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Post event massage
A lovely family I know lost their son to juvenile diabetes last year and this year there has been a big drive to make as much money for JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund) as possible in his memory. We have had ladies nights, cake sales, people have ran marathons, abseiled down buildings and much more to raise as much as we can. One crazy idea a few of them had was to cycle 100 miles around Bristol, including my husband and eldest son.
I desperately wanted to get involved but the thought of 100 miles on a bike was not for me, so I offered to massage everyone once they returned to the finish point.
They set off at 8.30am on their long cycle around Bristol, the church car park was closed off to enable tables for teas and cakes to be set up for the supporters waiting for the cyclists return. I was given a corner to set up my table and boards put around to make it private. Strange to set up in a car park – a new experience for me.
At 5pm we began anxiously waiting their return we had a few messages from the support crew, a few punctures and a road closure had slowed them down so they would be due back later than originally expected. Lots of tea and cake were available for the wait and lots of supporters to talk to. This was idea time for me to make myself known to few people I’d not met before and who may not know I offer massage locally.
Eventually they were spotted coming down the road and the cheers from the crowd encouraged them along the final few meters.
After a few hugs and sighs of relief to be able to get off the bike after 11 hours, I was ready for them.
Being post event it is only advisable to massage for up to 20 minutes so I felt prepared to manage all 11 of them if needed. Some of them (my son especially) just wanted to go home and turned down the offer of a massage. Although he knew he had me on demand if he needed me later.
For those that did see me, most aches seem to be lower back and hips. Quads and calves were also aching but muscle were very tight so some effleurage, nice relaxing strokes to calm the area down again were very welcoming, I was able to work a bit deeper in some areas of the calves and quads that were particularly tight. Some passive hip mobility and MET stretches were also beneficial. Mostly they were all grateful to be off their bike and lying down on the massage couch – even though we were in a car park.
I did my best to advise drinking water but to be fair they had a great support crew who had provided them with lots of water stops through the day, this meant that some of them did have one or two very well deserved cans of beer – and lets face it I couldn’t argue with that.
After giving stretching advice and suggesting ice for any areas of pain, I packed up my couch and headed for home.
It was an honour to be able to support the team and although I didn’t charge anyone, one of the support crew had a chat with me about their ankle pain and is now a new client of mine. She had wanted help but wasn’t sure if I could help or where to go – after a quick informal chat she has signed up for some treatment and has recommended me to others. So what was meant to be purely for supporting a charity it was a good business move too.
Post event massage was a different type of environment and feel, as you know I have done festival work before so used to being outside but being in car park and listening to people selling teas and cake right next to you and lots of conversations going on made for a very interesting and different style of massage environment. Not ideal for relaxation but after being off a bike after 11 hours stopping was enough to help them relax. I admit, the thought of possibly massaging 11 people was slightly daunting thought – could i keep going? The truth is I think I could have if needed, the buzz of excitement coming from the supporters and the cyclists from what they achieved was electric. Very enjoyable and rewarding.
Plus they managed to raise over £10,000 for JDRF.
So very very proud of all of them, and very happy to help out on the journey to recovery.
Do you have any stories you would like to share with us? Good or bad experience of event massage? Please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comments below are also very welcome.