Please excuse the hideously blurry picture, but you try standing on one leg with a touch screen phone and taking a photo. A challenge within a challenge. So I have mentioned countless times that I have had a bad injury, yes you have heard it all before. But if you haven't :) A quick recap. I danced my whole life, pretty much from age three. It was my main focus, my world and my life, even moving from JHB to CT didn't stop me. I have always done ballet, then later, modern, tap and a variety of other forms. When I moved to CT I started taking it a bit more seriously, so naturally the institute I studied at would become the college I wanted to attend after school. To be able to dance, sing and act and be on stage performing in a musical was the dream. The main dream.
Maybe I got lazy, maybe studying full time and working part time (mainly standing for hours) or simply the fact that I have a tendency to push my body, is what would ultimately end my 4 years of dedication and hard work. The injury hit in third year, it was misdiagnosed and a huge strain before they found what it really was. By this point I was majorly into drama and singing, which I completed and I am proud of. Decisions had to be made, motivation was lost, passion was fading and the pain was affecting me as a person. Walking was an issue. I was angry, emotional and I knew that I had to stop. Just like that, at 22 I became a dance cliché. I was angry and frustrated, no one could relate. I had failed.
It took a year of rest, intensive pilates and then a God sent physio with the healing touch that would bring me back to a place where I could exercise without my back being sore. Having a prolapsed L4-L5 that push on a nerve route running into your leg affecting your nerves and your overall ability to do basic life things is a problem. So because you look fine you are fine right?? No, so wrong. The emotional strain and the major worry of what I was going to do with my future were overwhelming. Needless to say I ended up starting at VEGA doing a 3 year Diploma in Integrated Brand Communication that fired up all the passion again, not forgetting how my drama and presenting skill could finally pay off :)
So my road back to gym, to basic movement, basic fitness, minor baby walks and general standing or sitting properly began to progress. I never thought I would really ever be able to reach my full potential, to feel that love or passion for movement, for dance and expressing myself again. The feeling of a strong body that had the perfect amount of well deserved pain, not injury pain. I began Yoga and was totally petrified, I struggle to arch my back and sometimes I get a little stuck and feel a bit panicked, but overall it bought back that similar feeling to dancing in a weird way. Fortunately the dance background helped me adjust my body in class, understand what felt good and bad and gradually progress more into yoga. The injury is permanent, it flares up if I push too hard, or do something stupid like wear heels or sleep awkwardly. Sometimes I can ease it out on my own and sometimes I have to go to my physio. Its ok and it's a process.
Yesterday I realised how far I have come from feeling so defeated. I have started running, not very far, but I love it! I am back into stretching, my yoga is still top of my list and more recently I find I am messing around in the gym studios and doing a little bit of dancing :) Some ballet, movement, some of this and that. It feels good, I am still nervous and I don't want to push, because I know what happens when you do. But I am still learning and my progress is huge. It was painful to drive at one point, and here I am stretching out and taking a selfie :) Progress is always good, it doesn't matter how long it takes, it is the journey and how you get there, some days are really good and some are horribly bad, but even I have to take a few steps forward and a few back, I am at least moving.