You know that feeling when you’re mowing the lawn and you’re immediately pleased with the results of your work?
No? Alright, you know that feeling when you’re mowing the lawn and your spine is screaming at you in protest?
That one sound a little more familiar? Well, I like mowing the lawn because it’s instant gratification, like vacuuming or playing a hockey game against the Edmonton Oilers.
No one should be in pain during normal household tasks, however, let alone in pain shooting a million pucks every day.
When the North Shore Winter Club hired Stephanie Roberts as our own resident Registered Massage Therapist, I quickly picked up the phone to arrange an interview. The interview was an enlightening one, but mostly because I left our meeting feeling horribly self conscious about my posture. According to Stephanie, I’m what’s referred to in technical terms as “a mess.”
Oh yeah, I wrote an article too.
But back to me. Haha get it? Back? Sorry. Anyways, Stephanie informed me that ten years of shooting pucks over and over again without actually playing hockey and paying no attention to my lack of symmetry had created some issues. Issues she could fix, mind you, but issues I need to be more careful with.
In short order I was being kneaded like stale dough by elbows, knees and knuckles.
And you know what? The results were immediate.
Stephanie instructed me to sleep on my back with no pillow and my feet elevated. Seemed weird, but she’s the professional. And it worked. I didn’t sleep straight through the night because the position was strange, but when I did wake up, it wasn’t because of a pinch in my back or numbness in my fingers, it was more of a quick moment to be conscious and realize hey, you’re too relaxed to sleep through all this without realizing it.
I quickly drifted back into a deep slumber of which Sleeping Beauty herself would be jealous.
Sleeping soundly and deeply because of my loose muscles created a benefit I could hardly contain. From the moment my eyes popped open until the moment I crashed that night I was moving quickly. Everywhere I went the next day was a brisk sprint rather than a lethargic shuffle.
This energy also encouraged healthy eating choices. I snacked on trail mix, celery, rice crackers and hummus throughout the day in between meals of lean chicken and vegetables. My body craved light, easy-to-digest food so it could keep the pace up as I wrote in the morning and hit the gym in the afternoon.
You might have guessed that the added energy from the relaxed muscles, extra sleep and suitable fuel would have a positive affect on my workout. You guessed right. The real reason the massage helped me though is with my recovery time. I like to get in and out of the gym in an hour (no more, no less), so the faster pace allowed me to add a couple exercises as I didn’t need as much time to catch my breath in between circuits.
Literally, figuratively. Was my back magically fixed after 60 minutes of glorious torture? No. But I felt as though I was taking the steps necessary to fix it, and thus I strutted around the following day with good posture and comfortable movements. Having the confidence to compete in the game of life is just as important as competing on the ice or on the court. One session and I have exercises to compensate for being a right-handed shooter, I’ve got a new way to sleep and my eyes are opened to all the other possibilities I might unlock. That doesn’t mean I’m done, and hopefully it will be easier with each session to keep me loosey goosey.
Loosey goosey makes for better blog posts, after all.
So, go get a massage.
To book an appointment, email stephanieRMT@nswc.ca.
Tuesdays 2pm - 7pm
Thursdays 7am - 2pm