conner's guitar

In singing, pain does not equal gain. If you feel resistance, you focus on technique and breath which brings you back to a strong and painless experience.

In volleyball (particularly during conditioning), we were taught that the pain is a mental block. Kids are built pretty well, so your fatigue is usually a sign that you’re building muscle mass.

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Balancing the two is powerful. Here’s two recent examples:

1) I threw up this May before my SoFarSounds gig in San Fransisco.

In May I had a cold that turned into a violent flu, which left me weak enough to get another cold at the end. The whole thing lasted two weeks.

The worst of it took place before my first gig in SF. I felt hot and nauseous. I sat outside the venue on the cold, glass-scattered pavement and hoped it would calm me down. I breathed heavy and hoped I wouldn’t throw up.

I did…violently. My uncle asked me if he should tell the venue I couldn’t play. I shook my head “no”, puke still happening, puke on me.

I’ve seen this movie before: the hero throws up, performs his heart out, and then is even more of a hero because he did a hard thing at a hard time.

I played my set, did great, then went straight to my car and fell asleep until the gig was over. I packed up, and went to my grandparents’ house to sleep some more.

2) My guitar broke before my regular Tuesday gig at Breakfast Culture Club.

Here’s the gist:
The electric part of the guitar broke. Plugging in the guitar won’t work if the electric part is broken.

When I saw that it broke I nearly cried. That guitar has been a close friend to me the past 6 years. It didn’t look good, and it never had a problem like this before. I don’t know how to express this feeling well because it involves the relationship between a person and their instrument. If you’re a musician, you know it, but otherwise you might not know how scared and sad I felt.

But, I still had to play. I figured out I could put a microphone close to the guitar, and then plug the microphone into my loop pedal. The first 20 minutes were hard; I adjusted a lot to get the sound I was looking for. The hour was up, and I went to get the guitar repaired.

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I try to never quit. All of my body turns to “flight mode” and wants me to run away, but I try to stay.

I was taught to stand your ground, remember your practice, and play the game to the best of your ability.

I want to show people that I’m the real deal, and that I won’t back down, even on some of my worst days.