Let me preface this with saying I debated writing this and I felt silly writing it, but I also like to go places with my writing that others may need to hear… happy reading!
Last night I got a massage. I don’t get massages very often. In fact, I don’t do most things that are considered pampering or indulgent all that often. It was two years between my most recent haircut and my last one, and I still have the “pedicure” on my feet that I got for my friends September 2018 wedding…. so needless to say, massages are pretty low on my list of priorities, though I’m trying to allow myself to partake in them more simply because I am so much more active now.
I got a gift certificate for a massage for Christmas (ok full confession: I bought it for myself for Christmas as a Christmas gift to me… don’t judge!), and finally scheduled an appointment. The last few massages I’ve gotten have been either more Sports Massage, so it ends up being all business when I go in, or one of those reflexology places where they really dig into you but I’ve had some issues with language barriers there, so there isn’t a whole lot of hot neck towels and relaxing music happening.
But I digress.
This magical gift certificate that I gifted for myself was at a spa place than I’ve ever gone to before. They give you a whole robe and a foot soak and some hot tea in a room called the relaxation room… the kind of stuff that is the polar opposite of who I am and how I operate. (What is a relaxation room? On that note, how does one relax? All I do is keep busy…) So, as I sat in a fuzzy white robe with my feet in a foot soak of hot water, in a dimly lit room with no clock (what the hell time is it, how will I keep on schedule with my life), no cell phone (I bet I have a thousand new emails piling up or I could at least have brought it to browse social media) and a hot towel around my neck (that I could get used to), I felt a little out of place and wanted to move things along. This was a lot of relaxing and not a lot of getting it done and moving on to the next thing, until they called me in for my appointment.
Ok, awesome… until I realized when I made the appointment I had said I was fine with a male masseuse, and then for the first time in my life was having a massage with a man. When I scheduled the appointment I assumed that because my “back is whack” (my opinion, not a medical diagnoses 🤣) and has knots for days a male would be better to help work out my issues.
I have almost always in my adult life gone to male doctors, have many male friends and have always felt comfortable in male dominated settings, but for some reason my first thought was “oh shit, I don’t know how I feel about my body in this moment.”
I felt conflicted about the fact that I’ve got extra weight sitting in my mid section, but I also know I’ve got some strong defined muscles and was about to be butt ass naked on this massage table with no unicorn onesie or little while robe to cover my anxieties of my saddle bags and my stretch marks.
I’ve never had that type of a gut check ever, where the two ways I see myself mesh into one visualization. I was about to be full Monty face down on this table and I couldn’t decide in that moment if I felt I was fat or if I felt I was strong.
I pulled myself out of my headspace fast. I reminded myself that there’s no pre-reqs for coming in and getting a massage. Any insecurities I am feeling right now shouldn’t be projected as what I imagine others are thinking about me.
As the session was going to begin we discussed what I needed work on. I noted my calves and my shoulders from all my running and strength training, and we made that a topic of small talk. As I felt knots being worked out, a few four letter words almost come out of my mouth, and some much needed physical relief, I worked on letting my insecurities go away and relaxing.
I had a moment while I was on that table where I thought to myself this exact phrase: “be grateful to your strong body and all it can do”, and that I was gifting myself this hour to give my little body some much needed attention for all the hard work I give it.
And at the end of the day, it was one of the best massages I think I’ve ever had.
Don’t let yourself get into the headspace of insecurity. Let yourself celebrate the positive and focus your energies on that. You’re the only person who sees yourself in a bad light. Don’t project those feelings onto others.
Be grateful to your strong body and all it can do.
Cheers to strength!