The month of June had me on a South-North-South tour of the US. From New Orleans to Chicago, I am fortunate to be courted as a presenter at national massage industry events. This is something that I enjoy immensely. I consider myself to be very fortunate to be recognized by my peers as a professional who can provide others with valuable tools to build a career in massage therapy. One of the joys of taking these trips is to see the look in the eyes upon me that are taking in every thing I say. It reminds me of when I was sitting where they were years ago.
However, what excites me even more is to be able to connect with so many others who share the same passion I do for helping others through touch. This past month I was able to work along side some of the same people who I used to listen to from the audience. These are the people who lit the fire inside me and showed me what it means to ‘share the love’. This particular weekend, I was able to share the spotlight with a gentleman by the name of Aaron Mattes, a.k.a the Godfather of Active Isolated Stretching. Aaron has been working on pro athletes since before I was born and is still working with the same passion now into his late seventies.
What impresses me most about him is not his pedigree. Many would acknowledge that as the highlight of his illustrious career. However, if you ask him, standing in the batters box against Satchel Paige, or working with Shaq makes for a great story, but helping people such as a 70 year old gentleman who visited our booth who has Parkinson’s is really what excites him. I watched this man approach our booth and immediately noticed some obvious physical limitations, and so did Aaron. Aaron quickly greeted the gentleman and began to wrap his clinical mind around this man’s issues. By the time the work was finished (about 50 minutes) the man was able to turn his head more than the 10 degrees left and right he had grown accustomed to over the past 10 years. You could hear no trace of his slurred speech that he presented with, and he walkway without the noticeable limp he had when he arrived. This all sounds amazing, I know. Aaron shook the man’s hand, wished him better health and provided him with some ways to maintain this new found wellness. About a 30 minutes later, the man came back over and just hugged Aaron, crying tears of joy. Aaron, always humble, looked at me and said, “That’s why I love what I do and will continue to do it until I die.”
Traveling around the country affords me the pleasure of learning from others who share the passion for what I do; not for the money or the fame, but for the genuine appreciation for what we can do to help others understand pain. I always return from these conferences with a renewed spirit and energy to make The Boston Bodyworker a better business for our employees and our patients. I am grateful for the mentors, like Aaron that I have encountered over my years who continuously motivate me to be better, not with words, but through actions.