Among the many instruments that exist, the drums are the most physically taxing to play. That’s why the drummer Rush, Neil Peart, dedicated his life to keeping himself healthy and fit. Although he eventually succumbed to the brain cancer he has been fighting for more than three years, Neil was physically healthy for most of his life. There are many things to be learned from this hall of fame drummer, many of which can be integrated into anyone’s life.
Let Your Career Be Your Reason to be Healthy
Neil Peart was not the most athletic kid in his school. Not by a long shot. He admitted to not exercising or even playing sports growing up, stating that he wasn’t good at any of them. However, that all changed when he decided to have a career in music.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Neil admitted that drumming got him into exercise and sports. He stated that the stamina he gained from playing the instrument brought him to sports. He further said that he enjoyed sports that game him stamina, such as long-distance swimming and bicycling. It was these sports that he felt familiar with from the start because of drumming.
Many people in life kind of take their careers for granted, thinking of their careers as only a means to an end. However, for Neil Peart, his career was his reason to be healthy. It was his reason to be alive. Not everyone is subjected to a physically taxing career that Neil had. Still, everyone should make their career as purposeful as Neil did. He didn’t only think of it as a means to an end. He thought of it as part of his physical lifestyle. He felt that if he wanted to drum right, he needed to keep his physicality alright. That certainly translated to the legacy he left behind.
Neil was inherently good at playing the drums. He started playing when he was thirteen, a ripe age for anyone who wanted to become a world-famous drummer. From there on, he never stopped playing. But he never stopped learning either.
At the height of his career, Neil decided to take drumming lessons from Peter Erskine. Peter is considered to be one of the most versatile drummers in the world. When Neil decided to take lessons from the man, he knew that he needed to surrender his pride to learn everything he can from him. And that’s what he did. During his lessons, Neil admitted that he felt like he was thirteen again, learning the ropes and practicing the most basics of drumming. He felt like a kid, but that was only because he wanted himself to go through the process again.
Refining one’s already masterful skill is a challenging task, simply because one would think that he has already learned everything. However, for Neil, he didn’t let his pride get in his way to learn more. He was humble with what he has learned and looked for places he can improve.
Never Give Up
As a drummer for a Hall of Fame band has a lot of difficulties. Neil admitted that he went through many failures before becoming the Hall of Famer we know him today. But that wasn’t those difficulties weren’t the worst. It was his battle with cancer.
Neil wasn’t the kind of man to give up. That’s why he held for as long as he did when he had cancer. He fought it for three long years. He held unto his life for as long as he can. It wasn’t in him to give up his career, his drumming, and his life to cancer. That’s why, in the end, he brought everything he can with him and left a legacy that will never be forgotten.
He didn’t think of cancer as an end. He thought of it as another challenge in his life. Even though he knew he might fail, he can at least tell himself, “Hey, at least I tried.”