800 Days in a Row and Counting...a Tough Year and a Trombone
Last June The Clifton Times wrote about Julie Krygsman's remarkable dedication to her daily trombone practice after she completed her 521st day in a row. The commitment to playing her instrument every single day, no matter what, was inspired by her friend Joe choosing to give up something he loved as a New Year's resolution in 2021. Krygsman decided to commit to doing something she loved every day until her birthday, months later. That grew to become a full year, and then beyond. It was a way to celebrate beauty every day during that second year of the Covid-19 pandemic when there was so much fear and uncertainty.
On March 11, Krygsman celebrated her 800th consecutive day of playing her trombone.
Not all of those days were happy or easy ones. In fact, she's faced some pretty significant challenges in the past year. Still, she maintained daily playing, recording faithfully in her journal each time.
The Krygsman household (Julie lives with husband Wes and their beloved animals) suffered not one but two heartbreaks since that June article. First, they lost their pug Sammi, who had been with them since the start of their relationship. Then, almost exactly five months later, their cat Loki died. "It completely knocked the wind out of me and there are days when I don’t want to do anything...but not playing would make me even more miserable."
A good friend commissioned a piece of music in Sammi's memory and Krygsman will be premiering it in June.
There were also physical obstacles to the daily practices. Krygsman needed painful dental work - "My wisdom teeth have decided that they don’t want to be a part of my body anymore" - but somehow maintained her streak. She explained that she scheduled her appointments each time for mid-morning so that she'd have time to play before going in, rest the next day, and then do a very easy warm-up later that night.
Finally, with fall came a new marching band season and Krysgman, who is the assistant director for the Cresskill marching band, is responsible for preparing routines, writing the color guard and drum major shows, and helping with rehearsals and games. It's a huge time commitment on top of her many pit jobs and private lessons. She said of her ambitious and exhausting schedule, "I love what I do and it’s the best way to practice what I preach to my students. You will find a way or you will find an excuse."