On August 20th 2021, over two months after losing my mom unexpectedly, I was in the middle of a workout and fell. My ankle twisted out from underneath me and I hit the floor hard. The exterior of my ankle swelled up to the size of a tennis ball. It happened so fast I didn’t have time to mentally process or absorb what had happened to me.
Went to the ER for an x-ray and we soon discovered I had an avulsion fracture and sprain. I also later found out that I permanently tore a ligament in my right foot. Avulsion fractures are one of the most common injuries dancers and athletes deal with. I was put into a splint cast, iced, given some medication and went home. Six weeks. No dancing. No working out. No running. No big movement or ranges of motion of any kind. Absolutely NO weight on my injured foot.
As you can imagine, NO dancing hit me the hardest. No dancing? That’s my survival. That’s my income. For those of you who know me, you know dance isn’t just my career. It is part of the fabric of my identity. Dance has been inextricably woven into my DNA since I was three. Telling me I can’t dance is like telling me to hold my breath and withhold my exhale.
After multiple MRIs (where I found out I permanently tore a ligament in my right foot), scans, a transition from a splint cast into a walking boot and physical therapy I am finally back at it 100%. My injury occurred almost six months ago, and I marvel at the tenacity, elasticity and resilience of the human body. I marvel at the fact that after literally not being able to walk, I am able to stand on that formerly injured foot/ankle and execute a triple pirouette.
I spent two weeks in a splint and four weeks in a walking boot/air cast. Thankfully, both of my jobs enabled me to continue to work while I recovered and healed from the injury. I was notified by my incredible orthopedist, Dr. Kathleen Davenport, that I was healing beautifully, my ankle stability was strong and my progress was looking very good. I then started PT with the amazing folks at Select Physical Therapy and Allie Dee. If it were not for them, I wouldn’t be back dancing, working out or running at this level.
All this to say, I’m grateful. I’m grateful I’m back. I’m grateful that my body still withholds the ability to absorb and retain patterns, movement, and information in such a short span of time. I’m grateful I didn’t need surgery. All of this is due to the excellent care I received with HSS. They took the time to really honor where I was in my healing journey, and to help me get stronger and better. Listen to your body. Listen to it when it’s tired and fatigued. Listen to it when it’s overworked and needs a break. Burning the candle at both ends is not a badge of productivity to be worn. Balance is key. Remember, if you do not choose to rest your overworked body, your body will pick a day for you.