Prodding and pummelling. A sports massage by Binki Bonker generally starts off with these two actions; prod for the tightest muscle then pummel it. Prod and pummel, prod and pummel – always in that order. In most instances you’ll also be on the receiving end of Binki’s powerful elbow. There is nothing quite like the pressure of someone’s body weight being transferred directly down the shaft of the humerus to your oh-so-tender gluteus maximus.

The term “sports massage” is actually very misleading because one tends to think it’ll be a deep but relaxing massage. Nuh Uh. If you feel relaxed during a sports massage, chances are you’re not getting a proper sports massage. Binki is a qualified biokineticist and so she does the real thing – there is very little effleurage involved, no lavender scented candles, no rain forest music, no bowl of roses for you to look at whilst your head is propped through the wonky head rest and definitely no peace and quiet (you’re too busy squirming, squeeking and uttering one syllable words).

Binks comes round to our place every two weeks and inflicts nothing short of 60 minutes of torture on Jeremy and me.  She is terribly consistent. Every time I grace that plinth I have to remind myself that we are paying her do this. Having said that – and I’m giving Binki credit here – sports massages are supposed to be painful because it targets the deep muscle tissue and so even if you feel nauseous afterwards, guaranteed your muscles will feel better the next day!

After 20 minutes or so of prodding and pummelling, Binki then proceeds to stage 2 prodding and pummelling. This is when I start doing Lamaze-type breathing and contorting my body into amusing poses. I also start calling Binki horrible things and swat her arnica-coated hands when she doesn’t let up on a pressure point.

Me: Biiiiiiiiiiiatch!

Binki: Heh, heh, I really have to get in there, is the pressure okay, are you managing there?”

Me: You know I’m not managing bonker!”

Binki: Yeah but it’s real tight, so let’s create a little “pain-code” for you okay? You say S for sore and T for tolerable and then I’ll know to adjust the pressure.”

Me: Okay…..ssssssssssssssssssssss

Binki: Oh it wasn’t that bad!

Me: Okay, iiiiiiiii

Binki: What the hell is “I”? That wasn’t part of the code.

Me: It means it was inbetween pain. I for Inbetween.

The whole conversation is spoken in a deep southern American drawl with over-exaggerated facial expressions. It’s just something we do, always have, we talk American and we find it outrageously funny and drive Jeremy nuts. He tries to imitate us but he gets the lip action all wrong, he totally inverts it. The correct technique lies in ones ability to pull goldfish lips. It’s real easy…anyway, we have these kinds of intelligent and mature conversations all the time.

The massage usually ends off with prodding and pummelling, perhaps a degree softer than usual, but still worthy of a squirm or two. And the funniest thing is that at the end of it all, after I’ve rolled off the plinth in the most unladylike fashion imaginable, I find myself saying “thank-you Binks”. Yes, I thank her! For me to say something like that must mean that she renders me mentally incompetent with her own bare hands.

It’s only the next day, when I’m compos mentis again, that I can sincerely appreciate the massage!

..and then we book for next week again…

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