A Good Start

As I sit here reflecting on my day and preparing to put my reflections into words, my legs ache and my back is sore. And that, to me, is the mark of a productive, successful day! All day long I was up and about, just the way I like it.

I woke up fairly early (considering I went to sleep late) at 7:30 and was at physical therapy by 9. My jaws remained clenched during the entirety of my calf massage — I had some huge knots that were very painful to release. The needling that followed the massage was no less uncomfortable, although after both of those treatments my calf, albeit sore, was feeling much better!

After a quick stop at home in which I ate lunch, folded laundry, and cooked a spaghetti squash, I headed over to the gym to get my usual 30 minutes of exercise, followed by a nice long stretch. I even had an audience today! Three of the trainers were watching me stretch and left me blushing through my splits as they commented on my “excellent” flexibility. I have to say, I love stretching at the gym for just this reason! I can stretch just as well, if not better, at home or at the studio, but having someone to impress and knowing that people are watching makes me more inclined to work even harder and show off, and makes the entire process much more fun (especially on days I am so sore I doubted my own abilities to touch my toes…) What can I say, it must be the performer in me!

Right after my workout I headed over to the studio to make use of this week’s opportunities, even though I had class later tonight anyway. At first I considered starting on my own tomorrow, but I was motivated by the prospect of reporting to my ballet teacher that I had already gone to the studio on my own to hint at my enthusiasm, dedication, and determination to work, work, work until I have nothing more to work on (an innacurate commitment only due to the ironic nature of ballet in which we work with the goal of perfection, always aware that perfection can never be reached, there will always be something that can be done better, more perfect.)

So into the studio I tiptoed, unfamiliar with the emptiness of the usually-crowded building. Any hesitation or uncertainty I held flew out the window at once as I turned on my music and started to work my way through the list of my new warm up routine. Save for a few bothersome interruptions by people who were unaware that the studio was closed for Thanksgiving break all week long, I breezed through the new routine and finished it in just over an hour. I am so pleased with it — it’s perfect! I felt completely stretched out after and I love being able to go from one exercise to another very smoothly thanks to the list, instead of pausing between exercises to think about what to do next. I hate that! And so I really am happy I have a list I can refer to again. I feel much better when I know exactly what I’m doing and there is no pause between exercises.

I had originally intended to go straight to ballet (at the other studio) after my private studio time, but as I did only my warm up today I found that I had an hour and a half before I had to make the drive to the other studio, and so I came home for a quick break to relax and take a breather before getting up and moving again!

Ballet was wonderful today! Perhaps because I was properly warmed up? Hmm😉

But really, I felt very centered today. My pirouettes came together very nicely, I could just feel the turn today. And my ankle had quite the range of motion, probably thanks to the massage and needling I had done earlier this morning at physical therapy. I felt like I made progress instead of just using all my energy to try to keep up with the exercises in class, and I really pushed myself hard today! I was exhausted before we even started barre (understandable considering I has been exercising and dancing all day up until then); to add to the difficulty, the studio was horrible hot and stuffy when we walked in, which made for a very wet me and a difficult time breathing.  But I was able to tackle it all and stay strong! See? I knew that all I needed was a good warm up routine to leave me confident that my mind and body are prepared for class. I could not be more pleased right now🙂

Besides the usual soreness, I feel wonderful right now. Actually, I quite like the soreness in itself, too. I am so sleepy, ready for a good night’s sleep (and it is very much needed, as I have been lacking in the sleep department for several days now), and I think I might wander off to dream land before my head even touches the pillow! My foot and ankle also feel fine, as does my knee, but I do have some swelling still in my foot and ankle. It just won’t budge! It’s not acute swelling, just residual swelling from the injury that it really just trapped fluids that don’t want to come out. My physical therapists and I decided I would do a course of Aleve for a week (one pill twice a day, 12 hours apart) to really try to hit the swelling hard and push it out of there (once it’s out it should be gone completely). I do not love this idea, because I generally try to stay away from NSAIDs — or any medicine, really — unless I absolutely need it. But it’s been 4 weeks now, other methods have been helpful but not entirely successful, and I really need to have my ankle’s full range of motion in order to add back pointe, which we hope to do by the end of the month. So I agreed to do the one week. Oh, and the one week [of Aleve] starts tomorrow, because this morning I had to take an Advil for a headache I woke up with and I did not want to take an Aleve hardly after I just popped an Advil. Not good!

No pictures or videos for today, I do apologize. I would like to get some soon, but it’s proving to be difficult. Maybe I really need to set my mind to it…I will put it on my to-do list, with other really important things I truly wish to get done. I will try my best to star with the videos (and pictures) soon!

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