Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Proud, Crazy, and Sad

Actually, no...these are not the long lost Dwarf triplets...this is the range of emotions from the past weekend. And it all started on Friday, as most good things do. As a massage therapist, I am a member of the Kentucky chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association. During our business meeting and continuing education conference last August, the chapter president suggested we adopt a charity or community service action plan. Someone from the crowd said "what about our veterans?" and then I couldn't keep my mouth shut, of course. I spoke up, perhaps a bit too loudly because suddenly I was the chairwoman of the committee. We have been slow-going, starting with offering discounted massages to anyone with a military ID and attempting to extend outward. As mysterious things happen, I randomly got an email from a deploying soldier's mom asking if we could provide massage at the deployment ceremony. This was the "in" I had been hoping for! Although we only had 2 therapists providing massage, over half of the soldiers took advantage of the opportunity to receive a 20 minute table massage before deploying. Even some of the leadership signed up. I organized the sign-ups and tracked down soldiers when it was their turn so I saw them as they went in and then as they came out. When I say "transformation", I mean "TRANSFORMATION". Most of this unit had never been deployed overseas. They had that I-am-so-frightened-out-of-my-mind-that-I-just-look-really-excited look. When they got off of the table, though, they had the everything-is-going-to-be-OK look and that, boys and girls, is what "fulfillment of your life's purpose" is all about (it is NOT about spreading your seed, as The Jerk would have you believe). My only regret is that I was not one of the ones providing actual massage, but instead had to organize the event. But what I am most proud of is the 2 ladies that took time out of their day to bring their tables over and put a healing touch on these scared, young and courageous men and women. Bravo to you! And Bravo to the 3 units from Maysville, Morehead, and Louisville for doing what you do. May God bless you and keep you safe. We will keep you in our prayers and our thoughts and will look forward to your return.

What makes me crazy is the fact that the newest contestant to be kicked off of Biggest Loser is now offering Bootcamp classes in his backyard. (How's that for a total shift in gears??) So, Fillipe: I think it's awesome that you lost that much weight. I think it's equally as awesome that you lost another 13 pounds on your own. You have inspired many Americans to put down the Lay's, turn off 24 and go for a walk around the neighborhood. And that is freakin fantastic. Now, because you most likely do not have any sort of background in Exercise Science or Kinesiology, I need you to cease and desist. I know that we exercise professionals make it look so easy but it's sort of like watching ER for 6 years and then deaming yourself prepared for surgery. I'm sure you could probably deliver a baby in a pinch, but I would rather you not replace a kidney. Get a little knowledge under your belt (with like real textbooks with real tests about the attachments of muscles and what a proper quadriceps stretch looks like) and then use your passion to motivate even the unmotivated. Although, apparently Jillian pushed a contestant so hard this season that she ended up with a hip stress fracture...at like 25 years old. So, maybe passion without knowledge is OK in the Biggest Loser world...but not when you run with the big boys (or girls).

And lastly....what makes me sad...right now is a time for endings. Not many beginnings are taking place, although there are a few. In the past 4 or 5 days, there have been many endings for much of my family and some friends. And while we always remember that nothing lasts forever, it is always difficult to live through the end of something. What we must try to take into consideration is that the end of something is also usually the beginning of something else. So, we remember what was good, try to learn from the bad and move on. I am staring down my own "ending" and trying to stay calm about the unknown. Remembering that life has a funny way of working out is certainly helping and I hope that it is some words of comfort to those of you who are not comforted by much else these days.

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