I learned something about myself recently, that I think will have an application for when I’m sailing.
I’m about ½ way through a year long Sports and Remedial Massage Therapies course (to give it it’s proper title). The course is essentially one weekend a month plus LOTS of massage practice and in-depth Anatomy and Physiology study outside of class. Fitting this in with my day job and other activities has been a challenge, to put it mildly.
So much so, that when we had a massage assessment this past weekend, I was really worried that I was going to fail. My A&P knowledge isn’t as good as I'd like it to be, and I was feeling very unsure of my massage skills (despite being told I’m a very good therapists by many people).
The hours leading up to the assessment, and during the assessment, I had had enough. I had enough of giving massages, enough studying Anatomy - which bores and freaks me out in equal measure - and enough trying to unlearn the style of massage I’d been taught previously so I can incorporate this new, advanced sports massage into my skill set.
I did not want to be there. I did not want to ever do massage again. I wanted to walk out of the classroom and not go back.
But, after the assessment was done (and I found out I actually scored quite well), my feelings slowly began to change. It took most of the day, and some of the next, before all that negativity faded away completely, but it did go.
I’ve since done 2 very successful massages outside of class, and feel really positive about them! Giving a massage is fantastic when you can let go of 'am I doing this right' and just focus on the person and muscles you are working on. I again feel like I know what I’m doing, not at all as lost as I felt last weekend. Things just sort of clicked into place after the assessment.
So, what have I learned and how can I apply this to sailing?
I have a very idyllic view of living on a sailboat. In fact, it is a lot like the wallpaper image on my computer (apart from my dream is to be on a catamaran). Beautiful sunsets and sunrises, calm BLUE seas and a fair wind in the sails.
But I'm not stupid. I know there are rough seas headed my way, high winds and higher waves. There will be nights filled with rain and where one piece of equipment after another fails. I know I will, at times, have to spend countless hours hand steering for one reason or another, hours where I'd much rather be asleep. And although tacking into the wind and hail on my first day sail was fun, I'm sure if I'm doing that way out on the open ocean, by myself, hour after hour, it won't be fun then.
It is for these times that I hope to think back and remember the lesson I learned from massage. Yes, massage assessments and knowing A&P is part of the game, but it isn't the whole story or why I got into massage. Rough seas and long hours at the helm are a part of sailing, but it isn't the full story. There will be plenty of beautiful sunsets and calm waters as well.
Live for the good times, endure the rough times.