If you had told Stephanie Tennessen when she was 18 and battling cancer that one day she would be a massage therapist to some important Minnesota athletes, she would have never believed you.
A survivor of stage four thyroid cancer, Tennessen’s time in the hospital made her value the luxury of touch. After swallowing a radioactive pill, “The only human contact I had was someone would come in a hazmat suit,” Tennessen says. “I realized during that time how important touch was, especially when you don’t feel well.”
After recovering, she attended massage school. Through her experiences and word of mouth, she landed a role as the licensed massage therapist for the Minnesota Vikings. Since then, she has worked with members of the Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Wild and more.
With most of her clientele consisting of beat-up bodies, she mainly performs deep-tissue sports massages, avoiding the more “fluff and buff” massages. However, what makes her most successful is how much she cares for her job.
“It’s not just a job to me,” Tennessen says. “It makes my heart really happy to do my work.”