I had been asked by my supervisor at Fitness Formula Club to do chair massage for an open house at one of the clubs we manage, in the building at 111 N. Wacker Dr. I had actually been the massage therapist at that club a little more than a year ago and left because it hadn’t been busy enough for me there. But I was happy to help out—especially since it would be a paid gig.
I am not, in general, a huge fan of chair massage as it can be taxing on me and it is hard to do a “proper” massage through clothing. Stiff fabrics, thick sweaters, belts, and so on can make having any kind of real engagement of muscles tricky at best. And though one rationale for doing chair massage is to introduce potential clients to your touch, it has seldom netted clients for me: most people simply want the free massage that is being offered by me or by their corporate entities.
But I was pleasantly surprised by my reception at 111. Several people were genuinely excited when it was decided that I would again work Thursdays at 111—this time on an on-call basis only—and one woman would have scheduled a 90-minute massage on the spot for later that day if I’d been available! This has given me a new Love of Chair.
For those of you who were not aficionados of the kids’ TV show The Electric Company in the early 1970s, “Love of Chair” is a reference to a recurring and silly episode on that show. Wikipedia succinctly sums it up thus: “Love of Chair: A spoof of the soap opera Love of Life. Announcer Ken Roberts (who, appropriately enough, was also the announcer for Life) read a Dick and Jane-style story about a boy (Skip Hinnant) sitting on a chair and doing other simple things. He concluded each sketch by asking questions in a dramatic tone such as “Will he stand up? Will he fall asleep? Will you fall asleep?” the last of which was always “And what about Naomi?” These questions were then followed by “For the answer to these and other questions . . . ,” at which point a cast member other than Hinnant would be shown briefly on-screen uttering a complete non sequitur (such as “What time is it?”).”
While my new appreciation for the value of chair massage is not exactly dramatic, what caused me to think of that old show was, in a twist of “Love of Chair,” “And what about the chair?” “Will the chair fit in the bakfiets? Will it fall out of the bakfiets? Would I fall over in the bakfiets?”—because the day before I was scheduled at 111, I had left the cargo bike at Fitness Formula Club, too tired to ride the nearly nine miles home that night. And then, too, I thought, leaving the cargo bike for the next day would afford a good test of whether the massage chair will work in the cargo bike as satisfactorily as the massage table does. In fact, the chair fits even more easily and snugly into the box of the cargo bike than does the table.
It just seems like every few days I find that the cargo bike is even more useful in even more circumstances than I’d ever considered. Now I can haul anything from groceries or a six-year-old nephew to a massage table or chair through nearly any weather, what with the new studded tires. It is slow going, riding to work downtown on the bakfiets, and it may never be practical to ride such long distances to deliver massage—at least not unless I can grab a shower and a change of clothes first! But it is good to know that I have this sturdy, reliable transportation option available. And now clients only three or four miles away will seem like a snap to bike to!