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Weightlifting training center.
"Coach Huang, can I borrow your 5kg plate?" Jiang asked, raising the plate.
"Jiang, be careful. Don't hurt yourself. You have been training so hard these days," said Xiang Huang.
"Don't worry. I'm good!" Jiang showed a rare smile.
Xiang Huang stared at Jiang's back, murmuring, "Does Jiang have some good news? He looks happier than usual, and is smiling for once. Did he win a prize in a lottery?"
"The key point is that he is building up his workload. He's almost where I'm at. I say he is back to his youth again!" The speaker was an athlete named Dongshan Cao, who was 22-years-old. He was a very powerful top-level athlete.
Coach Ma was standing not too far away, feeling strangely uncomfortable.
Do whatever you want, Jiang—you don't have much time left! The day you fail will be the day I send you and Li home!
Jiang was now receiving Li's massages two or three times a day. He was no longer suffering from muscle overload. He was now at his best every time he trained. Jiang even felt as if he was getting gradually younger and stronger. Because of this, Jiang increased his amount of training. As an experienced athlete, he knew his body very well and knew what he was doing. And because he felt he was under less pressure, Jiang smiled more often, and was not as cold as before.
Nobody could stay calm when they were facing illness. Think about the patients in a hospital: they were either complaining about everything being unsatisfactory, or felt sad all the time. It was very rare to find a patient who had been lying in bed suffering and still looked happy.
Jiang had been in a similar situation. Because he had been suffering from pain for such a long time,and had to force himself to train intensively, he was physically and mentally exhausted. Being in such a bad state for years, it was no wonder he had turned into a bad-tempered cold man. Now that the pain had disappeared, he had less to worry about, and thus became more and more optimistic about life.
As for Dai Li, he had learned a lot from Jiang by massaging him. Li had had no idea how weightlifters trained. Through working with Jiang, he had now learned the basic concepts of training methods and skills needed for the activity. Li thought that if he worked as a weightlifting coach, this time he would know what to do.
Coach Ma had been anticipating the day that Jiang could no longer raise the barbell anymore so that he would have a wonderful excuse to kick both Jiang and Li off the team. However, Jiang seemed to be getting better and better. He couldn't find any signs indicating that Jiang was close to slowing down. Ma was beginning to doubt whether or not the report he had received was fake.
A month passed without any change, and by this time Li had adapted himself to the job.
After a full day of training, nothing was better than taking a shower. Athletes and coaches were gathering together to head to the bathhouse. Splashes, laughs, and grumbles were intertwined together like a symphony circling overhead.
Dongshan Cao occupied the shower in the corner next to Jiang. Cao took his head out of the water and asked, "Jiang, could you do me a favor?"
"Scrub your back? No problem, give me the bath towel. But I should mention, I have a lot of strength!" said Jiang.
"No, not that." Cao hesitated for a while, the said, "Could you help me wash my hair?"
"Wash your hair? How old are you, can't you do it yourself? Wanna call your daddy for help?" Jiang asked, making fun of Cao.
"I've been over-training recently, and now my muscle is overloaded. I'm always in pain. I can't even raise my arm," Cao complained, pouring out his grievances.
"I see. OK then, lower your head, let me wash your hair," Jiang said, agreeing easily.
It was common that athletes suffered from muscle strains, especially weightlifters. They had to raise more than 100 kilograms of weight everyday, so muscle strain was a long-standing problem for them.
"Thank you Jiang." Cao lowered his head and said, "I made an appointment with the team masseuse, Zhang, today, but he went on vacation. I have been practicing pretty hard these days, that is why I'm in such a difficult situation. Speaking of that... Have you gone to Zhang recently? I I have not seen you there in a while."
"Bah! That old man is arrogant with poor skills. He always flaunts his seniority and never listens to me. Why should I waste my time with him?" Jiang gave a snort, then continued, "Besides, Li is taking good care of me, I don't need that old man anymore!"
"Li? You mean the newcomer, Li? I see him giving you massages quite often. I never would have thought that he would know how to give a massage since he is roughly the same age as me. He is so young! I only ever see old coaches giving massages to trainers," Cao replied.
"He not only knows the skills, but he is actually very good at massaging! You know, I have been an athlete for many years, but have never received a massage as effective as his! Would you like to give it a try later?" asked Jiang.
Cao was moved, but he declined, "I'd better not. Coach Li is yours, not mine."
"It doesn't make any difference. You are our team member, Li is our team coach, what are you worried about?" Jiang faced the shower room and called Li. "Hey Li! Could you give Dongshan Cao a massage later?"
Li had just finished showering and was putting on his clothes. Hearing Jiang's request, he immediately answered, "No problem! Take your time, I will wait outside."
To Li, massaging athletes meant getting some empirical value. Although Cao was young, he was a trump card for the weightlifting team, and once won a bronze in a national competition. He was a top-level athlete in this field. If Li could massage an athlete like Cao, he would gain a lot of value for sure.
Cao was asking Li for help, so he didn't want to keep Li waiting. He finished showering as quickly as possible, put on his shorts, then rushed to Li's.
"Here you are. Come sit down." Li invited Cao to sit down, then began massaging.
Cao was in a better state than Jiang, but still not very good. Li showed everything he had learned from the book, shifting from one skill to another.
Amazing! I don't feel the pain anymore! All the soreness has disappeared! How could this massage be so effective? Cao was astonished. He never would have thought that Li's muscle relaxation techniques had instant effects.
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