And Here’s Another Post About My Injuries

I’ve probably written about a dozen or so posts about my leg injuries in the past year. It hasn’t been fun, and while I thought that physical therapy was finally my solution–apparently I was wrong.

My shin pain goes back to the beginning of October 2012, when I got out of a ballet class and practically had to wobble home because of the pain–I had to call my boyfriend to pick me up from the train station. It seemed to get better for a while, but running/walking on a treadmill was painful. I got it checked out, got an x-ray, was told to stay off it for a month or so with a diagnosis of tendinitis. I had a couple of bad cases of the flu and didn’t do a whole lot of ballet during the month of December and January with the holidays.

In February/March, the pain started acting up again when I got back into the swing of things. I had more x-rays and even a bone scan. But nothing. I stayed off it for 8 weeks. I failed at running a 5k thanks to my shin splints. I finally listened to my body and took it easy, gradually increased my running. Things were going well.

Then slowly it got gradually worse. My leg was moderately unhappy after doing the color run in old sneakers. There was an off week where it felt pretty bad, but a week off helped tremendously. But after the Rescue Run 5k I decided to go back to the ortho and was prescribed PT.

PT went well. Before my most recent ortho check up, I had a somewhat rough ballet class and my left calf and knee seemed really tight to me, so I mentioned it to my new ortho doctor (the one from September moved offices) and because of the pain he wanted to do an MRI. I wasn’t even sure I was going to get one, but when I got an appointment for the same day, I got it done. Then a week ago (the day before Thanksgiving–after fainting at a blood drive, no less), I got a call telling me I had stress fractures. One in my left leg, and the start of one in my right.

So now I’m off my legs again for 6-8 weeks while they heal.

Kudos to you if you’ve read all of that! For now, I’m looking for recommendations as to no- and low-impact activities I can do from home. I’ve already had some recommendations, so I’ll be writing a post about what I’ve come up with and tried soon. I’m also trying to read more, write more, and maybe even do some crocheting of some legwarmers to keep myself occupied.

What have you found to work for coping with injuries?

Happy September!

I hope everyone enjoyed their Labor Day weekend! Mine got off to a rough start on Thursday with a pretty rough ballet class. As I mentioned last week, I was dealing with some pretty painful top of my foot pain after a pre-pointe class so I was trying to stay off it as much as possible.

I almost decided not to go last Thursday because my toes were in an awful lot of pain because of the flats I wore to work that day (I have such a bad habit of wearing shoes that are horrible for my feet) but decided to go anyway. It was painful, and although my balance felt super off on my right side because of how painful it was, my instructor didn’t seem to notice.

Things got better on Saturday when I finally got a 3 mile run in after not getting any in for the past two weeks, although my calves were super tight afterwards. Unfortunately on Sunday I started coming down with a cold so the rest of my weekend was spent relaxing.

 

Emergen-C

Necessary after catching a cold this weekend!

I started a new part-time job yesterday, but today I’m spending relaxing and working on a few blog things, including getting an editorial calendar organized and getting a jumpstart on working on the studio website (finally!)

scarf

I’m getting ready for fall!

I’m also working on crocheting a scarf today to get me into a fall-like mood. I’m loving this chunky bulky yarn. Any other crocheter or knitters out there?

But…back to Adult Ballerina Project. I’m loving this calendar printout for getting myself organized on the blog. I know a lot of people love reading tips on different ballet moves, so if you’d like to see something specific on the blog such as “How to do a better pirouette?”, let me know in the comments, by e-mail, or by filling out the form below! While I’m certainly no expert, I love compiling research to help myself out with ballet and you guys as well, so let me know what you want to see and I’ll add them to the calendar!

I’m also working on setting a blogger link up, so if you have any suggestions for that as well, don’t be shy!

What would you like to see on Adult Ballerina Project this fall?

Legwarmers Part 2: Making Your Own

legwarmers

Like some of the other adult ballerinas I know, I both crochet and knit. I’ve crocheted myself a few pairs of failed legwarmers. They always end up too short and slip like crazy if I actually try to wear them with ballet. I’m forever jealous of these wonderful looking legwarmers made by Knit Two, Pointe Two, Bake Two Together. Her pattern is here, and I’m tempted to break out my knitting needles to make them.

However, I’ve been searching for good patterns to crochet (I’m better at crocheting than I am at knitting) and I stumbled upon these, the Draft Dodger Legwarmers. Besides having a pun-y name, The cuffs at the top and the bottom made me think, even though these don’t contain elastic, they might not slip. I’m still working on them (they’re really long–if you’re considering making them I’d think about cutting back on how many stitches you start out with), but I’ll let you know how they turn out.

Have you made your own legwarmers? How’d they turn out?

