I’ve been getting back into the “groove” of what I think a normal 32-year-old should be experiencing. What does that look like you ask? Well, for one thing, it doesn’t include hospital beds and crutches.
I’m proud to say my life has once again resumed the hectic balancing act of “not enough time in the day” and working toward my dreams on weekends, days off and any free moment I can find that I’m not maintaining my “day job”.
I haven’t said much about my ankle lately because it simply doesn’t hurt. My life is no longer a balancing act of “how far can I walk before I’m in excruciating pain” or “I hope no one notices my limp” or “I’ll hold my pee til my bladder explodes cause it hurts to walk to the bathroom”.
Life is quite the contrary actually. Today I have the energy to accomplish 110 things on my to-do list in the 24 hours that God has allotted for the day…. a far cry from how I spent the second half of my twenties as a captive to the sofa with my foot wrapped in ice and elevated above my heart.
If you are reading this blog post before any of my other blogs, let me catch you up. I’m 32-years-old and have a full ankle replacement (which I received when I was 30). I used to say I lost my entertainment career to a tragic horsing accident when I was 24, but in the wake of my positive new outlook on life I have decided to re-phrase the woe-is-me terminology (even if it may be somewhat truthful) and I now say “I am a retired dancer”. I like the glamour and the ring the phrase has to it: “retired” is a choice verses “lost” is, well, a loss.
So, I’m eight years two months and one day past my injury AND 23 months and 12 days post-op from my ankle replacement surgery (but who’s counting?). I like counting because with every passing day I grow more and more grateful for my second-chance-at-life. Believe-it-or-not, I even find myself “forgetting” about my ankle. Sometimes I have to look down at my feet to remember which ankle caused me so many years of pain. While that doesn’t happen very often (it has happened a couple of times) I laugh out loud in gratitude of how far I have come.
And yesterday was a great day as I crossed yet another boundary of defying the odds.
While I was attending a yoga class, my favorite instructor asked us to move into a standing triangle position, with my ankle replacement foot being the back foot. You see, for eight years I haven’t been able to stand at that angle with both my heels touching the ground… and last night my heels connected with the ground. In a movement that so many people take for granted I felt like a Bionic Wonder Woman. I was proud of my little victory and would I not have interrupted the yoga-licious trance of the room, I would have shouted a victory call.
As my mentor and dear friend has told me many times,
“The greatest distance between two places is time.”
My message to you: If you are facing a personal challenge that seems like the end of your journey as-you-know-it, please know this: with time comes healing. For even I have grown to be thankful for my injury. I am grateful for the challenges. But only in “time” have I become thankful and grateful.
Please also know there is always hope in even the worst of situations…