When I first started training for half-marathons in Gainesville, Fla., I happened to live a few blocks from a friend of a friend who was a massage therapist. Every few weeks, she’d magically knead out the kinks and strains that inevitably pop up during training. Her office was a lavender-scented cocoon with Asian fountains, calming artwork and sleepy-time music involving flutes.
When I moved to Jacksonville, I cycled through the following: A runner who was a gifted massage therapist but talked about his latest ultra the whole time; a woman who squinted in confusion when I asked her to work on my IT band; and a woman who was so aggressive, she left bruises. The last one, an older woman with drawn-on eyebrows, was my personal favorite. Her office had white walls, an exam table with white sheets and a CD player loaded with what sounded like “Flight of the Bumblebees.”
So when Steve asked what I’d like for my birthday (coming up May 20 … mark it on your calendars), I hesitated before asking for a visit to a massage therapist. I want someone gentle enough to make it relaxing, but tough enough to work out all those funky running kinks. I want someone who understands runners, but who doesn’t confuse the massage with a group run. I also want to find someone affordable enough that I can actually consider going back.
Any ideas for someone in the greater Washington area who fits this description? Post a comment below. I’ll be sure to post a review here once I find one.