3 years ago, when I decided to retrain as a sports massage therapist, I wanted to change my job in order to work with people, meet new people and help them to feel better. I wanted instant and visible job satisfaction. Never did I imagine, that it would also allow me to travel abroad and meet people from all walks of life while being part of a big event.
Before setting off for my first multi-day event, I felt slightly apprehensive. I had qualified less than a year ago and even though I had worked for Roadside at a local half marathon, I wasn’t sure whether I would have the right skill set for a big event like this. All I knew was that it was a big 3 day cycling event covering some pretty tough Tour de France type climbs and that the riders required pre, post and in-between treatments.
I need not have worried, though. Tierney sent through a packing list and the whole journey from North Wales to Geneva and back had been organised flawlessly. Claudia was in charge of our small 3 women team of therapists and I was sharing a room with Adele who had been working with Claudia before. As a newbie, I couldn’t have wished for a better team. Both women were incredibly energetic and willing to share their knowledge while also being quite sensitive to the fact that this was my first big event and I had a stinking cold. They got the excellent crew of paramedics to supply me with multivitamins and rehydration sachets which helped a lot. We also received a lot of support from other members of the HotChillee Crew which kept checking in on us to make sure we were alright.
Claudia was in charge of all communication with the event organiser at HotChillee and she was a perfect team leader and real go-to person. There was a sense of team spirit from the start. Considering that we ended up getting up at 5:45 and didn’t really get to bed before 23:00 while remaining upbeat, professional and encouraging towards all the riders during the day, being able to rely on the other team members was essential and took a lot of pressure away. The riders had been split into 3 groups according to their time trials. Our challenge was to massage group 1 through to group 3 and catch up with group 1 before they would reach their lunch break location to set up the beds. Given the narrow serpentine roads in the French Alps, some incomplete directions and an alteration of the route due to some landslides caused by excessive amounts of rain, this wasn’t always an easy task and we really had to make good use of our sat nav. Fortunately, we still managed to make it to the lunch location on time.
There was also the physical aspect of the multi-day event. Sure, we have all learned to massage while protecting our thumbs and keeping good posture. However, setting up beds, folding them up again in quick succession and carrying them about several times a day is usually not something you would do at home. Also, you don’t normally give treatments back to back. Nontheless, as I was standing under a gazebo next to Annecy Lake sparkling away in the bright sunlight, doing what I really love in full view of a stunning location with two very inspiring massage therapists, I thought how lucky I was.
So would I recommend doing a multi-day event with Roadside? Absolutely! I’m hooked. Whether you are new to the business or have been doing this for decades, a multi-day event gives you the chance to test your stamina and people skills as well as boost your confidence. It allows you to make new invaluable contacts and pick up skills and tips from other therapists. The appreciation you get from the riders and ride captains that you treat makes the hard work worthwhile. And with Roadside you can be sure, that you are being looked after. The communication, organisation and support was incredibly professional and reassuring.
The HotChillee Alpine Challenge in less than 40 seconds. Enjoy 🙂