Thursday, January 5, 2017

Falling Behind

January 5th, 2017

I am a dancer. I have been dancing since I was four, and it is something I adore. I love the way I can feel the music as I move my body, allowing the rhythm of whatever song I'm dancing to take hold of my movements. It's almost as if muscle memory (after much practice of a routine) and the music corresponds with each other and gives my mind a break. Though it is hard work and it takes a lot of time, dancing is something I love to do. I don't want to go to college for it and spend my whole life dancing, that's reserved for writing, but I cannot imagine my life without being able to feel the music the way I can with dance. Unfortunately, I don't have to imagine it.

I am an unlucky lady, but maybe the fact that I somehow hurt my knee has more to do with how I can't seem to ever sit still than it has to do with luck. My knee started hurting in the beginning of September, but I only started complaining about it in November ( yeah, I know. I'm dumb). I thought it was bruised at first, but time went by and I realized that bruises don't last for two months. I went to the doctor and got some steroid pills for tendinitis. End of story, right? Oh, I wish. I skipped one week of dance (I go once a week), and though it was awful having to sit and watch everyone else stretch and learn these fun leaps, it was bearable because it was only one week. We hadn't even started learning our routines for recital, so it wasn't like I was missing anything I couldn't learn later. I took all of the medicine, but it didn't work. My knee was still in pain and I still couldn't stand for a certain period of time without getting annoyed, because my knee sucks at its job.

So we went to the doctor again and I got referred to a knee and hip specialist. Oh, fun. I won't even try to spell what it was the doctor said was wrong with my knee, but I pretty much overworked it so much that I started to damage the cartilage. I think, I was still trying to pronounce the word he used in my mind when he was talking about it (chondro-something or another). I was prescribed stronger medicine that would reduce the inflammation and help with the pain. That stuff works like a wonder, by the way. It would have been great if that was the end of it, but I'm not that lucky. I had to go to physical therapy twice a week for six weeks. I had to miss six weeks of dance. A break is nice, but I hate going without it for so long. I hate being deprived of merely moving my body in a way that gives me so much release and lifts the stresses of daily life. If magic were real, I believe dancing would be a form of it. It puts me under a spell that lets me lose myself and forget everything that worries (well, all worries except for the occasional "Did I do that right?"). Dancing is freaking magical, as cliché as that sounds, and I am a wizard with a damaged wand.

I'm a little more than halfway finished with pt. My knee is feeling a lot better, but I have missed so much of dance. We started learning our routines just a week after that appointment, a few days before my first day of physical therapy. I have videoed and intently watched the dance moves, but it just isn't the same. I can't learn it as well by sitting and watching, but even more than that, I am afraid that I won't be able to learn it at all. A lot of time has passed, a lot of things at the studio has been taught, and I have fallen behind. I haven't done a split or even stretched (aside from my pt exercises) in a while; I'm probably not nearly as flexible as I used to be. Grainy videos are not teaching me what I need to learn and I feel like I'm running out of time. I know I'm being ridiculous. It won't be that hard for me to catch up if I put enough effort into it, but that doesn't stop the fear. I always get anxious when I start learning my recital routines, but it's even worse now that I can't even practice them to assure myself that I will be fine. I don't know if I'm gonna be fine. I'm more than likely going to be alright, but I am a little ball of anxiety. Even if I know in my mind that everything is going to be alright, I still worry to the point of hyperventilating.

I have fallen behind and I am still falling. Further and further with unwavering fear. Everything is going to be okay, I'm going to be able to dance, and I'm going to do amazing come May when I'm on that stage and I feel the adrenaline coursing through me. I'm going to be okay, but I still have two more weeks of physical therapy and I still have to catch up along with learning the rest of my dances before recital. I know I can do it, but I'm still scared.

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