Did the title of this article get your attention by chance? I thought it might. When last we spoke I filled you in my idea for this series-the Something New Series. In a nutshell I’ll be doing exactly what the title gives away, I’ll be trying something new and sharing it with you in each installment of this series. This may be one of my biggest adventures as a grown up (relatively speaking) woman in her 40’s and I’m pretty jazzed about where I’m going to be lead. What will I be challenged to do? What will I learn?
When I thought up this crazy idea my first decision was that I would lead the first challenge. A challenge from me to me basically. Whatever I picked had to meet certain criteria. First, it had to take me out of my comfort zone. Second, I wanted to choose something I could do in my community. Lastly, to start things out I wanted my first adventure to settle something from the past. I thought for only a few minutes when it came to me and now it’s time to tell you about it.
Let me give the backstory on where my choice came from. For my 20th birthday a few of my friends went in together to get me a gift card to a local massage spa. It would be my first ever massage and I was pretty excited about it. The particular place that they chose was a place I wasn’t familiar with but it had rave reviews and so I made an appointment and headed on in. (This is 20 years pre social media, Goggle, etc)
I was told when I got there that I would have a male masseuse, that he was blind and would be lead in and that he was brilliant at massages. This all seemed fine. As explained a man with sunglasses on was lead into my room and begin to massage me. What I wouldn’t share until years later is that I found out he was not blind, very handsy (and not in the expected or appreciated way) and the following week the spa would be shut down by the police for solicitation and several people were arrested…faux Ray Charles included. From that terrible day forward anytime I got a massage I always made sure it was not a man, wearing sunglasses or otherwise.
I’ve gotten many massages over the years since my first one, if you can call it a massage. I’ve had many wonderful ones but that first one has always haunted me. I’ve decided as a grown woman that I needed to revisit this area of uncomfortability for myself and get right with it. Not only would I benefit from a possibly relaxing experience but I would maybe learn something too. Luckily for me I had all the tools at my disposal for this experiment. My most recent birthday was about six months ago and I received two different gift cards for two different spas that were collecting dust on my desk. Why not use them and see what I could find out?
I decided to ease into this experiment slowly by booking the first massage with a woman. She turned out to be a lovely person, a mother herself as a matter of fact. I booked the spa’s relaxation massage with her for a full hour and was not disappointed at all with her service. I also booked my visiting mother for her own relaxation massage in the next room to get her thoughts on it as well. My mom is a talker, during massage and otherwise. While I love to talk, when I’m getting a massage is not one of the times that I feel like gabbing.
It would be interesting to hear the difference between my mom’s experience and my own. What we discovered is that we both had great therapists that listened, were very thorough and that the experience was relaxing and very comfortable. We also both decided this was a place that we would want to come again for a future massage. While I barely got the name of the woman who massage me…my mom was on the opposite end of the spectrum. My mom learned the entire backstory of her massage therapist and I’m pretty sure they are friends now! That’s mom and I love her!
So all in all it was a very easy, comfortable experience but next was the time to try the experience I had been…let’s just say putting off. I booked my second massage for the following month at a another spa that I had gotten a gift card for but specifically requested a man. I’ll be honest and tell you that when the day came I was a little more on edge about going in, OK a lot more on edge about going in that I had been at the other spa to begin with. I made a point to book the exact same type of massage so that I could experience exactly the same thing but in a different way. So I headed in for my “relaxation” massage hoping I would be able to relax and enjoy the darn rub down.
I think you could probably sense my unease. He definitely had to of picked up on it. Before he even left the room for me to change he showed me everything in the room and talked me through exactly what he was going to do and in what to order. He then left, I changed and I climbed up on the table with a little bit of nerves about how things were going to go.
He began by again talking through what he was going to do and making sure that he knew what kind of pressure I liked. I was very comfortable with him after initially clinching a bit. I guess in my mind I was hopeful that his hands would only go where we had discussed that they would. No more, no less! His massage technic included a bit more focus on pressure points then the other spa but both were very relaxing. I was nearly asleep (that’s how relaxed I was) when he announced that we were finished and he congratulated me for successfully wasting an hour. These were his exact words and I found them very funny.
I also felt like not only had I been unknotted and relaxed but a weight has been lifted from me. I didn’t realize how much I had been carrying this baggage from the past for 20 years and how it affected my perception of spas and spa treatments. Past experiences can affect us in ways that we’re not even aware of ourselves. Sometimes we have to be brave and face these things head on in order to leave them where they belong, in the past.
I learned that both men and women can give you an excellent massage in a way that you’re comfortable, both physically and mentally. It was not new information that I enjoy a good massage but I truly enjoyed both of the ones I got. I also felt proud of myself. I felt brave about getting outside of my comfort zone. So far outside of it that I couldn’t even see my comfort zone from the view of my second massage table before I got on it.
So the outcome of my first something new is this: Challenge accepted, challenge completed and challenge successful! I set out to have a new experience and prove something to myself and I did both. For me that’s what these challenges are about. Learning something about new things, having new adventures and growing as a person in the process.
As I type this I have completed my second challenge, something even further outside of my comfort zone if that is possible. It is something I was challenged to do by a reader and I was lucky enough to have her join me as we experienced the challenge together. I hope that you will tune in to the next installment of this Something New Series to hear all about our adventure!
Remember if you have a challenge that you want to take part in with me or have an idea for one you’d like me to consider doing without you-don’t be afraid to shout it out! Send me a comment or a message privately. Get in touch on the blog’s Facebook page or buy me a drink and tell me about it (kidding…but I do love a glass of red wine). Funnily enough my kids are so into this idea that they both have issued me their own challenges as well and we’re working out the details of including them in a future challenge too. Proof in point that being a mom doesn’t mean saying no to new things!!
Thank you for joining me today for the lowdown on the rubdown! I can’t wait to share the next adventure with you. I’m having an absolutely eye-opening time so far and I know that there are a lot more new things in store for me.