As a recovering (note I did not say “recovered”) fat person I can tell you from experience that most, and I qualify that generalization by saying again “most,” obese people do not want other people touching their expanses. I was, am, that person. My mom used to rub my back when I was younger and I liked that. That job was then transferred to my wife when I got married. But those are the only two people that I have ever really wanted to put their hands on me.
The thought of getting a massage was pretty much cringe worthy. It was gross to me. I didn’t want to take my clothes off in front of someone I didn’t know and I ESPECIALLY didn’t want that person to then rub all of my jiggly-ness. Am I off base here? Please comment below and let me know.
But then I started working out.
And while I would love to say I knew what it was like to be sore from growing muscles when I was 360 pounds, it is more likely that I would get sore just thinking about working out. When I ACTUALLY started working out, soreness was a whole new experience.
AND THEN, I started training for and competing in triathlons. Wow. I went from being sore for a day to being sore for a week and I was hurting in places that I didn’t even know I could hurt. I remember telling my wife one day that I might actually consider getting a massage. It was a HUGE deal for me to even consider it. Actually going through with it though?
The week after my first half ironman was the week that I knew I had to get over my fears and insecurities and give it a shot. My whole body felt broken for days. But I still didn’t do it. I still couldn’t bring myself to let someone not only touch me, but dig on me, knead on me, drop the hammer on me. Another funny aside…I knew that if I ever DID go through with a massage, that I was going to need someone who could really get in there and work on me. Some little tiny Swedish model just wasn’t going to cut it. Not unless she had man hands.
And then I had that awful race. Just awful. The Greenwood Triathlon where I suffered from dehydration as well as humiliation along with leg cramps that made me want to quit.
The day after that race I knew it was time. My legs were aching, my shoulders were aching, my everything was aching. I put the call out on my Facebook page asking who in Charleston would be the right massage therapist for me. I got an overwhelming response in favor of Bob Hamilton from Charleston Massage and Bodyworks.
I gave him a call and let him know that it was my first massage and that I had reservations. He told me that he worked with athletes all of the time and that he would take care of me. He called me an athlete. Aw shucks.
I could give you a detailed account of how painful yet awesome my first massage was. But I don’t think you really care about that part. Needless to say, I am now a convert and I plan to get on a monthly schedule with extra attention when I have races.
The part that I think is most important is the whole getting over the mental hurdle part. As a “person of weight” I had all of these notions about myself and weird ideas that I thought other people had about me. As I continue this journey towards health and fitness I still struggle with a lot of the mental blocks that I had before, but it is getting better. Life is getting better…
That is all.