I am a girl who loves mountains, changing seasons, running, true backpacking, strong coffee, and knitting with high quality yarn.

When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.

The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott

Monday, October 13, 2008


Body is an amazing thing. I had always had a complete fascination about how it works and functions, thus always loving anatomy classes and all related to them. I don’t care really why it made the way it is and how, and who/what, but rather – now that it is, what is the ways it can perform, what are the correlations between parts, dependence on one another, what it looks like, feels like, how it changes…anything I can touch or see is what amuses me.

I had not two, but 4 clients-volunteers for my massage practice last week, plus giggling Stephen (hardly a client, but he actually counts too!). I think if I had more open hours in a day, I could have more. My massage table came exactly on my birthday, waiting at the door step, and it’s sky blue color! Much lighter than one in this picture. SO I am fully equipped now. I also read the following chapters far ahead of the class schedule and learned at least in theory a bunch of other techniques of Swedish massage, so I could entertain myself and my friends with more than 5 strokes from first practical class. I got valuable feedback on my pace (too fast too short of strokes) and my strength (too deep for relaxation type, but I won’t take it as a negative, I do intend to specialize in sports massage and deep tissue). But I adjusted the level of pressing for one woman who has nothing to do with athletics, and surely slowed down in pace of hand work. It’s been fun and rewarding. Part of the homework, besides practical, anatomy drawings, assay writings and book, was discussion about boundaries. I didn’t think I had any until I read the booklet provided. I still think I, personally, don’t have problems, but I bet I have to take care of my future clients, or it will backfire. For example, “honey” and “sweetheart” names are unacceptable, and that pretty much cuts out my communication! I am all about sweet talk in support, and a hug or few! (forget those for sure!) OK, these issues I at least can justify, but the fact that I can’t comment that I see some kind of misalignment or upcoming/chronic injury (unless mentioned in a health record) and recommend to see a specialist (not give advice, mind you) – why not? Isn’t healing profession about helping to prevent? Apparently the person on a table may take it the wrong way because all he/she is here for is relaxation. That’s a bunch of bull, I ain’t going to do relaxation massage, I plan to work on supplemental therapy and preventive care! I mean, I understand the benefits of massage as a general health upkeeping process, for the sake of soul, but really, how many of you go to get massage twice a week unless you either train hard (and need to prevent things from tightening up) or already injured? Too expensive and time consuming. May be in a perfect world it’ll replace medicine in general, but for now it is used to help to heal the body…and mind along the way.

That’s not all I’ve been into lately. The Personal Trainer Manual is a Bible for any athlete, and totally awesome book I can’t put down. And I thought I took enough anatomy and had a few Personal Trainer seasons that I keep the form and know it all. Ha! Kinesiology just blows my mind! Last time I thought about Sir Isaac Newton’s laws was good 25 years ago. Now it is all applied to weight lifting – and trust me, I tried the tricks today, a complete revelation. I planned to write so much about it, but it would take a whole book to explain – and it’s already written:--) I just want to assure you – I am sore today as I haven’t been in a while. But will, however, mention one point, as simple (and complicated) as standing posture (and walking too). For example, I have a deep sway in my lumbar spine (lordosis) with my stomach sticking forward and my butt back (as in too much of it). What it means is that I have anterior tilt in my pelvis (imagine pelvis being a bucket, and the water spills in front), and the cause for it is that my hamstrings are tight (duh!), my back muscles are overdeveloped (heard that one before), and my abdomen (external obliques – btw, rectus and internal obliques do minimal in development of common sense “strong abs”) are much weaker than the posterior part. It takes so much of focus to try and tilt the pelvis up and forward, and it’s hard to do it all the time! Now, you do it! And it’s not to “get your fab abs”, but to unload poor back from unnecessary torture. It looks prettier too.

Speaking of bodies – go visit Ronda’s blog. Mmm, what a dedication can turn into!

