I normally get a massage about once a month at a place called Massage King. I spend a lot of time walking around with a backpack, sitting on concrete, and working out with weights so I consider this a good investment for my health.* For all my readers, let me assure you that this is a legitimate, very professional massage place (just don’t want anyone’s imagination to run wild).
I’m amazed at the strength that is in the hands of a 90 lb Filipina masseuse. They can really dig into the muscles. Sometimes I feel like I need to “tap out,” as if I were being submitted in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. So far I’ve never had to stop a massage or tell her to take it easy. I know that the discomfort is therapeutic (necessary, actually), and my male ego compels me to hide any pain.
I had an interesting conversation during my last massage a couple of days ago. Olive (my masseuse this particular time) was convinced that I had gotten whiter since my last visit (is that possible?). Clients only wear a gown and a small pair of boxer shorts, so I basically felt like I was in my underwear (even though the boxers are worn over one’s own underwear). She could indeed see most of my skin, but of course, I wasn’t convinced that my skin color had changed. Ganitong kaputi ako dati (I was this white before), I insisted to her and others in the room. The conversation was light-hearted—typical of interactions with fun-loving Filipinos.
I’m still surprised at what people remember. Olive brought up topics from past conversations—things that I didn’t even remember telling her. At one point she asked if I was still teaching at seminary. I think I brought in a Christian History textbook back when I was teaching that subject. The gentleman on the table beside me eventually chimed in on the discussion (the massage rooms usually have two or three clients in at one time). He asked me a few questions about where I was from and what I was doing here.
I decided to give away a few gospel tracts to Olive before I left. I stood up and started looking through my bag. There I was, wearing the equivalent of a hospital gown and boxer shorts while looking for gospel tracks. I smiled to myself as I thought about this unusual opportunity to share the good news.
*You can learn more about how to lose fat and gain muscle at my fitness blog (strongandfit.net).
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