The Big One

I couldn’t take it anymore. My back refused to cooperate after restarting a workout routine. I went for a massage. Not the nice kind when you relax and drift off to sleep, but rather, the sports kind that hurts in a good way.

He touched my back and felt what I felt. A knot, tucked under my left shoulder blade, sent shooting pain up to my neck. Like a rolled up ball of chewed gum shoved into a crevice, it didn’t want to budge. Despite my efforts to have a positive attitude, this pain sent me over the edge. Thoughts flooded my mind, turning against my own body.
Why can’t you handle an easy workout?
You’ll always be injured
You’ll never reach your goals
They spun in circles in my head, inviting in feelings of shame, doubt, and powerlessness. He massaged around the knot, releasing tension nearby before digging into the Big One. There was pushing and pain, kneading and release, pressing and relief. Before we finished, he spoke with me about the knot. Kimber, he said, this knot comes from emotional pain. As soon as he began this conversation, I tried to take back all my negative thoughts, hoping I could collect them and hide them quickly before he noticed. This knot is about a decision—resistance to a decision. I dropped all my thoughts on the floor and let them spill. I wanted to laugh or cry, and lucky for him, a burst of giggles erupted. Of course, I thought. Of course my body and I are sharing this experience together. Exciting, painful…whatever it may be.

I told him about my decision. It was to become a writer.

2 Replies to “The Big One”

  1. I am always still amazed how our bodies manifest tangible aspects of our emotional lives. I love that your masseuse can tell the physical parts of massage as well as those emotional parts as well and could reiterate that to you, though it seems as if you already knew and he just confirmed it. I hope through the simple act of writing, you let go some of those pains, both physical and emotional, that you feel. Thank you for sharing!


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