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Lose yourself

Her palms are sweaty,

knees week, arms are heavy.

There’s vomit on her sweater already,

Rao’s spaghetti.

Sing w bell

 

Nope I’m not preparing for any rap battles around here. Just walking into a choir audition.

Yep, you read that correctly: a choir audition.

About a week around, I took my shaky awkward self into a choir audition and bombed the heck out of it.

Choir roadkill. <— that was me.

So, how did all of this happen?

If you’ve been reading the blog for a while (thank you!!) you likely know I used to sing about a thousand years ago. It was a huge part of my life, and I was a musical theatre major before I switched to Finance. I LOVED singing and performing, which is interesting since I’m extremely introverted, and it was something that made my soul extremely happy.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more and more removed from the arts. I stopped playing piano – I literally can’t remember any of the songs that used to drip so effortlessly from my fingers – stopped dancing, and the only singing I do includes rocking out to the Descendents 3 soundtrack, much to Olivia’s horror. I wasn’t looking to add anything to my plate, especially since I’ve been solo parenting so much for the past year, but when I was thinking of something I could do to bring the arts back into my life, a little voice in my head said, “Maybe you should sing again.” I wasn’t thinking of trying out for the local theatre or anything bananas like that, but figured a choir would be a safe bet to get back into it without an enormous time commitment.

A quick Google search told me that there was an audition for a local choir 3 days from that moment. 

I don’t know what came over me, but I printed out the excepts, learned the alto parts so that I had them nailed, and brushed off my old aria. I felt like I was ready, even with such short notice. My mom came over and stayed with the girls – it was way past their bedtime so they were crashed – and I drove down to the audition.

Looking back, it was beyond naive of me to think I had a chance without singing much over the past 14 years. My aria was ok, I squawked and squeaked over the high notes in the required excerpts, and completely drowned in the sight-singing portion that I didn’t know existed. With how horribly it went, I felt a very small part of myself come back to life. I kept thinking of Brené Brown —  if you haven’t seen her Netflix special, add it to the must-watch list.

In the last 10 minutes of the special, she talks about how sometimes you don’t win by actually winning; you win by just showing up. For some people, the act of putting themselves out there is a huge victory. It takes courage to be vulnerable. You can’t have great rewards without some type of risk involved. From this experience, I got a beautiful lesson to share with the girls: I didn’t get a spot, but I tried. I put myself out there and worked hard, which is the best you can do at some times.

I suffered from what Brené Brown calls a vulnerability hangover for days afterwards. I felt physically sick from the sheer amount of effort it took to walk in the room and sing an aria I haven’t visited for 14 years. But, I did it. And for some odd reason, I’m determined to go back in 3 months and try again. If it doesn’t work after 3 months of practice (instead of 3 days!) then I’ll take it as a sign from the universe that maybe it wasn’t meant to be.

So why am I writing about all of this on a health and fitness blog? 

Health is so much more than working out, sleeping well, hydrating, and eating fresh produce. It’s about taking the time to do things in your life that bring you joy, reduce stress, and make your soul feel alive. Maybe it’s an art, a craft, or a hobby. But you can’t have true health in the absence of doing things you genuinely love. 

Tell me, friends: what’s something that you love that doesn’t involve anyone else? Something you do just for yourself?

Singing friends: any ideas for a classical alto solo? I feel like after this experience, I need something new. 😉

xo

Gina

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61 Comments

  1. Lynna Pallas Henderson on September 24, 2019 at 7:59 am

    I’m right there with you, Gina, but a million years later. I have a BA in Theater, sang in choirs and shows all my young life, and then had children. I put it all on the back burner to work in a job (legal assistant) where I could control my hours. And how could I leave my children for rehearsals after they had been in school/day care all day? Years later, the kids grew up and I found my way back to my artistic life. I act, sing and direct in community theater. I am me again. There is always hope! Keep auditioning! If not for them, then for someone else. Try for a chorus part in a community theater production. Just keep trying. You go!

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2019 at 1:11 am

      this is so inspiring. thank you for sharing this with me – i love it <3

  2. Lauren M. on September 24, 2019 at 8:40 am

    I decorate custom cookies in addition to being a stay-at-home mom. Both bring me great joy, but it’s nice to have a hobby outside of being a mom. It’s a time when I can relax and focus on something that doesn’t involve tractors and dirt 😉 I’m glad you found something that brings you joy also!

    • Crystal on September 24, 2019 at 11:52 am

      I LOVE this post!! Sometimes just showing up is an act of bravery that can set your soul on fire <3 What a great lesson to teach your kids, too. My mom did something similar by returning to school when we were teenagers, and I always remind myself of that whenever I hesitate to put myself out there.

      • Fitnessista on September 26, 2019 at 1:08 am

        i’ll remember this one. thank you!

