Being A Musician Can Be A Tough, Challenging Life
Musicians seriously dedicated to their craft have an insanely tough job of practicing their instrument on their own, which requires enormous amounts of self-discipline, time and energy.
For instance, I might have practiced piano for 2 hours yesterday, but there are concert pianists who practice up to 8 hours a day.
Then there are the gigs, playing in multiple bands and rehearsing. The average person who doesn’t play a musical instrument simply has no clue as to what challenges a musician faces.
And if you are like most musicians you have a day job, or you teach privately, or at a high school or university. Well, I could go on and on…
And then there is the touring if you are fortunate enough to be in that position, which is even tougher work from my experience… being on the road, having to adjust and adapt.
Anyway, my point is that a professional musician really has to have enough energy and stamina to play his/her instrument, and at a high level of proficiency.
Spotlight on Sting
Of all the musicians I admire out there, as far as looking at the individual musician as an organic whole, I have to say that Sting is right up there at the top of the list.
He’s had an illustrious, successful career as a musician, composer and songwriter, and he’s even done some acting as well. And he’s had some of the best Jazz, Rock and Studio cats backing him up.
Sting and His Yoga and Macrobiotic Regimen
Japanese macrobiotics emphasizes locally grown whole grain cereals, pulses (legumes), vegetables, seaweed, fermented soy products and fruit, combined into meals according to the principle of balance (known as yin and yang). Whole grains and whole-grain products such as brown rice and buckwheat pasta (soba), a variety of cooked and raw vegetables, beans and bean products, mild natural seasonings, fish, nuts and seeds, mild (non-stimulating) beverages such as bancha twig tea and fruit are recommended. —Wikipedia
We’ve all heard about Sting’s legendary yoga discipline, but it was only a few years ago that Sting mentioned he had been following a Macrobiotic Diet. I wasn’t too sure if he had previously been a vegetarian or a vegan, but I guess (given the Yoga regimen) he was following that sort of lifestyle. So, to hear Sting say it in his own words on Letterman that he’d been following a macrobiotic diet kind of surprised me.
I mean, everyone knows that Yoga is a highly disciplined practice that improves mind, body and spirit. But, Sting on a macrobiotic diet? Well, I used to follow a macrobiotic diet in my twenties to no real success, but I always thought a macrobiotic diet was a step in the right direction. And if Sting has had quite a bit of success with a macrobiotic diet (combined with Yoga) then I must not have been doing the macrobiotic diet right.
Revisiting the Macrobiotic Approach
And this led me to research the basics of the Macrobiotic Diet again, simply because as a musician, I’m always looking out for ways to improve my mind, body and spirit so that I can perform at my best. And this is in addition to practicing the instrument.
In the Letterman interview, I remember Sting saying he had his own farm where he grew his own local produce, livestock that was free range and grass fed. Every reason to believe that he was pretty damn serious about living a wholesome, organic macrobiotic lifestyle. Combined with years of practicing Yoga and Meditation, Sting definitely has been onto something special. And although it’s apparent he has aged somewhat, for a 60+ year old guy he still looks in the best of shape and performs like a 25 year old on stage.
I knew a fellow musician who found out he had testicular cancer, and went through the major surgery, the chemotherapy, the morphine drips, and he was able to cure his cancer and it went into remission. I remember he had mentioned adopting a macrobiotic diet as part of his fight against the cancer, and he started up running too.
He told me once, “Broccoli is anti-cancer food”.
And I never forgot that.