As I mentioned in an earlier post, I went to Phoenix, AZ for a training last weekend. It was a great class, continuing my training in Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy. I learned 2-footed strokes. Yes, I use my feet as well as my hands to massage! I had previously learned seated and 1-footed strokes. Now, we pulled out all the stops and just stepped right up onto our clients. Ashiatsu is intended for larger bodies and those who like deep pressure. I’m really excited about what I learned. It’s very fun.
As class progressed through 3 days, it became a joke that I was always going too fast. I laughed, realizing over and over that I was ahead of my classmates. I thought about my lifestyle and how I feel like I’m always dashing off to pick up my son or head to cook team (that’s another story I’ll tell sometime). I don’t have a lot of down time or pure leisure. Anyway, as I tried hard to slow down my massage strokes, I would take a deep breath, remind myself I didn’t have to cook dinner right then or hurry for carpool. As I slowed my feet down, I could feel more of the back or legs I was working on. My feet came alive in a new way. I relaxed my arms and brow and enjoyed myself a lot more.
After 4 days away from my endearing little family, I was eager to hit the road and get home. Sunday evening at 5:25, I zoomed out of class and merged into westbound traffic. The plan was to make efficient, minimal stops and get home by about midnight. At 8 pm, I had made it about half-way through the desert. I pulled off the freeway to fill my tank and drink the strategic coffee that would keep me awake for the monotonous drive to LA.
At the end of the exit ramp, my car died. Huh?? It took me a bit to figure out that it had clunked out; I was so surprised. We have an older car, but it’s been very reliable. For the first time in my life I had to put on the hazards and literally push my car out of the way of other cars. I was able to coast down the hill and turn into a gas station. It wasn’t the best parking job, but it worked. What was I going to do next??
Phone calls to home base, a couple of helpful strangers, a pack of chocolate donettes…nothing made that car work. “Jr.” helped me push it into a good parking space for the night. Then I headed off to find the one hotel in Quartzsite, AZ. Please see link below. This is a very humble town. http://www.ci.quartzsite.az.us/about/ I spent the night in Quartzsite and started fresh in the morning.
Our instructor informed us in class that there’s always someone who cries. There may be countless reasons, but it’s inevitable. I had calculated just enough energy to drive home that Sunday night. I had not factored in getting stuck in a small town on the edge of the desert. I cried like a baby. After checking into the hotel, I finally calmed down and recounted many blessings in my unexpected scenario. 1) car breaking down at a town instead of in the desert 2) ability to push it into gas station 3) Chris’s and Jr.’s help and kindness 4) Fransisco’s ride to the Super 8 5)existence of the Super 8 6) AAA membership 7) cell phone reception 8) husband.
After a great night’s sleep, my (long-distance) husband and I tackled the situation with the help of AAA. The day ahead involved an almost nerve-racking amount of waiting for this restless mama. I became an expert at waiting by day’s end. The hardest part was waiting for the busy mechanics to eat their well-earned lunch before they diagnosed and fixed my car’s problem. God bless the mechanics, truly. But as soon as I had paid up and gassed the car up, I was on the road like a bat out of the desert. I drove all the way without risking stopping again until I got into Pasadena. (I believe that was 207 miles, but who’s counting?)
I was 500 feet from my driveway when a cop redirected traffic down a side street. I nearly collapsed in maniacal laughter. It took me about 15 minutes to get around our long block. By then the last of an unfortunate traffic accident had been cleared and the police detour was gone. I entered the driveway, parked the car, practically fell out the door as my leg and backside were so numb, and ran into the house. Hugs and kisses all around. Within 5 minutes I was wrestling with my son.
Slow down indeed. I hadn’t realized how accustomed I had become to the hustle and bustle of greater LA. I am far from the fast lane, but you know you’re in the middle of nowhere when the 1 Burger King in town is listed as a top employer on the municipal website. Where there’s 1 taxi driver, 1 hotel and 2 mechanics. If I hand’t had an adventure in Quartzsite, AZ, continued in Blythe, CA, I wouldn’t have really known they existed. If there hadn’t been only 1 (unavailable) taxi driver and 1 hotel, I probably wouldn’t have walked past and truly admired the colorful wildflowers growing on the side of the freeway.
Hopefully, as I weave my new massage technique into my practice I will remember this very vivid example of slowing down. An unhurried massage is often a very good one.