This is my 50th post!
I wanted to commemorate the moment so I decided this was a great week to take you into my voice practice and how I manage this instrument. This is not a common week because I don’t usually get to the chiropractor twice but the end of year Flex balance provides for my needs. It has also been a while since I took stock so I expect I may find some surprises here as well.
On the agenda: One on one clients most of the week, one class at a remote location, some writing/office sitting time, and not enough personal voice work time on the schedule. I average 7 hours of sleep per night.
Full disclosure: I entered this week after some intense chiropractic adjustments and self-work to deal with my glitchy Psoas. More on that deeper in the post.
It is Veterans Day (Thank you, John de la Cruz and all of my friends for your service). Of course, I have scheduled a work day and forgotten that my daughter is off of school, so we will just make it work.
I wake up sore almost every morning (I know I am not alone on that one). So my most reliable self-care routine is that I do a prone check-in and stretch before I leave the bed. I start from the toes up, articulating joints and seeing what has an opinion on the day. Most days my right ankle and right Psoas are pretty opinionated. After a bit of extension and some movement on my back, I’ll do some side twists and then bring myself to seated. A couple of arm extensions, twists and bends and I am ready to stand and get on with it. I may insert a standing tremor on the way to the bathroom if I am actually up on time. Monday was a messy day as I juggled having my daughter in the office with client meetings at two locations. I threw in the sporadic stretch or vocalise but it was a hard day for this voice. I am working on a new talk so I did get around to using some sample language in voiced exercises.
I got to the chiropractor for the first visit of the week, the third in ten days. I danced ballet for a long time in a body not truly built for it. During that time, I injured my right Psoas epically once and tweaked it many times. My right ankle was a casualty of ill-advised nighttime hiking while in college and about 18 years ago, I was in a bad car accident where my neck joined the party. Most of my intense physical weeks involve some sort of careful management of these things. However, for the past few years, my voice and speech business has been squeezing out singing performances so it has become easier to ignore the injuries for long stretches of time. Hence my current situation. Today I make time for a full sequence in Fitzmaurice Voicework and a full vocal warmup, including singing through some operatic repertoire. I am sore but feeling much better.
I feel like I got hit by a truck so I schedule a massage I don’t have time for by moving a meeting. The massage is incredibly helpful as is the second day of making time for Fitzmaurice and some movement. Sadly, I spend most of the rest of day sitting so it isn’t a complete victory. It is suddenly colder, so I start my winter routine of increasing hot water and tea consumption during the day to stay hydrated and warm. I also start doing vocalises in the showers to take advantage of the steam. While dropping off my daughter at ballet I discover that there is a sudden explosion of viral stuff being passed around the studio with a side of walking pneumonia. I launch into my proven immunity protocols and try to convince myself that the sudden tenderness I feel in my throat is psycho-somatic (it is).
I am back the chiropractor and things are finally looking good. I go straight from there to the studio to do some Fitzmaurice and Gaga (a dance methodology). I warm up and start the countdown on getting to my class (Put Your Best Voice Forward) at the CIC in Cambridge. The class goes very well and my body is in good shape. I get a physical wind-down and vocal cool-down into the mix at end of the day.
Friday is a sprint to get through both client-facing and peer-to-peer meetings. I am starting with writing this post first thing and having some coffee. Next is Fitzmaurice, shower, voice warm-up and then I am off. It is freezing so I will catch another quick vocal/physical warmup when I get to the office.
Thoughts: As I write it all out I realized that I have broken my own rule — Practice should be scheduled, it should be daily, and it should not be negotiable. I will be working on that. Also, I will be working on doing more of the physical work with clients in session so that I get a little extra movement during the day. Finally, I have kept practice journals for decades except in the last six months so I am bringing practice journaling into my regular bullet journal to help keep me accountable on a daily basis.
I hope you enjoyed the post and the peek into a week in this body. I would love to hear from you so post here in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GROW Voice, is a Boston-based business. Founder and CEO, Gina Razón has taught voice and speech for over sixteen years to individuals, organizations and in academic settings. She is sought after as a teacher of voice and speech, singing, and public presentation. Gina has a BM and MM in Voice Performance, is a practitioner of Fitzmaurice Voicework and a certified teacher of Somatic Voicework. She has served as voice coach for TEDxCambridge, and speaks at National and local events on all things voice and speech. Gina is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, The Voice Foundation, the Voice and Speech Trainers Association and the National Speakers Association. More information at www.growvoice.com.