Name: Kensho Watanabe
Occupation: Conductor, (not of trains).
Total Time w/ Philly Phitness: 6 months
What made you reach out to Philly Phitness?
Conducting involves the physicalization of sound: my body has to be the vessel through which the music flows and is in dialogue with each individual musician of an orchestra. As I’ve progressed in my career, I’ve come to realize how important it is to put my body in the best position to succeed and thrive with each rehearsal and concert. I felt that Philly Phitness could help me get started in investing in myself.
What was the biggest hurdle you felt you had preventing you from reaching your goal?
I’ve had a nagging shoulder injury I’ve had from playing the violin. I feared at times that training would either exacerbate the problem, or prevent me from continuing to conduct regularly. Happy to report my arms are still attached to my body.
What was the first thing that changed for you once you started training at Philly Phitness?
I genuinely look forward to the next session I have with Evan. Working out with him three times a week is such a fixture in my daily routine now that doing anything less than that has a negative effect on my week!
Did you have a moment where things ‘clicked’? If so, what was it?
A few months after I started training with Evan, I had few days of intense rehearsals in Montreal. I usually experience a lot of shoulder fatigue and pain after days like this, but I felt a significant improvement in how my shoulders held up to that amount of activity.
What has been the biggest change you’ve seen and how has it impacted your (current and future) life?
I feel much more balanced and grounded on the podium, and I now see that getting stronger overall is an integral part of my development as a conductor and musician.
If you could give advice to someone reading this and thinking about working with Philly Phitness what would it be?
Allow yourself to be pushed further than what you think you are able to do! Evan told me early on that the mind quits before the body does; I’ve taken that on as a challenge to keep pushing my own limits.
Check out Kensho in action: Watch A Badass Philadelphia Orchestra Conductor