So, I studied for the majority of the weekend, and really was enjoying it so much, I couldn’t put books down! I did manage to do one thing – Sunday morning I went for, ahem, a run. To Forest Park. On trails. 6 miles. OK, I hiked the first mile up, but as it rolled, I began to run. And my hip at first hurt really badly, but I remembered my lesson from last week’s try-out, and my lessons from PT manual, so I tilted my pelvis, shortened my stride, and soon after forgot about the hip.
Although there were more reasons to do so. I was out of tune with my moving, and in couple of miles my whole body ached as I put effort in – no laughing – a mere few miles on slightly rolling terrain. I struggled. The usual marks around went by slowly, I felt every muscle on my legs and just kept going by ridiculing myself how insane it’d be to tell anybody I couldn’t finish a 6 mile run. So I did, not stopping even once, and then my knees screamed at me. I was really disappointed – at my laboring and at all the pains, I couldn’t believe it is possible to forget how to run in 2 months and loose all the muscle memory, but then it hit me – I was adjusting to completely new stride and body posture! So there, feel better now. And the aches were gone after a nice hot bath, although the hip joint hurt today (despite which I still ran another 3.5 miles after work…you know, just to see if it changes anything, and it did, as in “injury hurt, legs didn’t”, so it’s a good thing, I am adjusting to a new gate, it’s just freaking slow, and I need to figure out how to pick up a feet turn over, because I always was able to get by on my long stride, and now I can’t, because it hurt so much…but I am bubbling). I was still happy to be out there, and scared out of my mind to realize how long it’ll take me to feel “old self” again…

There were other fun things. Stephen went with his father mushroom_hunting with a bunch of people from Russian community (which is big, but I don’t know any). Don’t worry, we grew up with this, we know what we are doing, I haven’t poisoned anyone yet. This trip was full of
Cantharellus cibarius picked up, and the dinner was very traditional Russian: fried potatoes (not French Fries, mind you), fried mushrooms with onions, and cucumber/tomato salad (no dressing). This was my “cheat eat” for the past week, and I had no guilt feeling as I enjoyed the dish I loved since I was probably 6 years old or so. Below is my documentary on “how to”, if you ever interested Yummy? You betta!

And now – I am counting days until my last officially planned adventure to Grand Canyon! How far will I go? Who knows! I’ll pack fully and will stop whenever I need to, I understand I am totally stubborn and stupid, but I live my life the way that suits me (and highly NOT recommend doing so unless you feel as crazy, and often not in a good way). I know one thing for sure – I will have fun with my sweetie, with Angie, Mike, my friends from Wasatch Goat Team, I will see sunrise and sunset over magnificent Grand Canyon, I will take lots of pictures, I’ll cry, I’ll laugh, and I probably even gamble some 20 bucks on my way back. And that is all very exciting!


AnthonyP said...

How can I sign up to be a volunteer for your massage practice ? :)

Sarah said...

You can call me sweetie...I promise I won't tell. : )

Jessica Deline said...

I thought that might have been you! I passed you on Wildwood (you were running) around Wild Cherry or somewhere in there. I didn't say hi since I wasn't sure though. Next time!

angie's pink fuzzy said...

when you talk about the massage and where your life is going, you sound good - happy - like you have a purpose. that's so awesome to hear.

and just three more days! i'm so excited :)

Larry said...

Can you make me some жареный картофель? Please??? It's so good!You're going to be an awesome LMT! And, Personal Trainer, too! I'm very happy you're finding a means to use your natural ability to help and nuture people. You've waited long enough and now it's time for you to continue going after your dreams. :)

Rooster said...

Your pictures made me hungry, it all looks very good and I love mushrooms.

Sounds like you are back in action and any action is good action. Also, sounds like you are loving you new classes. YEAH!

Lisa B said...

Mmmm....you dinner looks scrumptious! I share your love and fascination of anatomy as well as your desire to help others. It's why I love what I do. You will be great, Olga! Have fun in the Canyon.

JeffO said...

If you cook me some food, I'll let you give me a free massage. Is that a deal or what?
I'm really needing a massage, but I'm "between therapists".
So glad you're happy with your new direction.

Anonymous said...

I can feel the smile on your face. Happiness can be contagious. Here is to spreading the joy to the rest of the World.


Steve S said...

My wife is a LMT and I get some time on the table. I think you will be a wonderful LMT. We are off for a week in DC to run Marine Corp and see the city.

I'm very glad to hear Alex is doing well. Some of us hard headed boys just take a little longer to settle into life's responsibilites.

A bunch of the Y club and my son will be coming to Autumn Leaves so I'm looking forward to seeing you there.

Enjoy the Grand Canyon. We were there last November and it is unbelieveably fantastic, light snow and all.

robtherunner said...

I couldn't imagine you changing your personality to be politically correct on the massage table. I am hoping that my body someday will be beat enough from training that I can justify regular massage. I have never even had a "real" massage.

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