The sports massage

I don’t make a habit of talking to strangers, especially in hot tubs. But this chance meeting turned out to be a happy, albeit a little creepy, coincidence: I had met a sports massage tutor and was invited along with the promise of a free treatment. I was dubious, but then I do like free things so of course I went.

I turned up an hour early and crashed the first hour of the class. The students pulled my leg around, commenting on the scars and the strange purple/fluorescent orange colours my skin was showing in the cold room.

Then, I was instructed to remove my shorts. Things like this always happen when you are wearing your worst underwear. Tucking the towel around me so tight I had to roll on to the treatment bed, I did my best to relax. A fellow volunteer told me that he had completed Tough Mudder, and that was nothing compared to this. And breathe…

There were so many screams. The practice masseuses found their way around each muscle, digging in with their thumbs and sadistically applying their elbows when a knot was discovered. I held up a corner of my white towel in surrender – but nothing. I asked if there was a code word to stop – there wasn’t. The palms of my hands sweated as I exhaled, trying to imagine anything else. Once my masseuse had finished with my right leg, I half wished I only had the one.

Class announcement: “Today we are going to learn how to massage the glutes!” Oh good. My questionable choice of underwear was exhibited to the entire class during the demonstration. Luckily, my face was squeezed into a tiny hole squarely blushing at the floor.

I stumbled out of the room feeling broken and bruised, and a tad confused by the whole experience. People willingly pay for that queasy amount of pain to be inflicted upon them?! However, just a day later I really did feel the benefits and could finally walk without resembling the Tin Man. I’m looking forward to having some more sessions…I think.


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