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Even before the pandemic, it was hard to make ends meet as a massage therapist for college athletes

After seven years as a massage therapist for the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams men’s basketball team, I received what I considered a big promotion. The coaching staff at the university’s men’s tennis team offered me a temporary contract for five days of massage therapy for their athletes. The call came in early February, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect: I genuinely needed extra money to pay rent.

My first day with the tennis program went great. The team was friendly and appreciative, and I was excited about the prospect of treating all six players as they continued their…

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