What is a bartender but, in the most clichèd sense, a confidant, co-conspirator and/or a shrink. It’s funny what a little bit of alcohol will do to one’s inhibitions. As in, not really funny at all when you really think about it.
Of course, runners never drink so we don’t get the benefit of that age-old outlet, that one person we can tell our darkest secrets to. We actually do confess more than we should to our running partners and this is actually quite a strong bond we share, but it still doesn’t rate to the Runner’s equivalent of a bartender: the masseuse.
Think about it. We have near or complete nudity (under a sheet of course with, at most, underwear – nothing more!) so we’re almost as vulnerable as if we had downed two quick shots of Jose Cuervo or Jack Daniels. Yes, I am saying that nudity equals drunkenness.
Also, about fifty percent of the time our eyes are closed which leads to a euphoric false sense of intimacy only found opposite a well groomed and neat bartender across from an overly-polished oak bar with shiny brass fittings.
All of these factors, and more, lead to a telling of tales, spilling of guts and an overly trusting, no-holds-barred assessment of our current situations, our relationships and our inner most thoughts about where we went wrong in life. It only helps that a good sports massage therapist can jar little details out of you with a separated adhesion here and a flip of a muscle there. And by no means should you think anything happening to you is below the belt – you agreed to be here, you are paying for it and that person you are baring your soul to while they cloyingly tease your muscles with ecstasy is equally a receptacle for countless other secrets from other souls that hold each other in a static state; a checkmate where the king is not taken, he is just powerless to move.
You are safe, but you are not in control.
It is a delicious and useful practice that I highly recommend – if your sports-massage therapist does not allow four-letter words, keep looking.