As I am nowadays a pretty body able person, a former dancer, a dance teacher, a Pilates and yoga instructor (etc.), it’s hard for people to imagine and for me to recall that I spent 3 years (not executive) of my life not being able to walk without the support of a cane/crutches. I also spent about 5 years believing that I would never be able to walk again. I missed out on travelling, going out with my friends and pursuing my dream career. As I was 18 when this whole thing started, it was absolutely devastating. Here I was, supposed to embark on a new life, straight out of high school, I was supposed to be a professional dancer and just a young healthy, happy woman, and none of that happened. I spent hours at home, and just to pass time I applied for Uni and started collecting my degrees. A year after I was finally able to rehabilitate my injured knee, I broke both of my wrists. An accident that would take about two years to recover from.
For years I didn’t feel safe within my own body. I was furious at it, I felt as though it had failed me at the most crucial time, depriving me of being truly fulfilled, deprived me of my youth. I thought that it was weak and treacherous. My body probably felt as though I had failed it too. I failed to listen when it tried to tell me that I was pushing it too much, or when it told me that what I was doing to it hurt. For years we had a relationship of mistrust. I felt so broken that I had no idea how I would make it to my 30s without crumbling into tiny pieces. If my body could speak it would probably say that I am the most stubborn and unreasonable person in the world. We were estranged, but were stuck together with no way out.
It took me years to rebuild this trust. It started slowly when I returned to dancing. I did it smarter, I paced myself. Of course I made mistakes and pushed too hard, but at least I now knew that the pain was a direct consequence of my actions, I usually knew beforehand that I was asking too much of it. I learned to listen to the subtler signals, those that came before my body fell apart. This listening and reconnecting is an ongoing process, I am getting better and better at it. I still overdo things from time to time, I still let my ego dictate what to do, but for the most part, me and my body now live in harmony.