The older I get and the more I aim to do with my life, the more I realize how important and effective it is to have a support system. I was raised to be a strong and independent woman, and I am. I’ve accomplished a great deal on my own. I’ve accomplished a great deal more when I’ve had support.
Did you see my social media post from a few days ago? I finally got the green light from my physical therapist to dance full out in my lesson. No more marking or holding back! I was excited, relieved, and a little nervous. I was tired of having to hold back. I just wanted to dance! But what if my knees didn’t do well? What if I regressed right back to the pain I was experiencing before starting PT?
Interestingly, I did feel like I took a step back this week, but not because of dancing. Quite the opposite.
As you probably know, I’ve been dealing with knee injuries for the past couple months. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine invited me to try a different kind of treatment: Reiki therapy. My friend Ritika Rose is a certified advanced Reiki practitioner, certified Life Coach, and a licensed Occupational Therapist (among other things, this girl has led a full life!). I had never had a Reiki session before. I typically default to Western medicine for treating illness and injury; that’s just what I grew up with. I also like to be open to new experiences, and what better way to try something new than with a trusted friend! Of course, if it’s something that contributes to my dance journey, I’ll share it here too. So read on to find out what my first Reiki session was like!
I love a good lazy day as much as the next person. But when I’m told I need to rest or take it easy, suddenly my rebellious, stubborn side comes out and wants to do nothing of the sort. I don’t need rest! I just need to push through and make myself stronger. Ironically, rest is exactly what will help restore and build strength.
I went to the studio for solo practice on Sunday; it was the first time in weeks. After surviving my dance lesson last Tuesday with just a bit of swelling beneath the knee caps and hardly any aching the next day, I was optimistic. Plus, I needed to practice! My competition goal has now shifted to an event in July, but I’m still only taking one lesson a week. Solo practice is more important than ever.
So I finally saw a physical therapist this past week. A second orthopedist said I’m not doomed or anywhere near a place where I should be concerned about arthritis. Thank goodness for second opinions. There are solutions! I don’t have to dance in pain!
I’m writing this from my couch with ice packs on my knees because I just got home from my dance lesson, and icing my knees is what I do now after lessons and workouts. I did the same last night after I went to my first Zumba class since overdoing it at the Zumbathon. It was annoying and a little depressing how much I held myself back and still came home with sore, achy knees.
Erin Drake is a professional ballroom dancer and teacher in Orange County, California. When I heard about her new nonprofit, Rx Ballroom Dance, I knew it would be something you guys would love to learn about and support. Please read on to hear about the amazing progress her first participant has already made.
NOW THROUGH DECEMBER 25: When you buy the Solo Practice Guide for Ballroom Dancing, I will donate 25% of the sale to Rx Ballroom Dance.
I met Mandy Mykitta, this month’s interviewee, at the Murdy Park community center in Huntington Beach, California. When I arrived, kids were outside playing on playground equipment and a game was in session on a basketball court while parents watched and chatted. Families spending time together outside? Imagine that! After a long day and getting stuck in traffic on the way to the interview, seeing some pure and simple positivity lifted my mood.