The year was 2016. There I was, doing everything I could to set myself up for success as a musician. I just started a new degree, switched from tenor to bass trombone, and was ready to make the most out of my last 2 years at Indiana University. Not going to lie, life was great! I was practicing 3-4 hours a day, participating in three different ensembles, two different audition prep classes, and I was gearing up for a major dream audition as well as a recital.
But shortly into my preparation and education, something started changing.
I started experiencing muscle tightness, a little burning, some tingling, a few occurrences of sharp pain, and some dull pain. It wasn’t out of the ordinary, but something didn’t feel right. Fast forward a few weeks and I am sitting in jazz band, tooting on some low notes as we sight read pieces for an upcoming season of performances, and as I bring my horn up after a short few measures of rest…
Searing pain radiated throughout my left arm.
The pain was immense and luckily for me, the drum set to my right masked my painful scream. I composed myself the best I could and walked out of rehearsal.
Little did I know, this would start a 3-year
injury cycle that would debilitate my progress, mental health, and lead me down a dark path.
As I went through my first rehabilitation, I was able to keep playing using an Ergobone. During my recovery, I tried what seemed like everything - regular doctor visits ( most of them told me to find a different career path or choose a different instrument), Physical Therapy, Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais, and regular chiropractor and massage therapy visits. This cycle continued for about 2.5 years before I was ready to give up. No matter what help I received, I kept falling back into my same habits and cycles.
I was done. Done making progress, done falling backwards, and done hitting wall after wall. Even though I had all of this help, I still felt isolated, misunderstood, and stuck. At this point, I was ready to quit.
Determined not to drop out of school without a plan, I decided to get certified in personal training and corrective exercise as a side hustle until I figured out what I wanted to do with my life.
During my studies certification process, I started to apply the concepts to myself in order to adequately learn the material and crazy enough, I started to make some huge shifts! My posture improved, I had more energy, the pain started to subside, and within the span of 6 months, I w
as able to start practicing without pain! Long story short, fast forward through three recitals and regular regional orchestra cycles, I have been injury free for over 3 years!!
As a result, I have dedicated my life to guiding and helping other musicians overcome their tension, pain, or injuries. As a coach, I believe the body has a miraculous way of healing itself if certain needs are met. I also believe that musicians need to have a safe space to grow and talk about their experiences.
Disclaimer: I do not treat or diagnose any medical condition as I am not a medical professional, but through my coaching and evidence-based methods, I’ve helped musicians overcome tendinitis, bursitis, carpal tunnel, thoracic outlet syndrome, lower crossed syndrome, and chronic pain.