Getting back to practice

I had back surgery October 13th, 2010.  I’ve never broken a bone, twisted or sprained an ankle, or cut myself so horribly that it had left a scar.  Nothing.  I have been blessed with being unharmed and healthy my entire life. But then I herniated my disc to the point of rupture and fragmentation which with such enthusiasm it decided to torment the root of my nerve. I have never felt such pain and yet I refused to go to the doctor cause I couldn’t believe there was anything wrong with me.  Boy was I in for a surprise. Four months later I had surgery.  The reason I bring this up is because I have not practiced, seriously, since my last concert at the Kennedy Center on September 11th.
I was in tears in the dressing room after the concert from the pain I was feeling.  So I had the surgery, great.  Now I have the recovery process to go through.   The fear of getting back in the saddle, I think that’s the correct saying, is pretty scary.  I started teaching my regular schedule which exhausted me, but I get through that day by day.  The reason I bring all this up is because there is a time in one’s career or hobby where one takes a break whether it’s voluntary or not.  How do you get back to where you left off? I had rehearsal tonight and promptly pulled a muscle in my back within the first 10 minutes. I realize that I have to take it one step at a time.  I can’t just launch right back in and expect it all to be alright.  So for those of you who are reading this and want to get back into practicing and playing your instrument.  I recommend starting with your scales for about 20 minutes a day then take a break. Then play some Bach. Not the fugues or the Chaconne!  Don’t launch into your concerto, sonata, or caprice right off the bat, you’re going to hurt yourself.  This is what I’m going to do and I’ll keep you posted on how my recovery with both my back and my playing goes. After all, I do have a full concert schedule lined up starting in March.

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