It’s been 5 days since I slipped slipped on the bottom step and sprained my ankle. 5 days may not be a long time, but it’s felt like so much longer. Since my first ballet lesson a year and a half ago, this is the longest I’ve gone without doing ballet in one way or another. There have been times when for months at a time I have been without a ballet class, like when my college was out for summer, but I have had my practice sessions at home. I have taken days off, of course, especially in the beginning when my body was first getting used to it. But I don’t think I’ve been ballet-free for this many days in a row before. I am having major ballet withdrawals!
I had not given it much thought how much I would miss it. Neither had I given it much though to how much ballet had become a part of my life. I keep getting the urge to get up and do some plies and tendus or at least work on my port de bras. These urges aren’t new, but I keep forgetting that I physically can’t act on them. It’s strange, because all sorts of everyday tasks seem to have something ballet-y that I had added on to them, and I had never really noticed. I hadn’t noticed that part of me walking across the living room on the way to the kitchen involved stopping in front of my practice mirror and seeing how my posture was looking or if everything was in the alignment. I would then do a few plies, still checking my alignment. Or how I would rise up on demi point while holding on to the kitchen counter – and as I improved in my balance increasingly without holding on- waiting for water to boil or for dinner to be cooked. Or just in general how I would always see how long I could balance or practise rising up at random just anywhere when bored.
I guess I had taken these things for granted, and probably lots more that I can’t recall off the top of my head. This is also a wake-up call for me: I need to slow down and watch where I’m going! This is not the first time this year that I’ve had a preventable accident. This past spring, possibly the last wednesday of March, I was heading to ballet class and one second I was stepping down with my right foot and the next I was flying through the air. I landed on both knees but must have taken most of the impact on the left knee – it tore a hole right through my jeans. After dusting myself off I had gone to class anyway. That was the only day I wore my black tights instead of pink.
I should have taken that fall- seriously, I tripped over nothing – as a sign that I need to slow down and be careful, but since it didn’t get in the way of my mobility I just hurried on along. But now this new fall- again caused by nothing but my carelessness- has kept me off my feet and many of my favorite activities. I’m sure this time I will remember. I had never realized how accident-prone I am!
In the meantime, I’ve been trying my hardest to make the most of my time on the couch, doing non-ballet-related things like practicing guitar, writing and a lot of reading. But I’ll be honest: at times I’ve been unable to resist practicing my port de bras from the couch, making sure to keep my back straight and my core tight. I can’t wait to be back to normal!