Monday, August 17, 2009

2009 NFA Convention

As most of you know (I think you know, anyway), I am a professional flutist, and this past weekend was the annual National Flute Association Convention. This year it was in New York City, so since I live in New York, I had to go.

What is the NFA Convention, you might ask? Well, just imagine 2,000 flutists, young and old, professional and amateur, famous and not-so-famous, converging on one hotel for the period of 4 days to listen to concerts, participate in clinics, attend workshops, try out flutes of all sizes, and generally pay homage to the flute greats of the world who are in attendance. It is crazy, it is exhausting, it is quite funny, and it is totally inspiring.

I won't bore you with all of the flutey details, but I will say that my travel partner and I helped James Galway up to his room, purely by chance. We heard some amazing flute playing including a performance of a flute concerto that featured the contrabass and contralto flute and a recital by Ian Clarke, one of my favorite flutist-composers. We talked flute until we fell asleep, and then we dreamed dreams of flute.

Being me, however, I couldn't pass up any athletic opportunities in the name of flute playing. In addition to presenting my workshop Finding Your Flow: Yoga for Flutists, I was able to attend another yoga workshop and also attend (outside of the convention) a heated yoga flow class at Prana Power Yoga. This was my first hot yoga class, and, wow, what a workout!! I totally loved, but about halfway through the class the thought past through my very sweaty mind and body, that this might not have been the best decision the day before a planned 15 mile run!

Like I said, I had planned a 15 mile run for early Saturday morning. My initial plan had been to run to the Brooklyn Bridge, over and back to my hotel, but I was a little concerned about getting lost, so instead I opted to run to Central Park, do a loop and then back via the West Side Path, a multi-use path that runs almost the entire length of the west side of Manhattan along the Hudson. While I was in Central Park there was a bike race going on, which was amazing. I think it was come kind of criterium, because the big group with maybe 40 cyclists passed me about 4 or 5 times. I could not believe how fast they were going. I started to feel the effects of my heated flow yoga and the intense NYC humidity early on. At about 9 miles I decided to head back and called it done around 12. My foot was hurting and there was a Jamba Juice across from the hotel that was calling my name. (Man, I wish we had those in Syracuse!) I have to admit, I never thought I would hear myself saying, "Well, I only ran 12 miles today."

We took the early train home on Sunday, and I am still completely exhausted. I went to the doctor today about my foot, and for the sake of the post, I will leave that until tomorrow.

Good night!!


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