Fun fact: Pre-professional athletes push themselves to their absolute maximum physical capability all the time. Did you know that trumpeters are athletes? I happen to push myself to the absolute maximum extent of my physical ability. I play until my mouth can no longer perform...every. single. day. Less than fun fact: A trumpeter can damage their facial muscles causing temporary or permanent harm and there are professionals out there that have done this and never been able to recuperate. I don't want to take time off, but 'tis necessary. And horrible, did I mention that? I began feeling swollen in between practice sessions and noticed my range was diminishing. So I did what any reasonable die-hard self-respecting trumpet player would do, I worked the most intensive range exercises in my repertoire and broke my face, one week before leaving for Shell Lake Arts Center Trumpet Workshop. I feel confident, as do the professionals around me, that it is a temporary issue and a few weeks of very light practice will be an effective and suitable remedy. Worst. Timing. Ever. But I learned a lot. I learned that playing is mood stabilizing. When the time comes for me to bring along overly-enthusiastic young musical minds I will be able to help them understand the importance of protecting their embouchure and discovering their physical threshold before over exerting themselves. I learned that my trumpet teacher has never seen a young player practice with the discipline and intensity that I do ( totally proud of that). Most importantly I learned that protecting what we hold precious and value most in life is more important than being competitive or out-playing one's peers. But don't you worry, I'll be spending my lighter playing time focusing in on music theory and jazz charts.