Have you ever volunteered for something and not really known what to expect?!?!:)
Well last weekend I did exactly that!
My CrossFit box (gym) were sending 2 teams to participate in The Filthy 150 competition -this is one of the biggest team fitness competitions in the country and in its 3rd year was hosting 200 teams (of 4members each) to a 2 day Crossfit competition at the National Basketball arena in Tallaght. I had purchased my spectator ticket weeks before and was all set to scream and shout at my fellow gym members.
That is until about the Thursday before when I saw that they were looking for massage therapists for behind the scenes for post ‘rub downs’. As I’m a avid fan of shouting about the benefits of post fitness massages, I thought it would be great experience for me and also a great way for athletes to see some of the benefits for themselves. Such as pain reduction, improves circulation, increased flexibility and obviously reduces tension and nerves.
I got to the venue for 8am with all the other athletes and volunteers and introduced myself to the other masseur for the day Sasha and we got to work finding a suitable area to set up our massage beds. We settled in the ‘First Aid room’ and with a little help from social media and some ‘filthy150’ hashtags we were in business.
Once the first work out (3 km run) was over, we got our first clients. Which were mainly tight calves, hamstrings and quads. But as the day went on and the work outs got more intense and diverse, we were massaging shoulders, arms, necks and lower backs. ( I blame the wall balls, pull up and Burpees!) 🙂
By midday our sign in sheets were filling up and the athletes were spreading the word back out in the arena where we were situated. A lot of them remarked that the 10/15 minutes with us was all they needed to get them back out and moving again.
By this stage we were flat out and we could only guess from the noise outside that the competition was going good too. The one or two times that I did leave for coffee, the floor was hopping. The place was packed and everyone was in such great form. There were 100s of supporters of all ages cheering their gyms on and the many vendors all had queues.
But alas I never stayed out of the room for long, my massages were calling me. I needed and wanted to help as many athletes as I could to continue in the competition. The buzz on the floor was definitely matched in our room. It had become a place for people to let off a different type of ‘steam’ , a place to relax and breathe and for a few minutes get away from the comeptitive edge. Myself and Sasha worked together through the sore muscles and my holistic approach and we aimed to balance mind and body and from the compliments (and repeat athletes) that we were getting it really seemed to work.
After the chest to bar pull ups work out though, it turned into a scene from ‘Rocky’ for a little while with all the bloody calluses on the hands that came through the door looking for help. A job for the actual first aiders. 🙂 the one thing I noticed here is that the guys were worse than the girls when it kept to the sight of the blood!!
Picture this, a 6 foot, 15 stone man walks in with chalky hands in front and elbows up ( as if he is going into surgery) asking if we can put a plaster or two on his hands so that he can go out again for the next work out and then tears rolling down his face when the calluses need to be cut off and there ms blood all over his hands and tshirt. Crossfitters can be funny like that! 😉
We ended the massages around 5pm, after 63 athletics come through our doors and 8 hours of volunteering and I have to say even though I was exhausted, I was delighted that I could be part of such an event and would definitely sign myself up again for next year. Roll on The Flithy150 2016.
Ps. I got to watch the second day of the competition and am so proud of my teams, they came 4th and 18th out of 93 in their category!!