I feel so angry, and so frustrated. My physical therapist says I’ve definitely been making progress — my hamstring is getting strong and I’m almost at 90° with my extension (which is just around where I was before with that leg anyway) — and I have been feeling progress here and there. Then I feel it go away, and I have trouble making time for my exercises and stretches, and I get mad at myself for not being able to find the time. My brain becomes this black hole of suckiness and discouragement.
I’ve been going to physical therapy on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Two weeks ago I was able to go to my Wednesday beginner ballet class just to take barre and see how it went, and then this past Friday I took a full ballet basics class which went pretty well, too. But I also had to miss my PT appointment last Thursdays, and have been busy most of this weekend, so I can feel myself slacking. I’m already panicking that just a few days of slacking may set me back weeks.
Today was the second Don Q workshop at my dance studio (1.5 hour class with barre & learning a variation), and I was thrilled that I could participate this time instead of photographing it as I had done a few weeks ago. I may have cursed myself before class even started, though, because I got so nervous about… well, everything. I’m aware now of what my limitations are with my angry hamstring, but I couldn’t shake this mental fog with the combination and couldn’t find my confidence for dancing in general. I’m having such a hard time reconciling “dance to my limitations” with “back off and play it safe” because the latter usually results in me being afraid to put any effort into my dancing, even just my épaulement. It didn’t help that I was starting to get back into the swing of things when I discovered something that triggered a little unexpected pain in my hamstring. I got so upset with myself, even though I know it’s not my fault and that it’s just part of learning to cope with and work around a rehabilitating muscle. It hurt even when I was just standing still, so I opted to sit out the rest of the class.
It’s hard to tell myself it’s getting better when it’s such a slow process and my progress seems to fluctuate. Even when my hamstring is feeling fine, the knee on my other leg will start to bother me (I’ve dislocated it twice and still have a bit of a muscle imbalance) or my back and hips will ache. My whole body is thrown out of whack to compensate for one measly injury, and sometimes it gets hard for me to believe I’ll be able to dance at my previous level again. I was just getting comfortable in elementary classes, and now I can barely make it through the most basic level class without feeling disappointment.
I kind of hate that this blog has become a place for me to come and whine about something that, in the overall scheme of things, isn’t too dire. I’m lucky I didn’t break an ankle or even dislocate my knee again, or something that could have taken me out of ballet completely for a much longer period of time, but I know that if I’m not careful while my hamstring heals that I could make things worse. I’m just way too impatient.