I can feel it. I can hear it. I can see it. Things are poised for big change both mentally and physically. These next 20 days are going to get exciting. I’m sure the 20 days after that will be daunting, but I am excited to see triumph on the horizon!
I just returned from a 6200 mile road trip that included presenting at the International Trombone Festival. I was inspired by so many great players and I also noticed some poignant lessons from hearing the hundreds of people in the equipment room. Normally I loathe this space with the bombardment of posturing going on, but it is good for me to see that from a technical standpoint, even average college-level players have a certain amount of facility and I am not crazy to acknowledge that my physical injury (which for a long time I never even realized was a factor) has most definitely caused some really debilitating habits with how I play. Nevertheless I am overcoming it now. It is only a matter of time. I took the long way around, but the path will get me there. Laser surgery to remove scar tissue was recommended by a few people at the conference, but while things are improving, I am going to hold off (just some research on the matter).
I practiced every day on this road trip. Sometimes it was in an Air Bnb house rental, sometimes it was at a family member’s house. I found a building that was under construction (but it was Sunday so no construction that day) while my son played at a fun park with mom. At the conference I practiced at the house I rented or I practiced in the practice rooms at the University of Iowa. One day on the trip was at UNT where I snuck into an open classroom at night. Several rest stops were utilized, and I even ran into Brad Edwards (trombone professor at Arizona State) at a rest area in Colorado a few days after the conference. Getting up early and starting the day with practice was by far the easiest way to fit it in when not travelling, and on the days that were mainly driving, the best way was to take advantage of a rest area when Thad was asleep. It was a huge moral victory to practice at least 4 units each day on the 3 weeks regardless of the environment. It was the first time in my life that I have been successful at practicing every day while travelling for this long. I imagine over time it will become standard knowledge among friends and colleagues and thus easier to socially navigate. There is no question that practicing is a part of who I am now. I’m OK with that. I like how it defines me in a way. We are what we repeatedly do.
Consecutive days with at least 1 unit- 355
Consecutive days with at least 2 units- 102
Consecutive days with at least 3 units- 83
Consecutive days with at least 4 units- 77
Consecutive days with at least 5 units- 3
A few of the practice spots on the road trip.
Upper Left- A dead end access road off of of CA-52 outside of San Diego, CA. Fortunately the temp dipped down to 90 degrees around this spot. Temps were as high as 116 degrees that day!
Upper Right- Lincoln, NE. Across the street from an indoor kid fun park was a building under construction. It was Sunday so the building was empty. It provided respite from the shade. I actually came up with a great connection exercise that I now do regularly.
Lower Left- Rest area near Glenwood Springs, CO. Brad Edwards and his wife Martha came up to me as I was packing up and we chatted a bit. Ironically Dr. Edwards and I did not run into each other at the conference, and instead met for the first time here!
Lower Right- MU321 classroom at UNT. I felt very much at home practicing here.