  3. Jen on September 24, 2019 at 9:01 am

    I decorate custom cookies (and cakes)! When I get home from my not-so-fun job, I get to work creating cookie art as my creative outlet! My family isn’t complaining either because if I’m not baking for an order I’m testing a recipe or creating samples to photograph for holiday sales…

    • Robyn Takamine on September 24, 2019 at 6:58 pm

      It’s been a long day with a sick kiddo and this post 100% made the day better. Love that quote and love that you went for it!

      • Fitnessista on September 26, 2019 at 1:03 am

        <3 <3

  4. Meghan on September 24, 2019 at 9:09 am

    Love this post, and I admire your bravery and vulnerability! I love to read (and write, though that is something I may want to bring more into my life again soon) and also love to cook or bake new things to share with friends. They’re all creativity focused, help me to relax and just be in the present moment.

  5. Elizabeth on September 24, 2019 at 9:15 am

    I love to sing and have also thought about auditioning for something, but just don’t have the time to commit to that. Instead, I bought myself a ukulele and have been slowly teaching myself some. You can do it on your own time, it isn’t expensive, and you can sing along!

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2019 at 1:10 am

      i love that! i learned the uke a few years ago, when p was a baby, and loved it. it still felt kind of lonely though if that makes sense? i definitely still love playing it from time to time!

  6. Erin H on September 24, 2019 at 9:22 am

    Good for you! I know that I don’t know you personally, but I’ve read your blog for years and I feel so proud of you for doing that. That may be weird, but you are such an inspiration to so many people. 🙂

    • milo on September 24, 2019 at 10:48 am

      I completely agree! Way to succeed by showing up! Hope you’re able to find a good fit for you there or elsewhere! <3

      • Fitnessista on September 26, 2019 at 1:09 am

        thank you- i appreciate it!

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2019 at 1:10 am

      thank you, friend. that means so much to me!

  7. Shayna Rodriguez on September 24, 2019 at 10:48 am

    I love this so much. This reminded me of the central premise of Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Big Magic” – that we should do things for the sheer joy of doing them, not because we may or may not be “good” at them. Good for you!

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2019 at 1:10 am

      thank you! i need to finish that book on audible 😉

  8. Katie on September 24, 2019 at 10:54 am

    So needed to read this post. I’m contemplating a career change and this morning woke up and battled thoughts of -can I do this, am I good enough, etc. Thanks for the reminder that despite my doubts, I should at least try. Thank you!!

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2019 at 1:09 am

      YES. i love this!

  9. Kyly on September 24, 2019 at 11:16 am

    Love this post of yours! A real-life story of vulnerability so many of us can relate to. Way to show up. And yes, that documentary was sooo good! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2019 at 1:09 am

      <3 thanks, girl

  10. Jaime on September 24, 2019 at 11:22 am

    Good for you!!! Amazing that you did this!
    (side note: Brene Brown is the best!)

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2019 at 1:09 am

      thank you! yes, she is amazing

  11. Janelle on September 24, 2019 at 11:50 am

    Rao’s spaghetti LOL

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2019 at 1:09 am

      😉 i couldn’t write it without a nod to my favorite pasta sauce lol

  12. amy on September 24, 2019 at 12:15 pm

    So awesome of you to do that. Important to re connect with that part of ourselves that gets a little lost after kids, jobs, marriage, etc. So wonderful to take some time to nurture our soul. I’m taking dressage lessons (riding horses) and want to start French classes back up again..

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2019 at 1:08 am

      i love that you’re doing that!

  13. Katie on September 24, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    I’ve been reading for a looooong time and this is maybe my favorite post ever. It’s amazing that you did this and shared it with us. Way to show up for yourself! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2019 at 1:08 am

      ahh thank you so much! it was terrifying but i’m glad i did it

  14. Jackie on September 24, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    I am extremely impressed with how much guts it must have taken for you to just show up and try! That is awesome:) Trying new things is so scary and to be brave enough to push yourself through is something most of us never do – killing it!

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2019 at 1:08 am

      thank you, friend <3

  15. Nicole on September 24, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    Good job putting yourself out there! I have my Masters in Voice Performance and still get nervous at auditions and manage to bomb a few here and there, too 🙂

    Some rep suggestions for mezzo: check out the 24 Italian Songs & Arias book in the medium-low key – any of those would be good. There are also some songs on IMSLP.com by Isabella Colbran that are relatively easy and may help you ease back into singing technique a bit. Good luck!

    • Nicole Leone on September 24, 2019 at 4:05 pm

      Sorry – it’s imslp.org 🙂

      • Fitnessista on September 26, 2019 at 1:04 am

        thank you!!

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2019 at 1:08 am

      ok my aria was from that songbook (il mio bel foco) so i’ll look through and see if i can find another one. thank you!

  16. Amber Nash on September 24, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    Wow! I’m impressed. Good for you for putting yourself out there. No one knows how hard it is for me to volunteer at my son’s school because it seems like a lot of socializing and pressure, but I literally sign up for every event I can so I can put myself out there, get involved, and be involved with my kiddos as much as possible!

    Love this!

