After last week’s parkour adventure, I thought I’d go for the next logical thing I’ve never tried: a massage.

Back again so soon?

I’d actually heard about the benefits of massage from Colin of Fifth Ape in a blog post of his own. So I scheduled an appointment at Massage Envy at Eastgate, making sure to use the welcome-to-the-neighborhood-introductory-offer no-expiration-date coupon that’s been sitting on my counter for the last 7 months. (In the interest of helping you try out these weekly adventures yourself, I will point you in the direction of your own kitchen counter, where you probably also have at least one coupon for Massage Envy. And if you don’t, you must not get mail where you live.)

I went into this adventure fairly blind; I know friends who have done a lot of internet research on how to prepare, what to do afterwards, what sort of tissue they want massaged. I took the alternate approach of saying, “If I’m going to try out a relaxation service, I’m not going to stress myself out about it,” and showed up with just enough time before my appointment to fill out the necessary paperwork in their Quiet Room.

Medical History adventure! Yay! Fast forward fifteen minutes.

Actually, while we’re fast-forwarding, let’s watch the other people in the Quiet Room:
1) Perpetually scowling woman who kept glancing at me like I’d stolen her chair,
2) Two soccer moms loudly chatting about…dinner with…um…chatting…I…
1) Wow, that woman was really glaring daggers at me. But she was also glaring at the soccer moms, so I chalked it up to “They’re talking in the Quiet Room, and you, sir, don’t have the decency to stop being quiet and ask them to shush.”

Anyway, my masseuse took me next door and was very comforting, like she thought I would run away (which is what I get for answering the question “What kind of treatment do you want from your massage therapist?” with “Not Brutal”). I was actually fine, and only momentarily thrown by the no-skin human musculature diagram on the wall as I walked in.

A pectoral’s worth a thousand words.

And then I got an hour-long massage. ‘Nuff said.

I mean, I’m sure we don’t need to go into states of undress or the embarrassingly stupid-looking face I was making into the headrest pillow the entire time.

A face only a mother could love, and even she told me not to post this picture.

We certainly don’t need to go into how much I found myself enjoying the ambient music, which can best be described as one of those CDs you can only buy at a Hallmark.

What I will say is that if you have never lain on your back and had someone pick up your skull like it was a cantaloupe, knead it like bread dough, then let it drizzle through their outstretched fingers like a double handful of rocky mud, you haven’t fully experienced how weird your mental connections can get when you’re coated in oil in a darkened room listening to Meadow-Mountains of Whalesong with a picture of Slim Goodbody watching the whole time.

It was really nice. (Stay with me.)

For one, when I got in the car, my entire back lined up with the seatback.

For two, I’ve got several bruises on my shins from last week’s parkour-age, and they somehow hurt less today for all the kneading.

And for three, completely separate from the physical benefits, I walked out feeling serene. Not just Hallmark-CD serene either, but seriously calm and collected. I drove off to dinner with the stereo system off, just enjoying the peace and quiet.

Also, drinking a half-gallon of water because my friend told me that was supposed to help flush out toxins, post-massage…although this woman from Rutherfordton, North Carolina vigorously disagrees.


I’ll let you decide for yourself.

I, Kit FitzSimons, am an aspiring Experience Junkie; I’ll try anything once. Every week, something new. If you have suggestions for me, stories of your own, or want to join me on an adventure, let me know at