Life is back to normal here at the Olympic Training Center. I have no medical emergencies, nobody secretly visiting me, Iâ€™m training so hard that I have no energy left for extracurricular activities, and â€“ since most of the other triathletes are in Seoul for this weekendâ€™s World Championship Series race â€“ thereâ€™s no good gossip to report on.
A few weeks ago, however, something happened that really upset the lives of many of the OTC residents. Robby, our best massage therapist (Iâ€™m comfortable saying â€œbestâ€ because he had by far the most requests of any of the OTC massage therapists) was â€œlet goâ€ for reasons that are not exactly clear. Without going into the â€œhe says, she saysâ€ of it, it appears as though Robby was â€œtoo goodâ€ for his job. He took as many requests as his hands could handle, and the other therapists only got the overflow. Whatever the actual bureaucratic reasoning was, the athletes no longer have Robby to help us with recovery. Unfortunately, Robby was truly one-of-a-kind â€“ a former bike racer, speed skater, and an endurance sport enthusiast â€“ he knows athletes. Itâ€™s hard to find a good massage therapist, and when you do, you should make sure they know how much you appreciate them. Here in Colorado Springs*, itâ€™s Robby Bessbatti. If getting a massage were the equivalent of getting a tune-up for your car, then Robbyâ€™s shop would be a NASCAR garage.
Today I saw Robby for the first time since he left for Sydney to work with USAT at the WCS race there a month ago. Now that heâ€™s not working in the recovery center I pay him for his time, but he makes it worthwhile. Today he went overtime to try to reverse some of the aches I still have from travelling to and crashing in Asia. He stayed to work on me until he was satisfied that my muscles were capable of my training schedule. He goes deep, but he does it with purpose. And if I ever tell him that I was sore or â€œflatâ€ the day after a massage, he takes it personally and changes his technique. He takes his job as seriously as I take World Cups.
*use the contact form on this site and I’ll send you Robby’s contact info.
*In Seattle thereâ€™s also an exceptional therapist, Liam Buell. The easiest way to get an appointment is to schedule through inewmed.