I’m by no means a relaxation guru.
In fact, you’re far more likely to find me combatting pent-up stress by running a 5K, taking my bike for a spin or gloving-up to go a few rounds on the nearest heavy bag.
But I take my role as a Tween Waters INNsider very seriously.
So when the idea struck me to find a great way to dial things back after a particularly harrowing vacation adventure, I did what any red-blooded American male would do: I gave myself a spa day.
As luck would have it, The Spa at Tween Waters Inn is the very epicenter of all things harmonious on Captiva Island – with a staff of licensed professionals and massage therapists whose occupational mandate is to accompany guests on a tranquil journey from fatigue to bliss.
No, really… it says it right there on the business cards.
Or something like that.
I have to concede that it only took about 30 minutes for me to be reduced from professional communicator to babbling idiot, or roughly the duration of step one – the manicure – of the three-step relaxation gauntlet laid for my wife, our friend Hali and I on a Friday morning visit earlier this month.
I didn’t arrive with any nail polish to remove; but by the time I’d gone ahead and had my cuticles oiled, my nails filed and buffed and my hands massaged and lotioned to the brink of delirium, my most persistent thought instantly became “Why in the world did it take me 45 years to discover this?!?”
The query got louder and more persistent after step No. 2 – an 80-minute joyride aptly tagged the “Ultimate Pedicure” – which includes a procedure during which scoops of warm paraffin are ladled into plastic bags into which the feet are then inserted, creating a mold that traps moisture and treats skin.
The mold slides off in a single waxy piece to start the rinsing process, which is followed by yet another round of lotion/massage amid a sea of throw pillows, free coffee and a lovely view of coconut trees.
Poor me, it was all I could do to teeter down the hall for the final step – the “Relaxation Massage.”
As if the heated table and blankets weren’t enough, the masseuse began with an inquiry about particularly sensitive or needy areas, then went right to work on the intermittently achy back and knees that are evidence of my gig as father to a 6-year-old whose favorite game is inconveniently called “Tackle Daddy.”
But 50 minutes of kneading fingers and rolling forearms later, I was feeling ready for the Olympics.
And if it means another spa trip comes with it, I’ll even play the next one without a helmet.