I like to keep in shape. For me it’s a must. I take after my Grandfather who was always very slim. However, with a big bald head, and a slim body, you are at risk of looking a bit top heavy and unstable. Like that of an orange on a toothpick!
So I need to bulk up a bit. Build some muscle and that way, with a completely shaven head, I might look, if anything, like an MMA fighter…. or an aggressive baked bean. It’s better than an orange on a toothpick and that way I won’t fall over as much.
Last year after a somewhat shaky start, I started following the Insanity workout programme. You can read about the shaky start here.
I did complete the programme and although it was one of the hardest things I have ever done, I felt such a huge sense of achievement from it. However, I will say that my joints did suffer a bit and my knees, ankles and elbows were not fans of Shaun T.
Now I’m having a go at P90X and although I’m not able to do every session every day, I am working out most days and already I’m seeing positive results.
For the past few weeks I’ve had a tight back with twinges here and there and I blame it on the poor seats in the office where I worked and posture. I needed loosening up. Starting the P90X workout which involved using weights and resistance bands probably didn’t help matters either. But Mrs Grump, for Christmas, kindly bought me a couple of vouchers for hot stone back massages.
I had a day off and thought I would utilise one of these vouchers. It also fell perfectly on a day where I was working on my back as part of my P90X schedule.
So I had a workout and then after a shower and some food, headed to the spa.
I entered this lovely building and the ambience is immediately evident with tea lights and soft chill out music playing in the background. I think the tea lights were there to create a relaxing atmosphere. For all I know the fuse could have blown on the lighting circuit. I considered offering to take a look at the fuse board. I didn’t.
I explained that I was here for my eleven o’clock appointment. I was then led upstairs by the young masseuse. I was led into a room with the massage bed covered in towels, more tea lights and more ambient music from some easy listening chill out compilation album.
“What do you want me to focus on?” She asked. An odd question since I was booked in for a Hot Stone Back Massage. In the darkness, I could just make out the slow cooker in the corner of the room. Having had a hot stone back massage before and therefore not a hot stone massage virgin, I knew this was not used to simply make a chilli for the masseuse’s lunch or dinner but to actually heat up the stones for the hot stone massage.
“Err, just the back please,” I responded. What was she aiming at with that question?
“Upper and lower back?” She asked.
“Err, yes please,” I replied. If I’m having a hot stone back massage, I expect my entire back to be dealt with. No skimping! There shall be no upper / lower favouritism here. Besides, in general, my entire back felt shit and needed some serious manipulation. This led nicely onto the next question.
“How firm would you like it?” Now I’m glad she used the word firm here. Because if she had asked me how hard would I like it to be, I may have completely got the wrong idea. Perhaps it’s just my sordid mind. Furthermore, I don’t really think that Mrs Grump would have signed me up for one of those kind of massages!
Well being a bloody bloke, an incredibly manly man, stood in front of a little young masseuse, I said the same as any man in my position would have, “Go as hard as you like.”
She left the room whilst I took my clothes off and then I got onto the bed and under a towel lying face down. Don’t worry, I was still in my undies! I think complete nakedness for a back massage would have been a bit too far. There was a whole at the top of the bed, with towels rolled up around it to make a cushion so I could place my head in there to keep a straight spine for the masseuse to work with.
Shortly after, the masseuse came back in and with a little chit chat, started to rub the oil into my back. ‘Ah, that’s nice,’ I thought. “I’ll try not to go to sleep”, I said to her with a chuckle. This was a throw away comment, meant to be said in jest and also to break the silence which felt a little awkward. She was rubbing her hands all over my back and so with the physical contact I felt I just had to say something. But on a serious note, I didn’t want to fall asleep because that would mean that through the little head hole thing I would no doubt dribble and that, could be a slip hazard!
She didn’t say anything to my throw away, sleep comment. Probably because she knew very well that I wasn’t going to go to sleep. Why? Because she then proceeded to beat the f*cking shit out of me!
Oh don’t let the little young masseuse image fool you. She was evil. EVIL I tell you! Her little sharp fingers, digging into my shoulders and then she would roll her forearm over all the knots I had sitting there minding their own business. “Your shoulders are bad,” she said. Bad? Bad as in a bad state or bad as in they are naughty and in need of sever punishment because that is what it felt like.
My eyes remained closed as they do when your face is contorted and grimacing. My teeth gritting and grinding in reaction to the pain I was experiencing. I wondered where she did her training. Guantanamo Bay? But then it got worse. She started digging her elbow in. The sharpest elbow in the world! And she knew what she was doing; she would find a painful lump in my back with her elbow and then grind that lump over and over again until it would crumple under the pressure in submission. It would then crunch and send pain that would make me want to yelp. But I didn’t. No, for I had told her it was open season on my back. “Go as hard as you like,” I had said. Like a prick! Little did I know that she clearly had PMT and decided to take out her rage on me! But I wasn’t going to lose face by moaning like a little bitch either. I was telling myself, ‘No I can take this pain. I can. I can take it. Just breath. Breath. Aaaagh. Don’t cry!’
It was at this point, mid-torture, that I felt that perhaps I should have gone to the toilet beforehand. My bladder was starting to feel a little full and all this squeezing, compressing, crunching and shoving was not helping. Perhaps it was my body’s natural instinct to empty the bladder when undergoing extreme physical stress. My mind was contemplating my options. ‘What should I do? Should I ask her to stop whilst I go to the loo? I could make a run for it? In my pants? F*ck it, yes if I have to. No, no you can’t. Take it like a man damn it!’
Through the grunts and little muffled oomphs and other weird noises that accompanied this mental womans attack of my back, I wondered at which point the hot stones were going to come out and get to work. The last hot stone massage was very relaxing. A complete contrast to what I was going through now. But I was going to find out that the hot stones would never come. The slow cooker in the corner wasn’t even switched on. They had made a mistake and didn’t even have me down as a hot stone massage.
But for now, I continued to suffer the pulverisation of my back by this little sadistic bitch.
And then it stopped. I breathed a sigh of relief. I could relax. It was over.
Well, over on my right side. She then moved over to the left.
But I still didn’t cry!