Christian Ryan

Saxophonist/Flutist • Performer • Arranger • Instructor

The Importance of Finding Your Muse

Music is the most vital part of my life.  It is my passion.  It is my career.  It is my greatest joy.  

However, as much as it means to me, I believe it is always important for people to have a place to get away and clear the mind of the stresses of every day life and reflect.  Many of you reading this assume it's probably the stage for me.  Surprise, surprise it is not.

When I began playing the alto saxophone when I was 11 years old, I also began a lifelong hobby I've always enjoyed:  Running

Throughout middle school and parts of high school I ran competitively in both cross country and track & field.  I will be the first to say I was average when it came to putting myself along with many of the serious runners, but it was an activity I enjoyed regardless.  Never did break that 20 minute mark for the 5K, but it kept me in shape back in the days when video games ruled my world... 

Note:  This is the first thing comes to mind when I mention "vidya games" nowadays

I was always the crazy kid amongst my band friends who would run 3 to 7 miles for fun and people could not understand why.  I would tell them it was the one place I could go (keep in mind this was before I ever played a gig) to clear my head and escape reality.  Again, more confusion because there are plenty of they could think of doing instead (see video games above).  But unlike video games or anything like that, it made me feel healthier and happier as a result.

In addition to reasons above, I think it is essential that all people have their own outlet in whatever that may be to mix things up every once in a while.  We all can get stuck in routines that eventually lead to plateaus that can be difficult to overcome.  Life can throw curveballs we never saw coming and it can get heavy.  Sometimes it requires taking a step back and completely clearing your head to find the solution.  I find when I'm not running I simply don't feel as well mentally, let alone physically.  The last thing I want to do is burnout pursuing what I love the most with music or let outside forces take complete control.  And I've seen too many people experience that, which in turn can lead to some unpleasant outcomes.  That is why I run.  

Speaking of which, I think I'll go take a stroll now on this beautiful sunny day...

What's your muse?  How do you "escape" and reflect?  Would love to hear your thoughts.