Thursday, February 6, 2014

Happy Anniversary


Today, February 6, 2014 is the 20 year anniversary of my graduation from massage school!

Holy moly!!!!!!  That seems like a very long time.  I am not going to tell you about how I came to get to massage school, but I think I want to recap my journey from graduation to today.


Some know that I was still at UW-Eau Claire when I finished massage school.  I got hired in April, after a failed internship, where I also tried to set up a massage practice.  During my time with the university, I dabbled with my massage practice at two different salon/spas in Eau Claire.  One of the places was an Aveda salon, and sent me to learn about their spa services.  That was cool.  

The first chance I got, I took my test to become a Nationally certified massage therapist.
I was the only massage therapist for almost 3 years at the University.  I really loved working there.  I worked on students, faculty and staff.  I knew the Athletic Trainer, who promoted me to the athletes and coaches.  Thanks for that Jeff!

During my short time as a therapist in Eau Claire, I applied for a class in Florida on Sports Massage.  It was an extensive application, because part of class included setting up a clinic where we worked on the British Olympic athletes.  They came to Florida a few weeks before heading to Atlanta to compete in the summer games.  That was SOOOOO AWESOME!

My official ID Badge from class in FL.

In 1997, I moved to the Madison area.  I lived there for about a year and a half.  During my short stop, I sort of drug my feet at getting a massage practice started, because I knew that I was not going to be there long.  I did work a few months at a salon/spa there.  My schedule was tight and I couldn't give much availability.  It was very short lived.  Also, during this time I attended my first AMTA WI Chapter meeting and class.

After my engagement in February of 1998, I started looking for a massage job in the Milwaukee Area.  I told my future husband that I would really like to stay home with kids and do massage somewhere.  That would be my ideal.  I found two job postings in the paper, one at the Jewish Community Center and one at a YWCA.  They both hired me!

I started both jobs in September of 1998.  I LOVED going to the JCC.  All the folks there were so helpful and friendly.  There were a couple of other therapists at that location and we all shared one massage room.  Even those other therapists were friendly.  The YWCA was just the opposite. One massage room and two therapists. I was replacing a therapist who was starting her own business and her sister or was it a cousin, made me feel as though I was there to steal all the clients!  That was crazy.  And I vowed to NEVER make a therapist feel like that ever!  I didn't stay there for very long.

In 1998, the state of Wisconsin started better regulations.  This was the year we had to become registered with the state. So, I have been state certified/ registered/ and licensed since 1999.


The JCC was a great place to work and I was with them for 9 years.  They started a remodel project in 2004 (I think!). And it was to include a spa area.  I was excited to see the changes.  Then I got pregnant with my last baby.  That summer I found out about a new club opening in my neighborhood.  I was lured in by the FREE day care offer. 

In 2005, I applied to be on the AMTA-WI Board of Directors.  I was elected to be the secretary that spring conference.  I was the secretary until 2009, I think it was.  I stepped down because of the baby and the kids getting into school stuff.

For my next adventure, I applied to the Wisonsin Athletic Club and interviewed in September 2006.  The next day my doc put me on Maternity leave!  I re-interviewed in February 2007. Next month I celebrated 7 years there!

I really enjoy working for the WAC at this time in my life.  The pay is not as good as I had at the JCC, but I get free day care and membership.  I also have the opportunity to pursue my interest in personal training and yoga, with help from them.

Wow, 20 years...I have met a lot of great clients and therapists.  Thank you all. Here's to another 20, God willing!

Off N Running,
AnnMarie