I was born and raised in an inner city neighborhood of Boston. I graduated with a BA in Philosophy from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. I worked in retail for eight years but found little satisfaction selling televisions.
In January 1986 I quit my job, gave away my possessions except my mountain bike and camping gear, and bought a one-way ticket to Australia. My goal was to cycle around the world. I expected my journey to take two years, but being kind of slow it took eight.
With a budget of $10 per day I ran out of money in Asia two years later. Rather than return to the states I found a job teaching English in Kyoto, Japan. Just for fun I took classes in Kendo and Shiatsu.
Returning to the states after so many years away I had no idea how to make a living. I was adept at things like bribing border guards, changing money on the black market, and finding free camping. Nothing that would help me survive in a small New England town. Besides retail, which I disliked, I had no transferable skills.
Paradoxically I realized that because I had nothing - no money, no job skill, no place to live, no car, no relationship - anything was possible. I had an opportunity to create a life of my choosing.
During my travels I practiced the little bit of Shiatsu I learned in Japan and people liked it. Massage therapy was a skill I could practice in interesting places while I figured out what to do when I grew up.
I started searching for massage schools and decided on the Florida School of Massage. I arrived in the fall of 1995 having borrowed tuition and living expenses from my family.
Little did I know what I was in for at the Florida School of Massage! In addition to a truly incredible staff and a well-designed massage program, I was introduced to and able to explore a variety of massage modalities and self-empowering models. Among the many things I’ll always be grateful for was being introduced to the concept of Gestalt therapy and my brief encounters with Pat Korb.
After graduating FSM I set out to learn as much as I could about working with athletes and injuries. In addition to a full time massage practice I volunteered at international triathlons and seven Boston Marathons. I took dozens of advanced trainings and worked with the Williams College track, crew, and swim teams. It was a lot of fun and a lot of work, but not much money.
However, the cumulative experience landed me one of only six non-Australian spots on the International Medical Team at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. I was assigned to work with injured athletes in the medical center for the first two weeks and then at the Aquatic Center during the Games.
During the Olympics I phoned in weekly reports to our local National Public Radio station and sent stories to the local paper. The free publicity greatly enhanced my massage practice.
Fast-forward nearly 20 years. I’m still practicing massage therapy full time in the same small college town, and trying to figure out what to do when I grow up. However, I now own a singularly unique Japanese style spa. The nine-sided building sits on the Green River and started life in 1762 as the town’s grist mill.
Visit here: www.InTouchDaySpa.com to see photos and/or for contact information.