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My First Time

Let us back up to the first time I got a professional massage. At the time I had thrown the idea around about being a Massage Therapist a little bit. I first gave it some consideration when we talked about it in a Health Occupations course the previous year, but really did not know anything about it yet. I was about to find out.

When I was seventeen and a senior in high school, my friend Lauren Griner invited me to spend Spring Break in Charleston with her family. We stayed in Wild Dunes right on the beach for a week. It was beautiful. On one particular day her mother suggested that we leave the beach for the day and get a massage downtown. We chose the Spa at the Charleston Place Hotel, which would make for my first visit.

It was love at first sight as we pulled up to valet the car. The hotel was beautiful and elegant and we were warmly welcomed by the staff as we made our way up to the fourth floor to find the spa. We changed in to our robes and slippers and waited in the relaxation room for our therapists to pick us up. I was the first to be greeted by my therapist, Wendy who confirmed that she would be performing the eighty minute hot stone massage.

Once we got to the room, I got settled onto the table and the treatment began. It did not take long for me to begin melting into the table as she used the hot stones to relax my muscles. I had never been so relaxed in my life. Somehow though I managed to ask Wendy some questions including how long she had been a therapist, how she got in to it and what it was like working at the Charleston Place. She said that she had been there a few years and that she loved working there. She explained what being a Massage Therapist was like, which sounded amazing to me. She seemed so happy and thankful for her job.

After eighty minutes I was on another planet. It was so difficult and took so long for me to get off the table that Wendy finally knocked on the door to make sure I was awake, or in this case alive.

Walking out of the spa, out of the hotel and on to King Street was like walking on air. I had never felt so amazing or so carefree. I felt like a jello mold. I literally had no legs. Besides thanking Kathy over and over, I kept saying to her and Lauren

"I feel SO good. Do you guys feel this good? I seriously have never felt so relaxed. It is so pretty outside. Oh my gosh I can't feel my legs."

I can still vividly remember to this day where we were walking and how I felt. Wendy and those hot stones left a serious impression on me. Massage was my new favorite thing. Now I just had to figure out how to do this for a living.

Looking back, I believe that this is the moment that I mapped out where I wanted to be in five years. At the time, I had no idea how I would get there or the amount of work that was ahead of me but I knew that I wanted to make people feel as amazing as I did walking on King Street that day. My subconscious knew what I wanted to do. It was just a matter of convincing my conscious self to follow the path.

Later on in the week, still on Spring break, I remember walking with Lauren on the beach. We were talking about graduation which was quickly approaching and our plans for the future. She was set to go to the College of Charleston in the fall and I had decided to go to Clemson University. I asked her what she wanted to do with her life and she said

"I want to be a teacher and have a classroom."

When the question was directed at me I said

"I want to be a massage therapist and have my own spa."

At the time it seemed like such a farfetched dream and I can remember feeling like I had no idea where to start or if that would ever really happen. It was literally nothing more than an idea, nonetheless one that I had never actually spoken before. That was all it took, though to get started. Everything was about to change whether I liked it or not--all thanks to Kathy and Lauren for treating me to my first massage and Wendy for being the one to give it. What an awesome experience.




Kerin Nicole BowenComment