Thought I might give you a little insight into how I made my choice to become a Licensed Massage Therapist.
It was a very long thought process, about 20+ years…… Upon graduating from high school, I was a bit lost. I had no idea what I was going to do. Poor grades in school weighed heavily on my lack of purpose in life. I didn’t know until I was trying to get my missing credits to graduate high school that I had Dyslexia, a mild enough form that none of my teachers, in 12 years of school, caught it, they just thought I was lazy.
So where did that leave me? Well, after a few months of this and that, including starting a semester at Monterey Peninsula College, I decided I would try my hand at the US Army. Well let’s just say my mind was GUNG HO, but my body was NOT. I was in and out of the hospital in the 2 months I was in basic training, with the flu, sprained knee, and that was when my A-typical Migraines started. So home they sent me. I was a little disappointed in myself, but I know now that was not the path for me.
After I came home from my failed attempt at military life, I decided to go to cosmetology school. Lets just say, I am not hair stylist material. I ended up meeting my first husband, a US Army officer around that time, and for the next 9 years I was fortunate enough to be a stay at home mom. We were stationed in several posts over that time, including Hawaii, Kansas, and Oklahoma.
In Oklahoma I had so much fun taking aerobics classes at the YMCA, that I decided to become an aerobics instructor. And it was a blast! I had a great time being part of my students health and wellbeing. I choreographed my own classes in step, floor, and cardio kickboxing style aerobics. I did that for about 4 years. But when my husband and I divorced, I found that teaching aerobics does not pay the bills.
For the next few years I had many different jobs….. Waiting tables, bartending, and temp work. But one day while I was working as a bartender, a friend said that the equine hospital where she worked needed foal sitters, it sounded fun. I helped out with the sick foals and really felt a pull towards this kind of work, I fell in love with the prospect of working with animals. I asked about how to be a veterinary technician and they trained me on the job as a vet tech. So I worked in the equine hospital for about 8 months, and loved it. But the pay was not that great so I quit to take a job in the warranty department of a flooring company. That was short lived when my second husband got a job in another town. But when we moved I found a job in a small animal veterinary practice. I worked several vet tech jobs over the course of the next 6 yrs, from emergency, to mobile, to multi vet practices. I worked with some amazing veterinarians, and many different types of animals like horses, dogs, cats, wolves, big cats, guinea pigs, snakes, birds, and many more. I really enjoyed my time as a veterinary technician. I knew, however, there wasn’t a whole lot of upward mobility tho, and I felt like something was missing in my life and career. And I was getting a little too old to be wrestling 100lb playful pooches, and feral cats(but still loved it all).
Most of my life I was giving shoulder, or back rubs to family and friends with aches and pains, and they would always say, “You should be a massage therapist.” And for years and years I had thought about it. I always felt massage therapy school would be too expensive.
I decided to start looking into massage therapy schools, and an online course, that was really inexpensive. But when I received the material, I realized I would have to go to Colorado for several months for the hands on clinical credits(I was living in NJ at the time). So I started calling around to massage schools near me to see if they would give me the clinical credit. After many phone calls, I found out that that was not going to be possible. I spoke with a great registrar at Cortiva Institute Massage Therapy School, and found out that I qualified for government student loans. Needless to say I enrolled that day……..
So at the age of 41, I quit my full time job, and went full time to Massage Therapy School! BEST DECISION EVER!! I was encouraged by my amazing friend’s and family’s faith in me the whole time. My “poor me”/negative attitude changed for the better, my depression almost completely disappeared, I was happy, and for the first time in my life I was achieving a 4.0 GPA! I finished something I started, which was huge for me. I Graduated Cortiva Institute with a Professional Massage Therapy Diploma, and I received the Faculty Award. I was actually quite proud of myself, and so were my family and close friends. They saw the positive change in me, and had always known I had a talent for massage therapy.
Now I spend my time doing what I love! Helping clients reach their health and wellness goals, working out knotted and tight muscles, reducing stress, and educating them on changing habits to keep muscles from being painful.
If I had this whole life/career thing to do over again, the only change I would make would be to go to massage therapy school SOONER!