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Post Springsteen

Sorry to have been absent for a couple of days. I have an excellent reason! My friends and I drove up to Ft. Lauderdale on Tuesday night for the Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band concert. Those of you who have been with me here for awhile know that I am a major Springsteen fan. I have been since I was 17 years old. I am as awestruck by the man and the band in concert now as I was the first time I saw them play live in 1978.

I figure if they can still rock it out like they do when they’re all in their 60s, then I sure as heck can too in my 50s. I’ll be completely honest and admit that the post-concert recovery takes longer. 🙂 We didn’t get home until after 2 a.m. so it was 3 a.m. before I got to sleep. Unfortunately, Nat and Pyxi did not get the memo that I’d planned to sleep in on Wednesday morning and go into work a couple of hours late. They woke me up first at 4:40 a.m., then at 6 and then again at 7:45 a.m. That’s when I gave up and attempted to launch myself into my day.

Suffice it to say that my butt dragged all day long. By the time I went to Tai Chi class that evening, my brain was clicking off and I could barely stay awake. I went to bed early.

All this aside, the concert was absolutely awesome! Not that Bruce and the band is ever less than terrific, but I found this show to be particularly fun. Maybe it’s just because I haven’t seen him in a year and a half. I don’t know for sure, but I feel like I cheered every song and grinned like an overjoyed fool for the entire three hours. I danced in my seat, on my feet, and in general just had the most amazing time.

I suspect that my greater fitness overall health further contributed to my extreme enjoyment of the concert. With my weight loss comes lots of enjoyment-increasing benefits. Overall it’s a whole lot easier for me to walk and move – including from the car in the parking lot to the stadium, up or down stairs to seats, etc. I comfortably fit in the seat and don’t feel like I’m crowding the poor people sitting on either side. I sure could jump up to my feet with ease instead of struggling to my feet. I just had the most wonderful energy throughout the entire concert.

It was well worth being sleepy the entire following day. We were on an upper level just to the right of the stage so the seats were good. I have to admit that the entire time I watched, I also saw how much Bruce interacted with the people standing on the floor near the stage. About mid-way through I realized that once, just once, I want to be one of those people standing on the floor right at the stage. I would never have considered this before because I know I would have been miserable trying to stand for three hours. Now, it’s a whole different possibility. My friend says that if you buy general admission tickets for the floor, you have to get to the show hours and hours ahead of time to try to score the wristbands for the front section and to have a prayer of entering early and getting to the front of the front.

Call me crazy, but I so want to do this. I’m willing to commit to whatever it takes! It is officially on my Promise List.

Now I just need Bruce to extend the tour so I can put the plan into action!

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Springsteen Saturday

I’ve raved written here before about my decades long love and admiration for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. No, it isn’t love as in I-was-the-person-he-should-have-married-crazy-stalker-fan love. It’s entirely because since I was 17 years old, Bruce’s songs have inspired, encouraged, resonated and deeply touched my emotions.

The last time I saw him and the band in concert was September 2012 up home in New Jersey. It feels like shortly after, he launched an International tour that’s gone on forever. We, i.e. his U.S. fans, have waited ever since for him to book more dates here at home. Our hopes rose when he recently released a new album, High Hopes.

We have been rewarded. Earlier this week he announced U.S. dates. To my utter joy one of those dates is a night in South Florida. The tickets went on sale this morning at 10 a.m. I pre-cautioned my Tai Chi instructor that I’d need to leave class early. My computer was booted up and I was sitting at Ticketmaster.com, refreshing the concert date page by 9:59 a.m. so that I wouldn’t miss out. Who’s going to see Springsteen? *points to self* This woman! Booyah!

I’ve probably said before that my favorite Bruce song is Thunder Road. (The fact that the protagonist in the song sings to a woman named Mary is purely coincidental.) In the song, the man urges Mary to go out with him, to believe in him, to show a little faith, that there is magic in the night. He can’t promise to be her hero but he is determined to win in the game of life.

When I was 17, that song was an invitation to pursue my dreams, to reach out for them with both hands and an open heart. To not be afraid but to leap and believe that the net would appear.

Now that I’m 56, Thunder Road still resonates but now it’s a reminder that I still have dreams and goals. I have promises to fulfill to myself. I am still in the process of living my best life.

One of the many things that always impressed me about Springsteen’s music and message was the fact that even when a song was filled with swagger, his characters weren’t pie-eyed optimists. They didn’t expect life to hand them their dreams but at heart they believed they could earn the dreams they wanted. By contrast, when his songs dealt with characters in despair, their pain was that much more cutting.

There are many themes, many characters and many stories — uplifting and positive or dark and sad. For me, the message I listen to the most is the one that reinforces earning my dreams and goals. I have to pay my way to reach them. In terms of my continued weight loss and recovery this means dedicating time, energy, spirit, and physical effort. That’s the payment recovery demands and I’m willing to pay. After all, I got high hopes.

Give me help, give me strength
Give a soul a night of fearless sleep
Give me love, give me peace
Don’t you know these days you pay for everything
Got high hopes
I got high hopes
I got high hopes
I got high hopes

– Bruce Springsteen

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