Well, an update is loooong overdue! I've been in one of those crunch periods and along with it, fighting what seems to be the new monster under my bed, stress. This is kind of new to me, as I've always been fairly happy-go-lucky. Maybe I've just been bottling things up for years and they're messily exploding now, or maybe it's just a rough patch. Whatevs. I'm dealing.
In my chosen field, there's a certain amount of mad rushing about, followed by periods of relative calm, and sometimes interspersed with stretches of what seems like endless dead time. I have just been through Mad Rush and am currently settling into Relative Calm.
Mad Rush started with an all-too-brief trip to Puerto Rico. In addition to singing, I give workshops and do consultations for other artists, to teach them how to get into the business or troubleshoot the careers they have. The faculty of the Conservatorio de Musica Puerto Rico invited me to come and address their students, so off I went! And it was a great experience.Puerto Rico is gorgeous and the students were delightful, charming, and extremely talented.
As one of my Puerto Rican colleagues said to me, "But you see why it's impossible to diet on this island?" The food is AMAZING and very tempting. And I did enjoy myself, without overdoing it. Since I was teaching almost all the time I was there, there was not a lot of opportunity to sightsee or exercise. However, I did spend the better part of Sunday morning strolling around Old San Juan and touring the Bacardi distillery. Old San Juan is spectacular:
Sunday night the real Mad Rush began. Long story short, I MISSED MY FLIGHT and had to get on another --- the very last seat on the very last flight off the island! This was especially stressful because we had plans to hit the road at 6 a.m. on Monday to get to my next gig. Somehow, on four hours of sleep (and with a van pre-packed by my darling husband), we managed to do it.
So, here I am in Tulsa, where I'm rehearsing for The Most Happy Fella with Tulsa Opera. My character is Marie, who is sort of the villain of the piece, and a real Debbie Downer. She's crucial to the plot, but the role isn't very large, so I have a lot of free time. And so far, I've been using it wisely! Since I drove, I was able to bring the bike. I'm biking to rehearsal, and I've gone on two rides along the Arkansas River.
The City of Tulsa has a beautifully developed and well-maintained hike and bike trail along the river. It's possible to do a big loop, or just go for miles along one side. I've done both so far. This time of year is undoubtedly not the area's prettiest. The river below the dam is reduced to a trickle, with vast stretches of sand bars and piles of boulders that look rather like an abandoned construction site.
Since one side is very industrial and the other very urban, I can't say it's the nicest trail I've ever ridden. But it certainly has its moments. Fantastically beautiful wildlife statuary is scattered up and down the trail, and there are inviting benches and even chairs and tables placed strategically around. There's also a disc golf course that extends quite a long way along the trail!
Today I went upriver --- you can only go so far --- but it enabled me to get a shot of the old Route 66 ( a minor obsession of mine) along with this spectacular sculpture.
Then I looped around to the other side of the river, which took me past the power plant, the malodorous wastewater treatment plant, many parks, and finally into the Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area ... but not before I went up two VERY steep hills which ... shamefully ...I walked up, hoping no one would see. The knee does fine with cycling as long as I don't jerk it, and since the gears on my bike are a little temperamental, uphill requires a little more force than I am currently comfortable giving. But also, it's been a while since I exerted myself so much, and frankly, I just couldn't do it. Boo. But I did ride for about an hour and forty minutes, without stopping any longer than it took to snap a couple of photos. I'm not sure how far it was, but I'll guess around 15 miles RT.
The apartment complex has an exercise room, which I have yet to check out. Balmy temperatures and sunny blue skies make me prefer to be outside for my workouts, and besides, I need to get out of the apartment lest I turn into a hermit, or eat everything in sight which is always a temptation when I'm holing up somewhere.
Tulsa is a great town, and I look forward to doing some urban cycling and taking lots of photos of the incredible architecture around here. So stay tuned!