IM Louiville

IM Louiville
Bikes racked at Ironman Louisville 2010

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Massage

I haven't been a really big fan of massage. I've had exactly two, both just days before each of the Ironman races I've done. I'm not a big fan of people touching me. Just going in for my first massage was a bit of an ordeal. I've always just felt that massage was "fluff" and a luxury and never really believed in the benefits it has on athletic performance.

Since the shin has been acting up, I've been a little more open to new ideas. I've done all the things you're supposed to do: lighten up the running miles (well, I've stopped, except for my last 2 races), changes shoes, compressing it, taking ibuprofen and, of course, icing it. Not helping, not helping, not helping. So then massage was recommended to me. Ugh. Man, not what I want to do, but worth a shot, right?

I decide to listen to a fellow marathon runner, Bill, who has been going to "his guy" for 5 years. Said this guy has always "done him right" and he's running stronger and faster than ever. Well, I tend to think that happens more than just because you're getting massages, but whatever. I make an appointment and hope for the best.

I missed the place the first time I drove by. It's tucked into a somewhat run-down strip of small businesses. I walk in and a bell rings. There is no one at the desk and the air conditioning is rattling very loudly in a constant rhythym. I walk toward the desk and a guy with very big shoulders appears. "MJ?" He asks. "Yes, hello." He says he's been waiting for me. He shakes my hand and asks me to fill out some standard paperwork. We chat a little bit about how I missed the place when I drove by and he apologizes for the noisy air conditioner. I finish the paperwork, he takes the paper from my hand and places it somewhere behind the desk. He then turns around and says, "Alright. Now, did Bill tell you I'm blind?"

Well, yeah, he told me that, but it's kinda hard to believe. Sure, Larry has one eye that sort of drifts off, but the other one, I could swear was looking directly at me. He moved around the office as if he had perfect vision. Even when I was on the table, at one point, he said, "move your arm up to the front." Huh? How did he know where my arm was? Not once did he stumble, drop anything or even reach around for know, like when it's really dark and you fumble around to find something you know is there, you just move your hand around, slapping it down on the desk, dresser, or counter, until you feel it? None of that. He didn't walk with one hand out in front to stop him from running into anything (which could be why he said he's broken his nose so many times). But if he hadn't told me, I'm not sure I'd pick up on the whole blind thing.

I decided it's pretty cool. Because he can't see, doesn't that make his other senses more tuned? It seems to me that Larry might notice things that others would not because he HAS to do it all by feel. I have to say, the massage was good. There were parts that hurt - the good kind of hurt - though most of it was focused on the problem shin. I'll admit, it was a little weird to have a guy touching me....I almost felt like Costanza (I think it moved), but I don't really have an "it."

Unfortunately, the shin still hurt. Though he explained to me that the problem probably would not be solved with just one visit. So I've been back another time. Feels better, but still hurts. Next step: appt. with an orthopaedic doctor this week.

Injuries suck.

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