BEHIND THE SCENES WITH DR VOIGT
When I started the Fit On Tour platform, one of the first people that came to mind was Dr. Voigt (A.K.A Lindsay!) - someone who first showed me that maintaining health and fitness on the road was important, and most of all POSSIBLE.
Lindsay and I met while touring across North America with The Tragically Hip. Lindsay was on the road as Gord Downie’s Chiropractor and Tour Wellness Director - she extended herself to play many roles to support the whole band and crew with their well-being. She was the first one up in the morning, and out of the bus/hotel going for a run, making smoothies, and leading by example - but always had that balance of being a good wine-drinking partner as well! At this time, I was feeling my worst in terms of my physical health (though we were having the time of our lives! #noregrets) and she was just the shining example I needed.
As I am not a specialist in any of these categories, I wanted Lindsay to shine some light and expertise on helpful ways to aid in our journey to stay Fit On Tour…
To begin… Lindsay’s background is in Sports Science with a doctorate in Chiropractic. She specializes in sports injuries with a keen interest in musicians and a wide variety of professional and amateur athletes. Having said that, her practice also encompasses fixing everyday ailments for the people just like you and I... and loves all of it.
Lindsay’s job on the road…
Though Lindsay is a Chiropractor by title, she provided everything from physical treatments (such as soft tissue release) to strength training/ mobilization exercises and nutritional guidance while on the road. Lindsay’s sole purpose on this particular tour was to prepare Gord for an optimal performance each and every show. Feeling good physically helped him to feel good mentally, and vice versa. Her treatments helped to eliminate any fear of a sore-body and the nutritional depletion that goes along with the physical, mental and emotional exertion allowing him to focus solely on the show.
Lindsay’s day-to-day included meal planning/nutritional timing, exercise guidance, and treatment pre and post show, as well as on days off. She also snuck a few of us in for treatments in her down time, which we were SO grateful for. On the tour we had an ‘exercise room’ which included some equipment - such as Gord’s stationary bike, exercise mats, bands and balls- as well as a treatment room which is where she lived for a good part of the day!
Lindsay looks at her musician patients in the same mindset as she does athletes - their bodies are under alot of pressure to perform constantly and consistently and exhaustion can often ensue. With someone like Gord being on the stage for 2-3 hours at a time, sweating and running around, she needed to ensure his body could prepare and recover from the impact.
Nutrition on the go…
“First off, hydration is #1 - ensuring you are drinking enough water, and electrolytes to replenish your body - especially if you are burning the candle at both ends” (i.e. drinking alcohol after sweating for 2 hours on stage or working out).
On the Hip tour specifically, she would start the day by working out herself and then waiting for Gord to wake. Once Gord was on the move, they made sure they got his body moving by going for a walk, hydrating with tons of water, and a full breakfast to start the day. This also encouraged him to bask in some fresh air, get the endorphins going and his energy up. At meal time, Lindsay would guide him to the best options available depending on if it was pre concert, post concert or a recovery day meal - breakfast, lunch and dinner. Because of Gord’s health on the last tour, they would lean towards a ketogenic diet. This included reducing carbs and sugars from the very beginning of his diagnosis. I asked Lindsay why this was, and how this could help - “ Research suggests that cancer feeds on glucose - if you cut off the supply of glucose going into your body the tumor doesn’t have opportunity to thrive.”
At the beginning of each day, Lindsay would send the runner with a curated list of veggies, fruit and healthy items for the day. She would ensure she always had healthy options accessible in the fridge, tour management office and dressing rooms - this included cut up veggies (she’d portion them out in Tupperwares so people could grab and go easily), charcuterie boards, fresh fruit (a limited amount due to sugar), nuts, and pepperettes. She always had options and a solution to deter you away from the quick-fix fast food options. Post-show it was all about the protein shakes, and foregoing the after show pizza. Once the band got off stage, Lindsay would make smoothies with collagen, protein, flax seeds, berries, and spinach to replenish the body. Not only did it help replenish the band, but it also deterred the guys appetite from going for something a little less than healthy.
Lindsay’s biggest piece of advice when it comes to nutrition on the road is to limit the availability of poor choices and promote healthy ones. “It's so easy to make a poor decision when the choice for potato chips and pizza are in front of you. It is all about making good decisions. If there are healthy options readily available, then the healthy choices are easier to make.” I, personally, could not agree with this more. I used to be able to smash a bag of potato chips while sitting on the bus post-show without a thought. If those were not in front of me and so accessible, I would have been just as happy to snack on veggies.
“ As we age, our tissue doesn't regenerate like it does when we are younger- it requires more nutrients and sleep. Nourishing ourselves with healthy food and a good night sleep will help to aid the body in recovery. So, should you indulge in a drink post-show, follow it up with a glass of water and some nutrient dense food options...and pick your late nights wisely” - Lindsay
Top 5 items you need to bring on the road, and go!
A Bullet - a small blender that you can take anywhere - the bus, the venue, your hotel room - so easy to travel with but makes such a difference in the day being able to whip up smoothies.
Workout clothes and running shoes - might sound obvious, but if you don’t pack proper gear from the get-go your chances of working out are slim to none. It’s all about setting yourself up for success.
A therapy ball- She would roll around on this ball in her hotel room if she was feeling stiff and tight after exercise or a long day at the venue. She prefers a blue ball called The Orb, but says there are plenty of therapeutic balls out there that can aid in soft tissue release. www.pro-techathletes.com
Swiss army knife - GENIUS! Keep a proper knife (in your checked luggage!) giving you the ability to cut up veggies, charcuterie, and other tasty treats on the fly. We all know there is nothing motivating about creating charcuterie boards with plastic knives (which seems to be all that is accessible on show days sometimes!).
Laundry detergent bars - When you are active in your days, you tend to go through twice as many clothes. Having a laundry bar allows you clean your items pretty much anywhere there is a sink - no need to pack a lot of extras and helps to keep your suitcase fresh...especially your underwear. Seriously. This is a real topic. I now travel with 20+ pairs of underwear no matter where I go.
What advice can you give to someone wanting to tour in a similar role?
“My number one piece of advice is to know and own what you need for yourself, before you can try to take care of others. With that comes good decisions (I wasn’t perfect all the time but found balance), even under the influence and temptations that came with tour life. That, and you must remain flexible and easily able to adapt to different situations. Every day is different. In a different city, in a different venue and with different conditions and you must be able to work with the spaces and resources provided.”
Favorite memory from our time together with The Hip?
We immediately started laughing (and almost crying) when getting into this one… it was the time of our lives. The shows were great, the crew was amazing and oh so fun. And our bosses were The Hip - truly the most incredible and caring people, on and off stage.
Lindsay and I determined we couldn’t pick one, so here’s our top 3:
Karaoke in San Francisco. The band and crew found a dingy little karaoke bar in Japantown and took the joint over on a night-off. With no one in the bar but us, we had Gord on the stage singing ‘to love somebody’ by the BeeGee’s and Andrea singing Alanis’ “I’m a bitch” - it was pure joy and good times.
Seattle - We stayed out way past our bedtime this night, but man was it worth it. Crew photo below.
We both vividly remember being in Kirkland Lake and running around outside the hotel parking lot catching moths - do not ask WHY. Boredom is a real thing on the road at times people. It was just one of those moments that was so silly, but will stick with us forever.
I love you Lindsay! We all need one of you in our lives - on and off the road! Thanks for being a very special part of the Fit On Tour Story.
This won’t be the last we see of her here <3!