Learning to grieve an injury
I trashed this post title originally. Thinking about writing it made me a little anxious. I also thought that the people that have seen me dance would think I was just being dramatic. My range of motion for tango has been improving, for ballet not so much. But a recent post by a friend with an injury worded my experience in a way that I didn’t think about before. His teacher called it “grieving an injury,” and I had not really done that until that ballet class. It was a few months ago, and my surgery was in 2017. I am dancing tango pretty comfortably in heels but high impact sports have been completely out of the question.
I quickly realized that I couldn’t do much of the center, and cried quietly in a corner stretching for the remainder of the class. This was the first time that I was confronting my limits after a long time following my injury. It was heartbreaking to realize that more than a year later, the movements that were once so familiar to me are now out of my range of motion. I cannot fly like I used to. I cannot jump much, haven’t been on a bike in two years.
But I am getting stronger everyday and learning to focus on what I can do, not on what I cannot. Be gentle to your body, be kind to your mind. Give yourself time to adjust, then get out there and celebrate all you can do.