
Fortunately, the drum set and practice pads are ready to play in the woodshed. The set, pads, and the bass drum and hi hat pedals are tweaked to where I can sit down and play with very little physical effort beyond the ankles, wrists, and fingers. I have spent a lot of days improving at the art of being lazy while playing drums.
Let me tell you… it takes a shit load of work to be this lazy!
I speculate the 365 day challenge will become the one thing I eagerly look forward to during the down times. I certainly know that the chops sessions will get done before I go to each round of treatment. I’ve become quite addicted to the results that unexpectedly pop up at gigs and rehearsals. Gotta get my fix, you know?
Have you done a 30 day or 365 day challenge?
- If so, what were your experiences?
If not, please consider it.
- By default, you have to get better.
- The body and mind do not regress when they consistently exercise.
Please leave a comment down below.
Also, share this with people that may be interested in such a topic. Perhaps this can help someone (like my Wendy, who is a spectator) better understand what you or someone you love is actually going through.