Using injury to learn to work smarter

Using injury to learn to work smarter

Finding the growth in pain

When my ankle started bugging me in ballet class, I brushed it off. When my hip started hurting at the same time, I thought I needed a few days off. When a few days off didn’t work, I decided to ignore the problem and just keep moving.

What’s a little pain?

Several months later, on the eve of a big track race, I tried a few quick sprints and felt a searing pain in my hip, the likes of which I had not felt before. Popped some ibuprofen and did the race anyway.

Because dancers who run are the craziest of all…

And that’s when my body staged a full-on strike.

The next day I couldn’t walk 3 blocks. And the next day was no better. Or the day after that.

Enter a 6-month journey into physical therapy, a months-long break from running, and a very diminished ability to dance.

I wouldn’t change a second of it. Because even thoughI learned a brutal truth that I’d had lived a lie, intentional recovery would propel me forward in freeing ways I could only imagine.

I relied on my big muscles, the heavy hitters, to force passable technique that somehow kept me riding the wave of dance for over 20 years. I could run, but only to a certain level.

Until I couldn’t.

Facing the reality that I had to shed everything I thought I knew about my body, and relearn how to move from the inside out continues to be a daily effort.

It’s a familial trait to be heavy handed. Let’s just say, delicacy does not come with ease.

When I learned that my hip muscles were simply taxed from years of overwork, I had to look elsewhere for strength.

Come to find out, there are lots of tiny muscles that can achieve the same goals as those big beasts and do so with a more surgical, efficient approach - leading to greater control and less exhaustion.

Come to find out, working smarter instead of harder wins every time. Working smarter means finding the right people who know more than you do, and throwing yourself at their mercy. Working smarter means trusting the non-linear process.

Working smarter means believing healing IS possible and fighting fiercely for it.



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