Never Gonna Give You Up
As I enter my 5th year of ballet I have been really starting to feel the wear and tear it's causing my body. The next day after pointe class my knees are in such bad shape I can no longer walk down stairs unaided. This is due to two reasons - the first being I have hyperextended legs meaning my knee joints are really loose, ergo very weak, and secondly because I tore the ligaments in my left knee snowboarding in my early 20's and it has never fully healed.
Doing any kind of turns puts pressure on the knees because when you turn your feet don't turn entirely in unison with your knees and body, so this small twist starts to weaken the joints when it's repeated endless times over years, and when you already have weak knees the effect is magnified, especially in adult dancers who's bodies haven't been trained since childhood to deal with the rigours of ballet.
Some days, when I'm struggling to walk, I question whether this is really worth destroying my body for. Let's be honest, by the time I'm 60 it's likely I'll need a walking stick. Is ballet really worth that? I've been thinking about that a lot. And I realised that ballet gives me a lot of joy in my life right now and when something gives you that you need to hold on to it. Yes, it might cost me dearly later on in life, but I when I'm old I'll have so many other things to worry about that a walking stick will be the least of my worries!
When you are in you're in your 40s' and beyond, the expression "life is too short" rings truer than ever, so you have to hold on to the things, and people, that make you happy and never leg go...even if one hand is holding a walking stick.