Ballerina Profiles: Ashley of Ballet Shoes and Mickey Ears

This week’s interview is with Ashley, a fellow adult ballerina who got back into ballet after doing it from the ages of 3-12. She runs Ballet Shoes and Mickey Ears, be sure to check it out!

Make sure to wish her a happy birthday as well on Sunday!

Adult Ballerina Project: When did you start doing ballet as an adult?

Ashley: I started taking classes once a week in October 2011. I started taking more classes towards the end of spring and through summer.

ABP: Did you ever take lessons as a kid?

A: Yes!! I started taking dance at the age of 3 years old!! I took ballet, tap, and eventually jazz. I took classes until I was 12 years old, when my family moved.

ABP: Why did you decide to take ballet as an adult?

A: I decided that I finally wanted to get involved in dancing again last year. It’s always been a part of my life. I love dancing! No matter where I am or when!! I was needing some independence and thought this would be a perfect hobby. I’m normally a really shy person when in a crowd of people. Taking ballet as an adult has allowed me to become more outgoing and confident in myself.

ABP: Where do you take classes?

A: I take classes in a nearby small town. It’s about 30 minutes from my home, but I also work out there, so I’m always right there!! It’s a small studio that only offers ballet, pointe, and hip hop. There is only one teacher, and boy is she amazing!! She used to be a professional ballet dancer. Watching her dance is pretty amazing.

ABP: What is your favorite part about ballet?

A: My favorite part about ballet is the constant challenge. Just when you feel like you’ve got a combination down or your tendues just perfect, bam!! Something new and more difficult comes along! I love the struggle. I have good days and bad days, but in the end they all turn out for the better.

ABP: What is your least favorite part?

A: The least favorite part probably has to be the tightness in my muscles. Even though I stretch and take 6 hours of classes a week, my muscles and what not always feel sore or tight. I guess that what you get for being an adult and not a little 12 year old!!

ABP: Who is your ballet inspiration?

A: I have a few! First off, all of the other fellow adult beginners I found through writing my blog. I think it’s awesome that there are other adults out there trying to do the same thing as me! It’s really neat to see where everyone has started and their improvements already!! Having fellow adult beginner ballerinas inspires me to keep going. To keep trying. To see that everyone struggles or gets an injury. The next inspirations are my teacher and the younger girls in my classes. My teacher is absolutely amazing. She’s such an incredible dancer and artistic director! Being able to share a glimpse into her world is so special. I love listening to her tell stories about her dancing days. She’s just an amazing person. She makes me strive to be the best adult beginner ballerina!! The younger girls in my class also inspire me. They inspire me to keep trying and never give up. It’s very inspiring to have a young girl say I did something really good, or be there to say its okay just try again when I struggle. Having them in class is great. They are such caring, good spirited girls.

ABP: What motivates you to keep dancing?

A: Seeing the improvements I make from week to week motivate me to keep going. Some weeks are worse than others, but things improve when you least expect it. The other thing, or person I should say, that motivates me to keep dancing is none other than my very best friend, the Legal Ballerina. She’s always there for me when I need her most. She knows me better than anyone else. She’s always there to put things in perspective after a bad class or tell me I did a great job when I have a good class. Even though we may not agree on everything, I couldn’t do this without her. She motivates me to be a better dancer (and person) every day.

ABP: Do you take any other dance classes?

A: Right now I only do ballet and pointe. That’s all I have time for!! I would love to try hip hop, but I don’t think the young girls want us older women hip hopping around in their class. Hah!!

ABP: What are your hobbies outside of ballet?

A: I like to crochet, read, watch movies with the husband, go biking, geocaching, camping, hiking, photography, and walking the dog. I just got into crocheting this summer, we’ll see how that goes!! My husband and I really enjoy doing things outdoors. We discovered the cool world of geocaching this summer while on a camping trip! I really like taking pictures with my fancy camera, as I like to call it. I’m still learning, but I think I’ve taken some pretty awesome pictures!! I’m also crazily obsessed with all things Disney. From planning every one of our trips to buying puzzles to wearing clothes, I love all things Disney!! I know pretty much everything you would need to know about Disney. I love it!!

ABP: What advice would you like to give to those who want to start ballet or have just started?

A: It may seem really intimidating and scary to go to your first class, but just do it!! The teacher and the other girls in class are there to support you! I would do a little research online, check out all of the adult beginner ballerina blogs here, and get some info on what to expect at your first class. Nothing’s worse than showing up being the only person not in a leotard or tripping on your elastics!! If you’re curious about ballet, just go for it and try a class! Most studios will offer you a first free class to see if you like it. That’s what I did!! Just know that no matter what, do what you want to do because it makes you happy. Don’t look back on life and say “what if?!”. Ballet can be very fun yet challenging at the same time. Give it a try!!

More Beginner profiles here:

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