As you may have noticed, I recently began a segment at JaneBeNimble called, “Your Body is a Fortress.” This post is about why I started the series. To be honest, I have no idea how many parts will comprise my series, but I am hoping to impart some of what I’ve learned to you and to, somehow, help make your life better.
During the summer of the year prior to my beginning massage school, a one day, 30-mile all-out hike in Yosmite, CA helped tear my Achilles tendon, with the help of chronically tight calf muscles. The only thing that saved me from surgery was deep tissue massage therapy at a local physical therapist office (thank you Gail!), and lots of stretching.
So, I figured that if I could learn to massage myself correctly, I could treat many of my own injuries. My torn Achilles was only the tip of the iceberg of stuff that had gone wrong in the recent five years or so that massage therapy helped to fix (e.g., torn hamstring, torn discs in my low back, etc.).
I trained at massage therapy school during nights and weekends while I held down a full-time job as a scientist in a biotech company.
After completing my initial training, I started working with friends and relatives, mostly just helping them out with sprains or minor injuries and to relax. (Note: in the massage trade, we call the latter a “fluff and buff.”)
The more I learned about the body—the network of fascia, ligaments, tendons, musculature, and the skeleton—the more I became enraptured with this amazing network. Importantly, I was fascinated with how to make this network work well.
In fact, it was so interesting, after I completed enough training to get my license, I started working on the weekends at a local spa. I saw six or eight people a day with all kids of issues and also gave many fluff and buffs, both types equally important. During the same time, I started my own private practice during the weekday evenings, still holding down my job in biotech.
The day finally came when I realized that I’d have to give something up. I had taken all the classes I could take and meanwhile received my HHP (holistic healthcare practitioner certification). I couldn’t keep working a full-time job plus my job at the spa on the weekend plus see my clients during weeknights. Something had to go.
Away went the biotech job.
I love massage that much.
So, what is the point of all this? I want to make something clear. If you love something, do it! Life is short! I’m partly writing this as background for my new series, but the main reason is that I want to underscore what I said recently about doing what you love. If you love it, you’ll find a way! It may include keeping that day job while you’re looking into your next thing. It may include taking some classes to bone up on what interests you (no pun intended).
I heard the whispers in the hall, the naysayers, and all the icky stuff. “You trained for 10 years to be a scientist, why are you doing this?” But those voices didn’t matter. I also heard the people who supported me and helped me to live my dream. In the end, the only voice that really matters is your own. My science background helps me to be a better therapist; none of it was a waste and I wouldn’t have done things differently.
I have found such an amazing life in helping others. To have people come to my office, trust me with their bodies, and share with them in their hopes and dreams, means more than anything. To have people say to me that what they look most forward to in their week is coming to see me is the best thank you I could ever receive. Helping others has saved my life.
Consider what you’re doing with your day, every day. You’re not going to get the day back to try it again. Tick tock. Tick tock. Trust your inner voice and go for it. You can do it!
Thanks for stopping by and please email me if I can help you in any way at
Lori [at symbol] janebenimble [dot] com.