When I started running in middle school, running was something that almost always went together with practice. Track practice, cross-country practice. I’ve also spent thousands of hours practicing different instruments in my life – piano, violin, viola, voice – but until recently, I never made a connection between practicing music and practicing running.
Track and cross country practice were these things I had to do at school because I wanted to run, and going to practice was the price you paid for that particular hobby (usually I didn’t mind it, but still remember speed ladders with a shudder). Music practice was something I did because I wanted to play cool, complicated pieces, and in order to do that, I had to get better at my instruments.
These two concepts don’t seem all that different now. You practice running in order to get better at it, right? That never occurred to me as a teenager, and the association of practice with running has faded in the last 20+ years. I don’t “go to practice.” I just go run. Recently, though, I finally made the connection between my hobbies of running and music.