Back in August I went for my first ever sport massage. This was to help keep the legs injury free while I upped the intensity of my marathon training, hitting longer and longer distances.
Despite my initial nervousness, it turned out that the sport massage was just what I needed. But I almost didn’t go, so before I tell you about the sport massage itself, I want to tell the whole story.
Because this is my first marathon, I want to be sure to give myself every advantage; I want to do everything right. Sport massage was recommended to me so I nervously began looking into it.
I say nervously because I knew that going for a sport massage would mean two things; first I would have to be undressed in front of another person and second, I would have to be touched. Each on their own is bad enough, but to have to endure the two together would be a particular challenge for me.
I’m not a confident person really. I have my issues with self esteem and body image. Certain people, things and circumstances in my life have hurt me deeply and deeply affected how I see myself. Because of these things, I don’t like being vulnerable, and I don’t like being touched.
I was also very much aware that as an overweight woman, I’m not the typical ‘sporty’ client that a therapist might expect. So when I emailed a local sport massage clinic I was honest with them and explained I was a novice, nervous and, incidentally, fat.
They were very reassuring, it didn’t bother or matter to them in the slightest that I was overweight. And as far as nerves were concerned, they assured me they were professionals and I would be in good hands.
I was really glad they took the time to address my issues, my nerves and lack of confidence. I went ahead and booked the appointment.
I was still nervous when I walked in though. As I had joked to a friend earlier that day, the only people who see me in my underwear are my gynecologist and my cat! Luckily the clinic were ok with me wearing a loose pair of shorts.
When I went in to the Bodywise Clinic, Eric met me and brought me into the therapy room. We talked a little bit about what I was doing (training for a marathon!) and what I might need/get out of a sport massage. I also explained I was shy and nervous and worried that he might not want to work on someone overweight like me. His response was brilliant. He didn’t dismiss my concern but instead explained that he felt his job was to help me, and that he wanted to help so my size and shape didn’t factor into that. He was a real professional about it and that helped to put me at ease.
The massage itself was good. Eric is very knowledgeable about the human body and as he worked on my legs I asked him questions which he was happy to answer. We chatted about running and exercise and in particular my training and goals. While he did the massage, he occasionally he hit a tight spot and I had to grit my teeth as the pain radiated through me. At one point it felt like he had jabbed a hot nail into my leg! I felt the better for it afterwards though, and had no regrets about having gone.
Surprisingly, he said my legs were in pretty good shape considering the training I’d been doing up to then. My muscles are in good shape with a few hot spots but no real troublesome areas.
During the massage there was some nice relaxing music playing but I joked that we should listen to head banging music instead, would suit the fist clenching and swearing! Although I didn’t swear too much, just clenched my teeth and clutched at the massage table! A ‘jinkies’ or two might have escaped my lips. 😛
On my second visit, I was a lot more relaxed, though still shy at being clad only in my shorts in front of another person! This time Eric worked on more of my legs, including my quads which, as it turns out, aren’t in the best shape and have been restricting my range of motion. It was pretty amazing to see the difference of motion before and after the massage!
Tonight I’m going for my third session and my last before the marathon. I’m really feeling the need for it after an intense month of training! An 18, 17 and 15 mile run are all in these tired legs of mine, not to mention my usual mid-week runs and walks. I have a feeling this will be the most painful massage yet, but conversely, will be the most helpful.
I am glad I followed the recommendation to get it done, despite my initial trepidation and nerves. This is a case where I couldn’t let my lack of self-esteem be a stumbling block. In fact, I can safely say this is a battle I’m winning more often these days. All thanks to my running!