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Showing posts from 2017

All the Relevés!

As many of you my know, World Ballet Day was last week, and like any proper ballet nerd I watched parts of the stream throughout the day.

At some point during the broadcast, one of the hosts mentioned something about the Australian Ballet and relevés. This sounded vaguely familiar, and Googling brought up this video with Dr. Nancy Kadel briefly talking about it, and I recalled discussing it with my own dance PT. The theory is that doing 24 relevés (one foot at a time in parallel with control) helps build the calf and lower leg muscles thereby preventing injury and things like posterior impingement (oh hey!).

During the Australian Ballet's broadcast during World Ballet Day this year, they also talked about it a bit, and showed the company class actually doing the relevés before leaving the barre (they have since removed the video, grr).

Doing rises/relevés is actually part of my PT regimen, but to be honest I've been a little more lax about it lately because of the flare up a m…

Backtracking, Alignment, & Pilates, Oh My!

Good News: I'm still taking dance class. Bad News: As suspected, I've had to cut back on classes.

I was originally attempting to take three ballet classes and one tap class but apparently this was TOO MUCH for the ankle to deal with (grumble), so I've had to cut back to just two ballet classes for the time being. I'm still getting tight in my peroneals/calf, and the PT also thinks that I still have some scar tissue from surgery to work out, but I feel like we're finally making a little progress again, though it was very much "two steps forward, one step back," for a bit. Definitely feel like I had to rewind and start over, but at least I'm still dancing.

My PT has been working closely with the artistic director of another ballet school in town regarding dance medicine and injury prevention, and she suggested I try taking class with that AD because she would be able to really keep an eye on my shenanigans. I met with the AD yesterday, and it was intere…

More realistic goals and expectations?

My last post was super uplifting, I know.  I was trying to think of something more fun to blog about afterwards, but my mood hasn't been helping.

I'm feeling less depressed than I was, but still not great and now I'm super unmotivated. I've been really good about doing my PT since I started in December, but the last couple of weeks (since my leg/ankle flared up again) I've kind of been thinking to myself, "WHY am I torturing myself by doing all these things everyday when its doing NOTHING?"  That's not exactly a great frame of mind to be in.

Anyway, I spotted this article from Pointe magazine on Facebook today: Got Goals? Here's How to Effectively Reach Them.

It got me thinking, because I have given myself a fairly long-term goal and part of the reason I'm so frustrated is because I feel like the ankle is putting me behind schedule to reach said goal.

To TL:DR the Pointe article, its better to set realistic short term goals than very specific …

Feeling Lost

My dancing blog has turned into an ankle blog, but it can't be helped.

This shit is rough, you guys.

I have moments where I feel hopeful and excited, only to have something go sideways and I get depressed.

I'm almost nine months post-op, and the sucker still hurts. Doing relevé hurts. Pointing my foot still hurts. PLIÉ hurts. I'm beginning to think I'm going to be in pain forever--I've had constant, varying amounts of pain since August/September 2015 (and before that it came and went depending on injections). That's TWO YEARS (plus). When will it end???

I have diligently done my PT exercises nearly every day since December. I've started retaking classes, only to have to cut back because it hurts too much. I don't know what to do anymore...

I'm so depressed.

Goals and Expectations

I had an epiphany last year, in the middle of all the ankle trials, that there will come a day when I won't be able to dance anymore.  I'm not ready for it to be quite so soon, so I promised myself that I would try to do something amazing when my ankle healed.

My goal? To audition for the Rockettes. I'm mildly insane, I know (those ladies work HARD, and long hours. But they also get to wear amazing costumes.)

I'm still working my way through my feelings about this decision:
Me: Why not? I have a strong ballet background and do decently in jazz and tap (though I need to work on the latter two a bit). I definitely won't embarrass myself.Also Me: I'm insane, everyone else who auditions is 10+ years younger than I am. I'm too old, I definitely won't make it.Me: But maybe I could?Also Me: Girl, no , you can't even do wings in tap yet.Me: Whatever. It would still be an amazing experience to go to Radio City and dance!My larger plan is to have a whole New Y…

Focusing on the Positive

At the end of May I saw my surgeon for my last post-op appointment (following an episode of peroneal tendinitis, because of course).

Near the end of the appointment, he told me I could start dialing things back to normal, and that I was good to go (though I would get some pain at the ligament reconstruction site for awhile yet). I forget how it came up, but I remember him mentioning the athletes he works with and how, because I'm a dancer, he has placed me in that category. My response was, "I don't feel like an athlete!"

Then, you guys, I got a pep talk.

He told me to focus on the things I CAN do, not the things I can't. Everything will come back in time. Even little steps are steps. He reminded me that I'm not just recovering from surgery, I'm also recovering from all the stuff that came BEFORE.

When I thanked him for the pep talk at the end of the appointment, he said, "I give a few a day." Ha!

He's right, of course. I started taking barr…


Apologies for the non-creative title, but that's literally all I can think right now.

I'm still plugging away taking class/barre, still have pain in my jerk of a peroneal tendon, am still doing PT, and am still super unhappy about how out of shape I am.

The level of my weakness is really sort of unreal. It's like I haven't taken class in six years, rather than just one. The work and progress I had made prior to the ankle drama has just vanished into thin air. It's incredibly frustrating.

Returning to Relevé

(My blog title has never been more appropriate!)

I've taken a grand total of three classes thus far (two the first week, once last week), and BOY HOWDY am I out of shape. We've only been doing plié, tendu, dégagé, plus a little foot work and grand battement at the end (the other student in class is brand new to ballet, so the teacher spent a bit of time explaining things). My muscles are screaming, but I secretly enjoy that--I feel like I know I've actually been doing work.

I'm still getting grumpiness just under my incision and then back behind in "the zone" (its where I had all the pain before).  I talked to both the surgeon and PT about it because even though having pain would still be pretty normal for someone only four months post-op, I was fretting because its in a similar place to where I had pain originally. That being said, it does feel different--less of a pinch, not as deep--just tender.

Luckily, neither are especially worried--the pain under/near my…

A Very Overdue Update

I'm not even sure where to begin; a lot has happened.  I suppose I should just start where I left off, back in OCTOBER.

Saw AnkleDoctor. He agreed with the nurse's recommendation that I needed surgery, only he thought my problem was the FHL (remember my good 'ole FHL?), some instability, and likely some damage to the cartilage in my ankle joint. This was a happier prognosis than what I expected (believe it or not), because the nurse had originally talked about deepening the peroneal groove in my bone and stuff, eep!
So I had surgery at the end of November 2016. They ended up doing a lot more than I expected (and I have more "holes" in my ankle than I thought I would!):

Checked my ankle joint for cartilage injuries and found two. To fix, they created little “potholes” and dug out the bad cartilage. Apparently the bone marrow fills back in over time (like tar), but limits my releve-type activities for four months.Checked my FHL & peroneal tendons for badness. Bo…