They endure long hours of oft strenuous practice. The way to get better is to practice more, even when injured. For hours at a time, their hearts can beat at 65 percent of their maximum rate. Injuries are common, and there’s always someone waiting to take your spot.
Life in the arts can be tough.
While athletes often have teams of trainers and doctors available to help, many of the insights developed in sports medicine have yet to move beyond the sidelines to the dancers and musicians that could benefit.
In May, at a meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in Orlando, Florida, a number of scientists and physicians explained their work with everyone from ballet dancers to heavy metal rockers to classical musicians. They are taking a new approach to the arts — both the disciplines and the participants — in an effort to understand significant issues among recreational and professional artists.
I write in praise of air. I was six or five
when a conjurer opened my knotted fist
and I held in my palm the whole of the sky.
I’ve carried it with me ever since.
That is the opening stanza from “In Praise of Air” by British poet, playwright and novelist Simon Armitage.
There’s beauty to this poem that goes beyond the ideas it conveys and the careful craftsmanship of the writer. The work doesn’t just praise the air, it clears it.
Or, more accurately, the 65-foot-high banner upon which the poem is printed clears it. That’s because the material is coated with nanotechnology that chews up airborne pollutants.
In Praise of Air, a collaboration between Armitage and physical chemistry professor Tony Ryan, has been unfurled on a building at the University of Sheffield in the UK to bring attention to Ryan’s innovation.