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The Beauty of Massage

Credit: dMap Travel Guide

Credit: dMap Travel Guide

When I was training at Equinox over the summer, I was lucky enough to get treated to several massage sessions. I don’t know what sort of fitness-massage lottery I won, but when someone asks if I want a free massage, you better believe I’m going to take them up on that offer! I will say, though, that after my training—in which I felt soreness the likes of which I’d never felt before, in which I pushed my body harder, and in which I made my body stronger than it’s ever been—I deserved those massages.

It became my Saturday ritual. I’d take an hour-long group exercise class and schedule my massage for soon after. I’d work my tail off, and then I’d get rubbed down. It was the most pleasant reward for a week of hard work and training. I swore by those massages to help reduce my recovery time and give me motivation for another tough week.

My massage guru, Alicia, rocked. I think I was actually supposed to switch it up and try other massage therapists out, but no way! I knew a keeper when I found her. First, her massages were fantastic. I’d tell her what misery I’d endured that week and where I was sore, and she’d go to work taking care of the problem areas. I always felt like a million bucks when I’d leave, rejuvenated and ready for my next workout.

Now, typically when I get a massage, I want silence. I don’t like to chit-chat. I don’t like to “uh-huh” and “mmm hmmm” while my massage therapist is jabbering away, interrupting my precious time of peace. I want to zone out, relax and not think. I want me and me-only time.

That is, until I met Alicia. Alicia not only took me under her wing and massaged my soreness away, but she had me TALKING. Non-stop. For the entire massage. We’d jabber from the moment the massage started until I was out the door. I’d whine about how sore I was, and she’d empathize. We talked about our love for Olive Garden salad; she showed me a particular hand massage technique that felt amazing (and that I wish I could remember!).  She told me a story about dancing so hard she almost threw her neck out that nearly had me in tears because I was  laughing so hard. I’d leave in disbelief that I didn’t get my silent massage, and that I was actually okay with it! Being the pro that she was, I know she would  have given me silence if I would have shut up for any length of time, but all of our silly chit-chat actually made my massages more enjoyable.

Those few sessions were a welcome reward for a lot of hard work, and if you’ve never had a professional massage, I’m so sorry. Go get one, whether as a treat every now and then, or as a reward for meeting a goal. Heck, make it your goal, and put money in a massage fund jar if you need to. It’s been a few long months now without a massage, and I must say I’m in going through withdrawal. But then a little fairy named Fit Bottomed Jenn dropped a little gift card in the mail for my birthday. A little gift card for a nearby salon, in my new hometown. I may not get to chat with Alicia, but I will be getting a well-deserved (and most likely silent) massage for my birthday. —Erin

And if you’re hesitant about getting a massage, check out Jenn’s tips for getting the most out of your massage!

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