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Social Media Junkie, Massage Therapist, Crafty, Thrifty, Flirty, Fun, Friend, (Tri)Athlete…

Posted Oct 26 2010 8:21am
You may be one of @carissang's or @clearawakening’s many Twitter followers, but how well do you know the person behind these handles?  Carissa Garrard is a self-confessed social media addict and founder of Clear Awakening Massage and Bodywork .  She also just completed her first triathlon in Washington D.C. for Team in Training  and travels to developing countries to help with issues around poverty. 

Social media rockstar.  Health & wellness advocate.  Humanitarian.  Meet Carissa Garrard.

Clear Awakening and entrepreneurship
I have always wanted to work on my own and Clear Awakening was a natural step in my experience as a massage therapist. Having my own practice allows me to focus on what the client needs rather than following a specific protocol outlined by an employer. It also gives me room to expand my knowledge of health and wellness and apply it to my practice.

"I approach each person and each session individually rather than following a one specific method or treatment style." 

Clear Awakening is a continually developing practice. As I continue my education, it evolves with me in order to accommodate expanding client needs.  My massage technique is sort of a melting pot of everything I have learned. A session generally is able to provide very noticeable relief from chronic pain and is also deeply relaxing.  My clients range from expecting mothers to triathletes and everyone in between! I really have to maintain my anatomy and pathology knowledge to keep up with the variety!

Humanitarian work
I also travel to developing countries with CHOICE Humanitarian a few times a year. We work on projects in rural villages that create sustainability to help break the poverty cycle. We are in five different countries and the experience is has been beyond amazing!

Carissa (top left) and the people of Tamaula, Mexico
(Photo: Clear Awakening)

"I  find these incredible adventures and this work to be incredibly rewarding."

I know what she did this summerCarissa completed her first triathlon in September, The Nations Triathlon in Washington D.C. with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training. She trained for months and, crossed the finished line in honor of all individuals who are battling not just blood cancers but any type of cancer.
I have wanted to participate in a triathlon for a couple of years now. I actually won an entry for the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon this past June and it prompted me to join Team in Training.

Swimming was my life from elementary through high school. I was on a very competitive team and the water is home to me. Running is by far the biggest challenge! It was the reason I held off from doing triathlons in the first place. But running the half marathon really shifted my perspective. 

"If I can run 13.1 miles, I can certainly finish the 10k of an Olympic tri."
Relationships are hard
Since my high school swimming days, I have had a guilt ridden relationship with exercise. I start a routine with gusto that lasts a month before my old habits and excuses return. I have finally decided that working with a team that holds me accountable is the only way to keep me on track. The races are an amazing focus to and way more validating than a bathroom scale that doesn’t budge.

Getting through the wall
I usually tell myself that once I get to a certain point i.e. a tree, or specific time interval then I am allowed to reevaluate. Usually once I get to that point I have pushed through the ‘wall’ and I’m feeling good again. As a massage therapist, I am pretty good at listening to my body and making sure it is a good hurt rather than a borderline injury hurt.

As an athlete, I am...
A strong-willed show-off

Post-workout yum!
I love making a fresh fruit and spinach protein smoothie!

"Running the (Seattle Rock & Roll) half marathon really shifted my perspective." 

Twitter:  @carissang  / @clearawakening
Websites:  Clear Awakening  / Facebook  / Team in Training  / CHOICE Humanitarian / Blog
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