Reflections on the Last 11 Months

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My last week of physical therapy is here.

It is crazy to think that I got injured almost a year ago. It has been a long almost 11-month journey mostly trying to figure out why such a small injury could bother so much for such a long time.

For me, it has been a shock to get injured. Most of the time, I have been calm and trying not to think much about it. Yes, I have had some break-down moments and have been negative about my recovery, as an injury is a mental challenge for any dancer, no matter how small it can be. To any athlete, really.

It has also been a year of almost doing nothing with my body. I have done many stretching and workout sessions, but they are still not part of my day-to-day. My body has changed during this whole year: gained weight, lost weight, lost muscle, recovered muscle, gained strength, felt weak…

And it was all because of little, tiny micro tears on my Peroneus Brevis Tendon. (I finally know what it was!!)

I feel like I can still write very passionately about it. I feel it is my responsibility to help any dancers out there, no matter if it about micro tears on a tendon like mine, or they have gone through complicated hip surgery.

Reflecting on my last year, I can say that I have learnt many new things about the human body, how dancers work against what is natural, and the correct way to doing those unnatural movements. These 11 months were a roller coaster of discoveries, from my anatomy to my mental strength, to ballet technique, and to even the different medical systems can work on different people.

The most important thing that happened to me and my injury journey has been finding the right place to be treated. I am not complaining about the first place I went to, nor blaming the first doctors and therapists that treated me of a non-successful recovery. I am just going to say that I went to a place for “normal humans’” recovery, not for athletes or dancers’ recovery. And this was the first lesson.

I took some time away (and actually travelled to another city) to go to the right treatment place. I had high and low expectations, but I did not want to lose the hope of total recovery. Turns out that making the sacrifice to immobilize my foot for almost four weeks, stay in another city for 6 weeks, and travelling back and forth has been worth it.

I am now starting to take ballet class, and I feel better than I have felt over the past 11 months. It is all because I went to see wonderful people that gave me wonderful tools specifically for my types of movement, demand, and activities.

I also decided that for my last weeks of physical therapy, I was going to take a break from Social Media. I feel like although they are a fantastic tool to share information, content, and ideas, it takes so much time from us. We keep infinitely scrolling, wasting the time we could spend doing something more productive.

I have been without intensively checking Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for three weeks now. It was hard to get out of the habit at first, and I found myself trying to find the apps on my phone for the first few days when I was bored or at the waiting room of my weekly therapy sessions, but I had no success on finding them as I deleted the apps. I replaced those bad, time-consuming habits little by little for new ones: reading, watching high-quality videos, and talking to the people I care most about.

I only allowed myself to check them once a week use it for work purposes. Now I can say that I feel like I have lifted a lot of weight off my shoulders, skipping that anxiety and pressure we feel when posting, scrolling, and checking likes. This has certainly help me liberate a bit of that mental pressure that this injury gave me.

Now, I plan to schedule specific times of the day for social media usage, especially because this blogging platform depends on social media to be seen. The rest of the time I am not attached to my phone, I will use it to fully concentrate on what I am doing at the present moment: dance, exercise, write, read…

In conclusion, I can say that yes, coming back from an injury (especially if it has taken TOO long to heal) is by no means easy, and it makes it harder when you have the wrong diagnosis at first. I feel it has taken forever, but now going back I can appreciate and be more thankful for the art form I practice and adore.

Little by little, I have been building my routine back. In these past two weeks, there have been some days where I do nothing and some days when I took barre and trained extra afterwards. I want to beat myself up for those days I did nothing, however, at the same time, I know that it will take me time to go back to a strong routine and that I have to celebrate those small victories (those days I get my butt off the bed and do something.)

I am glad I am taking the time to be more present, and to enjoy and suffer all good, average, and bad moments in our lives. What would you do to be more present to embrace your journey? Dancer or not?

I want to take this time to practice some gratitude:

For all those mental struggles that whisper me “You can’t make it,” thank you.

For all those moments where I have felt invincible, thank you.

For my phone to be pressuring me to check him ALL THE TIME, thank you.

For my now happy Peroneus Brevis Tendon that taught me the care you have to have for your body, even the smallest parts, thank you.

For my Therapist and Doctor that helped me see the light, thank you.

For all those people, mum, family, friends, and mentor, that have been with me the last 11 months, thank you.