I had such a blast at the Brooklyn Half Marathon this year, and am happy to report that I crossed the finish line strong + injury free! The weather report was calling for rain but luckily the skies stayed dry and the temperatures remained cool. All in all it was a great race to kick off the summer here in NYC.
While I wish I could say this photo was representative of how my legs felt at the finish, the reality was that they were sore, tired, and in desperate need of recovery. I did some foam rolling as soon as I got home, but even that didn’t seem to fully work out the knots and kinks that moved into my joints. I was walking like Frankenstein and gingerly trying to get up and down stairs. I guess 13.1 miles of pounding pavement will do that to you.
I’ve been told time and again that scheduling regular athletic massage sessions is key to rounding out any good training program. Particularly when I was in physical therapy for my torn meniscus, or before that, nursing painful shin splints in highschool and college. But despite the wisdom of doctors and trainers, I’ve never fully embraced the whole massage thing. First of all, because it’s expensive and one more item to add to the budget. And second of all, after running the miles and doing a few stretches, my mind tricks me into thinking that it’s a superfluous luxury not worth the time or money. That is, until another injury sets in and the familiar “get ye to a massage therapist” chorus begins again.
So when Zeel contacted me about trying out their on-demand massage service after the half marathon, I knew it must be a sign from the universe. I went onto their site, entered my address, preferred appointment time, the type of massage I was looking for (one to work out the knots, please!)…and presto! I had a certified athletic masseuse on his way to my apartment.
Note: The site lets you choose whether you’d prefer a male or female massage therapist – I had no preference and was matched with whomever was first available to take my appointment.
After a number of helpful text message reminders from Zeel confirming my appointment, Alexander Rowe showed up a few minutes early with all the equipment needed for an in-home massage. All I had to do was supply the clean sheets! Super easy.
Now, I don’t live in a very large place. In fact, in most cities, it would be considered pretty tiny. So I was curious about how we would find the space to comfortably set up a massage table. But with a little Tetris-like furniture maneuvering, we managed to find enough room for everything to fit.
Is it weird having a stranger in your home for a massage? Personally, I would have to say yes. I think I apologized a dozen times about the mess and the tight quarters. But Alexander was extremely professional and respectful.
He gave me space to prepare and asked if I had any questions before we got started. I mentioned that I was really looking for this to be less of a relaxing zen-like experience, and more of an exorcism of the toxins and build up in my muscles. But if he could somehow do both, that would be even better!
Alexander explained that with his background in both sports and Thai massage, he was going to blend a few different styles to help deliver the results I was looking for. And let me tell you, he really knows his stuff! It was exactly the treatment my poor muscles needed. I felt like I had been through an incredible yoga class, a physical therapy session full of assisted stretching, and a coconut-oil-filled relaxing massage all in one. I floated off the table with new legs + a promise to myself that I would treat my body to another massage again soon.
Zeel was insanely easy to use and I am so thankful to have been connected with a masseuse who can help put my muscles back together again when foam rolling + stretching won’t do the trick.
So how much will all of this cost you? A 60 minute sports massage is $130. Zeel includes an 18% tip in the charge, plus tax, which brings the total to about $159. So it’s not cheap, but for an on-demand experience that comes to your home whenever and wherever you might be – it’s definitely a splurge worth looking into.
I’m excited to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a free 60-minute Zeel massage of their own! Pop on over to my latest Instagram post for more information + to enter to win. Good luck!