A less glamorous ballet accessory

Had a massage yesterday.
Turns out the masseuse is a former dancer!
So, post-massage, I’m drinking my little paper cup of water, she says, “look, I’m really glad your ankle isnt hurting you too much, and I’m not a doctor, but that looks to me like a sprained ankle. And that really really means you’ll have to take a break from your dancing. I’ve written down some things here…,” she hands me a post-it, “try arnica, I used to use it back when I was getting bruised a lot, and there’s a Duane Reade around the corner, get a brace. Like a soft one, I mean, it’ll help walking around the city, and once you’re better you can still wear it in class. I used to dance all braced up.”
And then she said the thing that really drove it all home,
“it’s a ligament injury, ligaments take longer to heal then bones.”
And I was like, oh, snap. Cause, like, homey don’t play with no broken bones, and neither does the Adult Beginner. I would never be cavalier with a broken bone. So, like I best to believe this is even more serious.
Shit just got real.



About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
This entry was posted in OMG outfits you guys!, the Body and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to A less glamorous ballet accessory

  1. Wow, that is amazing perspective – it may have saved you a lot of future pain! I guess I just never considered that a sprain could possibly be worse than a break (okay, maybe worse isn’t the right word, but definitely just as serious when you’re a dancer!). Glad you’re feeling better but also that you are taking care of yourself!

  2. Polly says:

    That is a good perspective. I sprained my ankle dancing in a play that I was in last summer. As it was a very small play and I didn’t have an alternate and I was kind of a main part, I continued to dance on it for three hours a night four nights a week and then spend the day at home with a bag of frozen peas on it.
    I then had the joy of explaining to my doctor, “Well, then I landed badly, and then I heard it go, like, crackle, and it wouldn’t support my weight for a couple of hours, and then I danced on it for a month and a half.”
    So be careful with your ankle. Sprains need to heal differently than breaks but they still need to heal.

  3. Laura says:

    The NY TImes had an interesting article a while back about ankle sprains and the importance of proper treatment. Aha–found it: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/28/health/28brod.html
    It sounds like you are doing exactly the right things.

    What is it with the cup of water after a massage? It really hits the spot–why do massages make us so thirsty? (Well, they make me thirsty, anyway.

    • Yeah, what’s going on with the thirstiness? Masseuse was like, ‘drink tons of water tomorrow!’ and I was like, ‘yeah sure ok whatever’ and then Totally Did!

  4. Laura says:

    Argh, did not close my parens! To quote the Fake AP Stylebook: “Close all parentheses. We’re not paying to air-condition the entire paragraph.”

  5. Maybe you should try physio? They can really tape you up nicely and can recommend some exercises for you to do that are safe for your ankle.

  6. I’m injured, too, right now! Since I always read your blog and, like you, recently started pointe work, it’s almost eerily coincidental. Also similarly to your situation, while X-rays confirmed that the bones in my foot (where my injury is; big toe joint) are in tact, there’s most def something wrong with the joints, ligaments, or cartilage.

    It’s hard because they send me off with very vague instructions in caring for it, and refer me to a podiatrist who can’t even see me for over two weeks. I’m trying with all of my might to stay off of it and it’s killing me inside. I try to think of my ex-boyfriend, though, who rolled his ankle a few years ago, didn’t stay off of it, wore down the cartilage and–even now after serious surgery– can’t ever run on it again. He’s 24.

    Broken bones definitely get more attention than other broken things and there’s a solid method in mending bones. Not so much cartilage.

    Rambling aside, stay strong and rest up! I hope you have a speedy recovery.

    • Oh no, you too?!
      It’s weird, I almost feel superstitious about even talking about being injured. Do you feel like that?
      I so feel you on how killing it is to stop when you’ve only just started, keep having to fight down these waves of disappointment, keep having to remind myself that I can do other things and sometimes a break is a good opportunity to focus on the less physical aspects of lé obsession currant.
      Husband cheered me up the other day by teasing me about what a #firstworldproblem I’m having: hurt myself in ballet class, will have to go to museums instead, poor me.

      • Haha! Totally a first world problem. The only plus side about this whole thing, I hope, is that I’ve gained almost 20 pounds since starting ballet 1.5 years ago. So maybe I’ll lose, like, a pound while I’m down. I’d rather be dancing, though.
        As for reading about ballet and watching it, I feel almost guilty for indulging like that since I usually use it as inspiration and now I feel like I don’t have an outlet for that inspiration.
        Do you own the New York City Ballet Workout DVDs? Have you ever tried floor barre?
        The DVDs have a really great floor barre section, or you can just look up floor barre exercises. They are awesome and are keeping my core and hip flexors in shape without me having to so much as point my injured toe!

  7. Acacia says:

    I’m glad you’re taking the sprain seriously when it is still relatively minor. I had a friend who sprained her ankle so badly she ended up in an air cast for weeks. Take care and let yourself really heal!

  8. I had an ankle sprain earlier this year, danced on it again after 2 weeks rest (which used to be more than enough when I was in high school!…i’m now in my early 30s), then on my first class back, sprained it again. From now on, I’m going to take a full month off if I do sprain my ankle again, ankle sprains are just too dodgy to dance on injured since they can recur. Best of luck with your healing!

  9. lalatina says:

    It’s a good thing that you take it seriously. My mom’s a doctor and with this kind of injuries she always tells me that it’s important to give time to your body to let it do what it has to do. She plays volleyball and some years ago she had a very bad ankle sprain. It took her weeks to heal, and I remember that she missed playing so much- but when she went back she was fully recovered and never had any more problems with it! So, take much care and I hope you get well soon :)

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