Monday, July 14, 2008

Injury Forces 6 Week Dance Break

Hi All,
Recent developments, in my physical condition I suppose you could say, has me off the dance floor for the next 5 weeks. This has been a while in coming… Here’s what happened, about a month ago I learned the Jive in one of the group classes, if you’ve done Jive then you know it’s the fastest of all he dances. I was quite proud of myself that I had survived a short Jive with Largo towards the end of class. As I walked to change my shoes I noticed my right ankle was aching. I didn’t really think much of it as I often have little aches and pains in my legs, it wasn’t bothering me to the point of limping or anything like that. I left the studio thinking I’d have to be sure to take some painkillers before class (as I often do for my knees anyway) so I would not distracted by the discomfort. The following day my ankle was still a bit sore, but I made it through the dance party with no problems. Over the next few dance events no matter what the dance my ankle would annoy me…again nothing leading me to think it was an issue. After all I hadn’t fallen or rolled my ankle… I figured it just wasn’t strong enough yet. About two weeks later I decided to cut back on dancing (I was doing my one private lesson with RT an then at least 4 other group classes and a social party) So I cut back to the lesson, plus the group classes that didn’t really have me jumping around… I also started wrapping my ankle just as a kind of reminder for me to take it easy.

Well it didn’t improve, so I went to the local drug store and purchased some ankle braces. I was not about to stop dancing! I wore various braces for two weeks, one that allowed for more movement during dancing and one with more structure for the rest of the time. One of my lessons with RT had me limping through the last 10 minutes or so, RT wanted to stop or slow down, I told him absolutely not, I dance until I break and that’s that. Actually I was terrified of not dancing… if I couldn’t dance, then how could I maintain my lifestyle and continue to lose weight? I made it through one more private lesson the next week, and I decided to take a week off and rest my ankle. When I went home that night, my ankle showed signs of swelling. CRAP! So scrambled around and went to the doctor two days after that last lesson. I have a very high tolerance for pain, especially in my legs because they hurt a little at one point or other almost every day. What would be mildly annoying to me, may have someone else running for the emergency room, which is something I always forget about myself… if I’m annoyed by a pain… I should have it checked out.

At the doctor, x-rays were taken and reflex tests were performed, the first revealed no brake in the ankle…which I was kind of disappointed at… I would have been proud of myself for dancing for so long on a broken ankle! I failed 2 or 3 of the reflex tests which told the doctor that the soft tissue in my ankle was severely pulled, damaged, inflamed, or something. So I was given a removable immobilizing brace, and instructions for a strict anti-inflammatory pain medication, as well as demands for me to stay almost COMPLETELY off my ankle for SIX weeks! Anyone that knows me, knows I didn’t take this well, I immediately started negotiating with the doctor asking if I was really good could I come back to the dance floor in 4 weeks. Well, I was categorically denied all negotiations for scheduling lessons sooner than 6 weeks. I was able to bargain for one social dance event on the 26th, I would be allowed to dance, only Fox Trot, Rumba or any other dance that has my feet staying on the floor. Absolutely no swing, jive, or cha cha for the full 6 weeks, and NO LESSONS group or otherwise for the same timeframe.


I didn’t know if I wanted to cry, be depressed, or simply laugh that I was about to ruin two years of hard work with 6 weeks of couch/bed rest. In two years I had never had to cancel or reschedule more than one lesson in a week due to illness or travel!

I immediately started to think of ways to work out without putting pressure on my ankle, and eat so that I wouldn’t gain weight. Then it dawned on me. SWIMMING! I’m an excellent swimmer! I even have several community pools within a short distance of my home. The only thing to overcome was my body confidence…. I’m not exactly thrilled with the way I appear in a swimsuit. That was quickly overcome by the idea of what would happen to me if I didn’t start some kind of exercise while I’m off the dance floor. I decided that I would give my ankle one week, one full week of staying off of it as much as possible, keeping it elevated, iced and heated as necessary.

Well that week is over, and my ankle feels really good! In fact if I didn’t have strict orders from my doctor I’d be back on the dance floor! While my ankle is feeling great, the rest of me is not doing so well. Can I just tell you how one week of sedentary living, not unlike what I used to be like before dancing, feels like I’ve been set back by at least a month in physical fitness! I MUST start a strict regimine of swimming, stretching, and dietary modifications to get myself at least back on track, and hopefully improve my overall fitness! WISH ME LUCK!

So, What I am going to do is take a break from the blog officially. (I know I haven’t been great about updating anyway as of late…so it’s time I made it official) If anything comes up regarding my path back to dancing I’ll be sure and let you know.

Keep an eye out for me at the Fred Astaire Chicago Open dinner on the 26th! If all is going well you’ll see me, slowly, making it around the floor! (More details available at your local Fred Astaire Studio!)

OH! All you Buffalo Grove Students out there! Don’t forget to check out the Weight Loss week challenge they have going! Trust me, the humor in the fact that of all students, I can’t participate, is not lost on me! If you’re up for the challenge than be sure to let them know! I’ll see you all on the dance floor soon!

Happy Dancing!
Miss Kitty

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