When I was in massage school, everyone had a story that went something like this:
“I’ve massaged people all my life, when I was 6 my favorite thing to do was to rub my grandmother’s neck and hands.”
I was not that person.
In 2003, when the construction economy went downhill, my little brother was laid off from his job. He decided to go for retraining – as a massage therapist. When he called and told me this plan, I laughed so hard, he hung up on me. Then, I told my husband he had to go with me to a bookstore, because I was going to “find a book that would prove to my brother what a bad idea this is.”
Yeah, I know, not my finest Big Sister moment. My husband kindly did not point that out, probably because most of the time, I’m the BEST BIG SISTER EVER. (Somewhere, a little brother is rolling his eyes so hard they just popped out.)
The problem was, my plan of shooting down his plan didn’t quite turn out as expected. Instead, I found that I was intrigued by all of the science of massage. I was under the mistaken impression that it was all resorts and cruise ships. By the time I finished both of the books I bought, (Yes! I bought two! I’m nothing if not determined,) my plan had backfired on me, and I was convinced that it was something I wanted to try. I think my exact words were: “I could totally do this.”
At the time I was in my early 30s, and had moved from one “dead-end” job to another. I liked my jobs – I was, at times, a bartender, a waitress, a nanny, a factory worker, an orchard worker (I drove a tractor!) a bookkeeper, an office assistant, an aquarium cleaner and master fishy seller. Once for four hours, I was even a telemarketer. They were all (except for the telemarketing job) decent jobs that I enjoyed, but nothing that had real long-term potential. I loved working with people, it’s just that, except for being a nanny – which I adored – nothing I had done previously, really made any difference to people in the long term.
The next day, I started calling massage schools. My first class, on the first day of school, less than a month later, was a Shiatsu class. I was hooked, not just by the focus and discipline of eastern-style massage, but also by the developing science of western massage disciplines.
Today, my real passion is the anatomy and mechanics of movement. Most of my continuing training, and discipline related studies, are in this field. Every massage day, I get to work with people who are using knowledge and manual therapies to make their bodies and their lives stronger and healthier.
And I’m still grateful that my little brother wanted to attend massage school, because without that nudge of sibling rivalry, it would never have entered my mind. It’s one of the greatest gifts of life to have meaningful work that you love.
In my downtime, I have eclectic interests. I’m a bit of a tea connoisseur, I play the ukulele (badly, but joyfully) I make lots and lots of paper cranes. I’m a photographer, especially of fierce and furry creatures. I’m an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy, and I collect books, and attend author events when I can. I knit and quilt when the mood strikes.
I’m married to a pretty terrific guy – we’ve been married for quite a long time, and not long enough. We share space with four demanding little critters of both the canine and feline persuasion.
I laugh, a lot, and have the most amazing weather luck, which is a nice type of luck to have.
My favorite color is green, but secretly, I like all the colors. Shhh… I won’t tell if you don’t.