I won't post about judo tonight, aside form the fact that it was 40 degrees with the humidity and the dojo has no air conditioning.
But one thing I did do today was have an excellent voice lesson. I've been working with the music director at my church who is a professional musician who trains professional singers, so the quality of teaching that I'm getting is super high. I've basically been working with him for two months, if you take into account weeks off for vacations and stuff. My voice has improved so much during this time I can hardly believe it. He's doing great work, tweaking little things and offering suggestions that seem small, but end up working wonders. Even just today we did that, where we found, through various experimentation, that if I mentally focus on the shape of my lips while I sing, it brings everything together and totally changes the timber of what I'm producing.
The best part about it, though, is that it's really fun. It helps that I feel like I'm making progress each week. But he's just such a great person and wonderful to work with. He's very encouraging and always has lots of exuberantly positive feedback for me. He really enjoys working with me and I really enjoy working with him, and we just feed off each other's energy to produce some really great results. Unfortunately, I find it hard to translate all the awesome stuff we do at a lesson into my own practice time, but I think it's more a matter of muscle memory needing to kick in than anything. Two months of new stuff every week is a very short time in which to be forming good habits.
I also enjoy singing for the same reason I enjoy judo: it's extremely physical, and I have to work very hard to master how my body performs various unusual tasks in order to produce something awesome. The best voice lesson is one after which I feel like my body has been through the wringer, but my throat feels nothing and my mind just wants to keep singing. Every week I have that with this teacher. I will be very sad to leave him at the end of the summer.