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The Summer vacation is coming to an end, and I just did a 30 minute practise session with the intention of “getting back in shape again” for the coming season…
Several years ago, before I got FD, I would spend on average 2 – 3 hours per day practising hard during hot Summer days to try to “catch up” and “get ahead” for the coming season. I realise now my primary motivation then was to practise because I felt that I *should*, and not because I *wanted* to. (The more I think about it, the more crazy it seems to sit inside a hot practise room on a sunny day playing scales, when one can be at the beach, in the forest, by a lake, or doing any number of Summer outdoor activities)
After having recovered from FD, my practise mindset has changed dramatically. I now take time off during the Summer. The thought of trying to “catch up” or “get ahead” doesn’t ever come into my mind. I do a little practise in my apartment with a practise mute (often whilst watching something entertaining/fun on TV) every now and again, with no set routine, maybe 3 times a week at most (sometimes not at all), and never for more than about 15 – 20 minutes, including breaks. So, very, very little time actually playing. My focus is not on achieving or feeling like I should be doing a particular exercise, it is purely on enjoying making my instrument work.
Anyway…back to today’s practise session…the 30 minute practise ‘marathon’ hehe 🙂
My intention was to “get back in shape” after this period of very little playing. I played without the practise mute. The funny thing is, I found I didn’t need to “get back in shape” at all as this was probably the easiest and most relaxed practise session I’ve had in my life – MUCH, MUCH freer and easier than before I was stricken with FD. I could play anything I wanted to because my body was free of tension. It was so much **FUN** to play today – it was like I was just standing there as an observer, watching my body play the instrument. There was no effort involved at all, from deep down in the pedal register, up to well above high C. (As I play primarily orchestral/classical, this register is plenty! 🙂
I am extremely grateful for my whole FD experience, as it has taught me so much, including playing the trumpet freely and all that entails, physiology and body awareness, it’s taught me about diet, exercise and meditation, and stress and how to handle it.
Recovering from FD has also brought me into contact with several of the members of this group via Skype, and to be a part of their recovery process is an honour, so for that I am grateful too.
Don’t ever give up, because FD can be overcome. FD is a gift and can teach you so much about yourself, if you are willing to open your eyes, extend your horizons, take some new roads, and learn.
I tell many friends and colleagues that FD had been teaching me the “correct” way to play the piano. While I’m not sure that I am glad that I have had this experience, there is little question in my mind that I have gotten great value from it.
What an amazing epic post! Fantastic man, thanks for sharing this! Wonderful. I feel so much better now just after reading this post. This made my day. The puzzle connects more and more.
Oh…I forgot to mention I’ve been applying the “stop while it still feels good” strategy for quite some time – an important puzzle piece.
I’ve tried the “stop while you feel good method.” The challenge is that sometimes I start off not feeling good….or rather start off with symptoms. So, I am trying the following: practice those skills that I know I can do without symptoms. If that goes well for a few minutes then I try something more complex. It usually works:–). If not, then I just back up and try to enjoy the ride.
Yes, concentrating on what we can do, rather than that which we cannot, is also very useful. The “stop while you still feel good” pre–supposes that you already have some tools to get you started on the right track at the beginning of a practise/fun session.