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2019 at 1:06 am

      i love that so much. i’ve been wanting to volunteer more at the schools but feel nervous about it for some reason – i think it’s because it’s so much socializing like you said. you’ve inspired me 🙂
      xo

  17. Aubrey on September 24, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    Ummm this is so inspiring!! Thank you for sharing!

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2019 at 1:05 am

      thank you, friend!

  18. Nicole Kump on September 24, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    Way to go out on a limb and do something new! Now you have a good goal to strive for. I walk shelter dogs to make me happy, and the dogs happy of course. Always feels good to do and makes a bad day better!

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2019 at 1:05 am

      i love that you do this!!

  19. Jade on September 24, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    Wow. This post could not have come at a better time. I’ve had an application for a team that I know that I will not get on, but want to try for, half finished and open in my browser for a week, waffling on if I really wanted to put myself out there. This gave me the push to finish it and I just hit the submit button. THANK YOU!

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2019 at 1:04 am

      YES! i love this! i hope you’re pleasantly surprised by the result

  20. Wendy Heath on September 24, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    Atta girl!!! I also thought I bombed 7 years ago, but they let me in… 😉 I also thought the audition was a cattle call when it was by appointment @_@. I’ve been a member of the Larimer Chorale ever since, a 120 voice avocational chorus that focuses on classical masterworks.

    Our director just has us sing my country tis of thee, to get a sense of our voices/range. Is there someone from the choir you could ask about a good piece to prepare? That sight reading is killer when you’re out of practice, too!

    Keep at it. It is SO rewarding to be in a choir.

    Altos rule the world! 😉

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2019 at 1:04 am

      that is incredible!!
      i don’t know anyone in this choir, which is a bummer! i connected with a vocal coach and she’s going to do some digging on good songs for me 😉 definitely to practice the sight reading. like every day haha
      thank you! and YAY ALTOS

  21. Alexandra on September 24, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    YES! Couldn’t love all of this more and I love that Brené brown quote! Good for you girl- you’re setting an amazing example for your girls!

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2019 at 1:03 am

      thank you, friend

  22. katie on September 24, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    Props to you for putting yourself out there like that, Gina! I perform at stand-up comedy open mics and have zero shame about getting up in front of an indifferent crowd of strangers and saying the most filthy/personal things on stage, but singing in front of others would be an extinction level event for me. Keep practicing and good luck next time!

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2019 at 1:03 am

      omg i could never imagine doing comedy in front of others. i would literally hide somewhere haha!
      thank you <3

  23. Brianne on September 24, 2019 at 9:32 pm

    Oh boy. I haven’t looked at my classical aria book in years! I wish I had a suggestion for you. Does it have to be classical?
    This is such a good post. Thanks for sharing. ❤️

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2019 at 1:02 am

      it has to be an art song, hymn or classical piece <3

  24. Heather on September 24, 2019 at 9:37 pm

    Long time reader here who doesn’t comment much but couldn’t help it today. Love this so much, and sending hugs your way!! I basically bawled watching Brenee Brown’s Netflix special, and now have the Theodore Roosevelt quote up on the wall in my office. Shame has no power if you share it! I’ve sung in a few choirs over the years and have totally been there. Thanks for being vulnerable and keeping it real with your readers – we are right there with you <3

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2019 at 1:02 am

      thank you so much for following so long and for taking the time to leave a comment! i bawled during the netflix special, too. it was incredible.
      i’m going to put the quote in my office, too. thank you <3

  25. Amy Austin on September 25, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    Way to go Gina! Putting yourself out there is hard! I have to remind myself that showing up is how we win 🙂 I forget that too often………….
    I love the show The Voice, even if it is a “show” and there it’s a calculated effort by the people that run it. There is still a vulnerability for each person that gets a chance to show what they can do. I love the first few episodes where they have not yet been coached. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2019 at 1:00 am

      yes, i love that show, too! my favorite episodes are always the first couple.

  26. Jenny on September 25, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    “Health is so much more than working out, sleeping well, hydrating, and eating fresh produce. It’s about taking the time to do things in your life that bring you joy, reduce stress, and make your soul feel alive. Maybe it’s an art, a craft, or a hobby. But you can’t have true health in the absence of doing things you genuinely love. ”

    1000% – I read this and thought, yes, this is what I’m missing in my day to day life of just completing tasks all of the time. Good for you and thanks for sharing.

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2019 at 12:59 am

      that’s exactly it. it’s so easy to feel like the days are a series of tasks otherwise!

  27. HEAB on September 27, 2019 at 9:57 am

    Gina,
    I love this so much! Proud of you.

    • Fitnessista on September 28, 2019 at 1:00 am

      thank you, friend. it was horrible and awesome at the same time

  28. Kristen on September 27, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    For one brief, confusing moment, my mom-brain thought you decided to sing “Lose Yourself” for your audition… 😉 😉

    • Fitnessista on September 28, 2019 at 1:00 am

      LOL can you imagine?!

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