Jennifer A. Chin (cswallow) wrote,
Jennifer A. Chin

The Last Day of Sadness

A quiet day and still day, this Friday was. I work in the morning and afternoon, then cook and tidy throughout the evening. It's all a little bit lonely until I find Christmas cards in the mail. Sweet Sue sent me an amazing treat-filled holiday package and I buzz from the chocolatey toffee bars that I cannot stop eating. When I finally tire of cleaning, the apartment smells like roasted butternut squash, and scented candles, and Lysol - it is surprisingly pleasant. I paint my nails, drink a mug of tea. For the first time in many months, I feel a weight lifting.

And the foot? It is so much better these days. Over the past weeks, I've had my first days back in the studio and am dancing now in practice shoes. Just four hours a week, but adding hours every week.

I wish I could tell you that the return was some kind of triumphant moment, but in fact it has been an equally slow and frustrating process. I keep thinking of this quote by former Duke president Terry Sanford, "No matter what mountain you climb, there's another mountain waiting for you." I cannot go full-out as the muscles around my calf, ankle and foot are still very weak. And perhaps part of it is mental, too; I worry about pushing myself. My PT exercises take me an hour every night and involve a lot of foot doming, circling, pointing, flexing, eversions, and releves. I find them utterly frustrating, they are boring and there is no immediate reward. I'd rather be doing pretty much anything.  But I learned discipline in my early life (playing scales on an instrument, anyone?) and so I diligently apply myself.

Perhaps this is the best stage of my recovery though, because I am completely mobile, and yet not back on a full dance schedule. I am seeing my friends in the studio again, even if just a couple days a week. I can run for the bus, carry heavy things up and down stairs, and walk long distances. Which means: I have the time and the ability to finally go to NYC's parks and museums, go look at birds, and run around the boroughs visiting friends. Today was the last day of sadness. I am coming back to life!
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