The Key to Success?

Love What You Do

By Karrie Osborn
[Member Profile]

Since opening his doors more than two years ago, Jason Olague has grown his massage practice to 35 clients a week. This successful therapist and owner of Legendary Massage in Tucson, Arizona, does all the right things: he receives frequent bodywork, exercises regularly, and pursues continuing education with excitement. But his success is based on something much more inherent—the love for what he does.

“I am massage,” he explains. “I love to look into the mirror and tell myself that, because I know [my work] is more than what I’m doing with my hands, elbows, knees, and feet. My massage comes from my center, and it radiates outward with my essence and good intention. For that one-hour session, I give it my all, and I give it my best. I’m sure many things contribute to the success of my practice, but I feel that this attitude will sustain it indefinitely.”
As passionate as he is about his work, Olague says this was not the career he was pursuing just 11 years ago. Finishing a degree in biological sciences from the University of Arizona in 2004, Olague was on track for medical school. But his undergraduate experiences working in medical research, getting clinical exposure in hospitals, and shadowing others prompted his interest in medicine to wane. “I had such difficulty with the culture, the ambiance, the energy, and the day-to-day processing and activity. There is indeed a place for it, but I decided that [the medical profession] was not the angle by which I wanted to contribute to the health of society.”
Olague admits there was an ensuing state of panic as he came to terms with his decision and began rethinking his path. Physical therapy and chiropractic doctorate programs, as well as other integrative and alternative health options, presented themselves, but it wasn’t until he came across the Desert Institute of the Healing Arts in Tucson, Arizona, that he devised his new plan. At the time, he thought massage would be an interim career between the path that could have been and the path still to come. Instead, he found his true calling.
Ten years later, and Olague can’t imagine doing anything else. “I knew it was a career that would evolve; it was a career that would nurture me and my entire community, and it was a career to which I could give my body, mind, and my spirit.”
Olague says he continues to fall deeper and deeper in love with the work he does. “I think massage is such a beautiful practice on so many different levels: I love how creative and artistic my work can be; I love that my work touches and changes so many lives for the better, just as it does for me; I love that my work has an energetic and physical component; and I love that sometimes there are no words to describe what I do, while other times it’s articulated in a methodical and scientific manner.”

Karrie Osborn is senior editor at ABMP.