There are times in life when you simply find yourself in the deep end of things. Retraining as I am, there have been quite a few deep end moments through this year so far, and a few more to come I'm sure.
Last night was no exception when I arrived for my first evening at a local rugby club to share my massage skills. I'd taken the chance and emailed the club offering myself as a volunteer and asking to be put in touch with the physiotherapist who works with the club. Well, I got a reply and took up the invitation to turn up on Thursday.
We were supposed to start at 6:30 and the physio and I were going to meet at 6:00 to have a chat and get set up. Players started to turn up as soon as they knew the physio was there and book themselves in for treatment. Some were already booked in and others were looking for slots to fill. It was quite hectic and non-stop and I was really impressed with the physio and how she handles everything. I got to work with several players through the evening which I guess finished around 9:30.
What was interesting for me was how specific and targeted the treatment had to be. We didn't have the luxury of an hour to treat each person, so it was a case of focussing on what what most needed, getting the tissue warmed up and figuring out the best way to release what was stuck.
Working on some of the players it was obvious how much they needed soft tissue therapy. I've come across a few tight hamstrings and quads before, but these were like trying to get steel girders to stretch. At first I thought it was because they were finding it hard to relax the muscle and trust it into my hands, but it quickly became apparent that their muscles were so tight, relaxing meant just off full firing!
Anyway I had a good evening and enjoyed the challenge. Hopefully I can continue to be helpful and apply my skills more precisely as they develop. Getting involved in match-day treatment is a possibility, and I'm looking forward to that in the not too distant future.