I’m sure a lot of you provide massage therapy for athletes, including football players. How would you like the tables (pun intended) flipped on you?
I know we’re a bit late reporting this, but I thought this was an interesting story to bring up. Ricky Williams – one of the greatest college football players ever, and a current running for the Miami Dolphins (check out a recent clip of his work) is thinking about his career options after he retires. And he wants to be a massage therapist.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel wrote a column about Ricky’s planned change from athlete/massage recipient to massage therapist. He’s been taking classes at the Acupuncture Massage College in Miami (and has presumably finished) and wants to go to medical school to study osteopathy once his football career is over.
Currently a football player, Ricky’s transformation will most likely take place as soon as he retires, which, in the Sun Sentinel article, he said would be in two years. He’s already taken on a new name when performing massage, Errick, which is actually his real name (Ricky’s a nickname). According to Williams, “Ricky” is the suspended-for-drug-violations football player; “Errick” is a holistically interested massage therapy student that wants to change the way people see him.
And while he may be determined to shake his NFL image and start a new life based upon his interests in massage therapy and holistic medicine, it will no doubt be very difficult for him to do so. Whether he becomes a massage therapist, or a practitioner of osteopathy, my bet is that the people that want his services will be mostly sports fans wanting to be touched or seen with Ricky, not treated and helped by Errick.
Hopefully Errick will get his chance to live independently of Ricky, but when you’re a star of a larger-than-life industry like the NFL, it will be hard to make a transition to a life other than that of a former football player. But Williams, a vegetarian football player/yoga enthusiast who retired from football in 2004 – in his prime – and studied Ayurvedic medicine, has been forging his own independent path most of his career. It will be interesting to see if he has the will to actually make a new life for himself in the world of massage therapy and holistic healing when his career with the NFL eventually comes to an end.