As a “seasoned” musician of over 30 years (really!!), one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is the art of saving. By that I mean money. Doesn’t matter what level you’re at, there are always “dry” times and times when it’s raining cash (well not really). Things can change in an instant. You can be gig-less one moment and a phone call or email can change everything and you can be crying for time off. The opposite is also possible. You can be the hottest musician out there and all of a sudden you can find yourself in an epic dry spell. Hence the art of saving.
Happened to me last winter. Finished a gig on December 5th and almost 4 months later I still haven’t played a live gig. Now granted I’m not really complaining as I was really busy last year and had to spend time away from home and my wife and daughter. That’s the bad thing about this business….the more successful you get, the less time you’re home.
Anyway, 4 months is a long time to go without work. This is where the art of saving comes in. It’s always great when you’re working to look at your bank account growing and it’s really hard not to start burning through that cash satisfying your “want” list. “Jeez, there is a great deal on a new $7000 bass and it would really be nice to have that in my arsenal”! But it’s a great time to reflect on what you have and what you need. Sure, I’d love that new bass but would it get me an extra seven grand worth of work? Probably not so maybe I’ll let that one pass. Of course if you need to really upgrade then have at it. My whole point is to save what you can because a month off can suddenly turn into two, three, or more and could you survive if that happened?
I’m back in the saddle in a couple weeks again, out there hitting the stage again with my buds and with that, starting to put money in the bank again. I’m always grateful for that. As much as I need to make money, I need to play music for my sanity and for my soul. The summer season is coming and festivals and one off will keep me going through to the fall tours. However I’m always aware that my situation can change in an instant so I try to be as disciplined as I can when it comes to putting money away.
You just never know!
Last weekend (Easter) my family and I braved the long lines at the ferries and made the trip over to Vancouver Island. It’s really our second home as my wife grew up in Qualicum Beach and her Dad still lives there. Qualicum Beach is a real gem in that it’s still a small town with incredible beaches. Not only that, it has countless trails close by. I’ve ran some of these trails for years now and I don’t think I’ve ran on the same trail once. The more I run, the more cool trails I find. The biggest trouble I have is I lose track of time and tend to run a lot longer/further every time. My goal is to keep working at my running so I can spend the better part of a day just running in the area and seeing where it takes me. I get very excited when I’m out there as usually it’s just me. I don’t think I’ve ever seen another soul when I’m running in the area. Also to get there and back from my father in laws, I run on an old abandoned railway track and part of it is on this old trestle over a deep canyon. Always exciting, scary, unnerving, and exhilarating all at the same time.
If you happen to ever find yourself in this area, hit the town, hit the beach and hit the trails. It will change your life! Check out some pics here.
As well, you can run on the old Island highway. I put a 15 km run in the day after my 13 km trail run. It’s an easy run to the north or if you go south you get to run along the beach and take it all in. Just be careful of traffic, especially in the summer. It’s a heavy tourist area and there are lots of campers and visitors driving around.
I try to run this trail at least once a week when I’m home. What makes it perfect is I can head out my front door and start running. It’s only about a km until I get into trail land so I love the fact I don’t have to drive. I’ve posted this run on the Trail Run Project site. By the way, if you’re looking for trails, this site is a great resource pretty much anywhere you may be in the world.
Anyway I always run with my dog Annie. She loves being up there and tearing up the trail. I always have a love/hate thing running with Annie. She’s a real clown and keeps me amused the whole run but she loves to get up in my face on the steep parts, probably saying “hurry up lard butt”. It’s also a great motivation to get her out as she’s a high energy dog and it’s not good if I don’t burn some of that off.
Had fun today as I recently purchased a new camera. It’s a Nikon Coolpix AW130. Waterproof up to 100 feet (don’t think I’ll use that!), shock proof up to 7 ft (definitely need this!), and has GPS and wifi. I’ve been taking lots of pics (as you can see on the Trail Run Project page) but today was the maiden voyage of the underwater feature. I hesitated and then plunged it in a little stream. Worked great until Annie jumped in right close to it and stirred up the water. I guess in the end I got to find out that the camera lived up to what it promised. Can’t wait to try it again. To see more pics of the trail head on over here!
It was a great way to ring in the new season. Can’t wait to hit it again.
I’ve decided to add a new page to my site with pics, info, stories from my travels on the road and on the trails. Two of my passions are music (my “job”) and my running (fun stuff). The nice thing about my work is I do travel a lot and I can take in many of the local sites by lacing up my runners and heading out to see what I can find. With the help of Google Maps I can usually find a trail or two or something interesting to see on my runs. Hopefully by posting a few stories here and there I might inspire one of you to travel to these places or perhaps get yourself a pair of running shoes yourself to enjoy what the world has to offer.