Go Team!

By Leslie Young
[Editor's Note]

I’d like to tell you about Colorado-based practitioner Rick Pike. He’s a guy who welcomes challenge. In June of every year, Pike is part of the select Ride the Rockies (RTR) massage team, which keeps more than 2,000 cyclists mobile as they cross some 435 miles of mountain terrain over seven days. This translates into working long hours in weird spaces with sweaty, ouchy week(end) warriors.

So, rewind to winter 2008. Our offices were knee-deep in the fluffy white stuff and my coworker Kathy Laskye and I were fantasizing about our long, hot summer bike rides. A skier and runner, she’s also pedaled the Multiple Sclerosis 150 for the past seven years. I started doing that two-day ride with her four years ago. Now we feed off each other. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet and the optimism of two women sneaking up on age 50, we signed up for three major rides.

My orthopedic surgeon looked at me with compassionate doubt when I told him about our goals (“Yes, Doc, all three rides are within a one-month time frame.”). He didn’t think my torn anterior cruciate ligament and knee cartilage with gaping holes would serve me well. Of course, Pike knew none of that when I first climbed onto his table. I told him a little about my structural weaknesses and he didn’t flinch. In fact, he dived right into my worst knee. It hurt so good. Over that week, he unlocked the knee’s restrictions and kept me moving for all 435 miles of RTR, the MS 150 the next weekend, and the wicked one-day, 125-mile Triple Bypass two weeks later.

Pike was one of a sea of MTs working under tents and in crowded hallways, booked from early until late. I didn’t have the nerve to interrupt and take a picture of him. I’d soak up the scene and revel in the fact that ABMP and AMTA members were working side by side. “We do the rides because we really like helping the riders,” Pike said. “We like the fellowship of working with other massage therapists. I don’t think anyone really cares if you’re this member or that member. ‘Can you do the work? Are you professional? Then you’re on the team.’”

I know I’m going to need Pike this winter and I’d better call early. (He’s also working on his other challenge—teaching science to eighth graders.) I don’t want to be one of those people who always says, “Please, fix me,” but rather invests in maintenance massage. The interesting thing is Pike is still taking my calls. Brave man. Glad he’s on the team.

Leslie A. Young, Editor in Chief