As athletes, we use many muscles in our body every day. We are constantly working to improve our strength, flexibility, endurance and technique. We live to practice and perform with all of our heart and soul. Dancing is who we are!
However, sometimes injuries happen. Injuries happen for a variety of reasons. Being injured can be one of the hardest challenges to overcome. Not only are you hurting physically, but you are mentally trying to overcome the fact that you unable to perform and do what you love.
JJGirl Jade Cloud has recently been recovering from a serious hip injury.
Check out her story below:
“Dance has been my whole life and it means more to me than anything else in the world. I have been dancing since I was two, but it wasn’t until I was about thirteen that I began popping my hips excessively and experiencing pain. At the beginning, my pain was mild and the pops weren’t too bad. Eventually though, I did begin to depend on popping my hips as a way to release them, which led to hip dislocations and extreme pain. So, for a while, I started to go to physical therapy in New York City which had helped drastically. I still had to pop my hips but the pain was much more manageable, if not completely gone.
Now at age seventeen, a few days after this past Thanksgiving, my hip grew worse than ever before. I remember waking up one day and just feeling the need to pop my hip. Eventually I did, which was a horrible idea. My hip dislocated worse than it ever had. In the past, whenever this would happen, the pain was never too bad and I was always able to put it back into place within an hour or so. That was not the case this time. The pain was substantial; I couldn’t even stand on my leg or move it one inch without using my arms. I tried everything that my physical therapist had recommended but nothing helped. My hip didn’t return to its normal state until the next morning! Whenever this has happened in the past, I would be able to tell that a dislocation was coming because my body would send me little signs. The scary thing is that I did not see it coming at all this time. In fact, my hip was doing better than ever. I had hoped that this was only a one time thing but that was not the case. Since the first incident after thanksgiving, I tried to pop my hip three more times because that honestly is the only way I can open my hips and dance (without popping them before dancing or stretching, my range of motion is significantly less and I end up dislocating them anyways). Big surprise. They dislocated after I popped them all three times. Finally, my mom and I decided to try out two different sports orthopedists as well as three different physical therapists in New York City. After getting multiple view points from the specialists, we have formed a game plan and decided that physical therapy, Pilates, and acupuncture would be the best for me.
This has truly been one difficult period in my life and really wasn’t how I expected my senior year to be. When I found out that I would have to sit on the side line for most of the season, I was heartbroken. I mean, it’s my final year competing and there is so much more that I want to do with my dance training.
A few things I have learned…
STAY POSITIVE. This experience has really taught me that you can go from being on top of the world one day to rock bottom the next. In any dancers’ life, it’s hard to remain positive in a situation such as this one. But, with my extraordinary family and teammates, I have been able to see the good in my predicament. Sure, I could be sitting around feeling sad, but what good could come from that? So instead, I channel my energy towards things that I can do, and focus on things that I do have the power to improve. It was a hard concept for me to grasp at first, but I have come to learn that any improvement that I make, no matter how small, is so important.
DO WHAT IS BEST FOR YOUR CAREER. It really is all about perspective and how you choose to look at the situation. As long as I know that I am doing all that I can possibly do to benefit myself and my hip, I feel better and am more at peace with the state that I am in. Of course there are sad days, like when I have to sit out during rehearsals watching my teammates do the routines that I love, but I know not to dwell on it. In the big scheme of things, a few months off spent recovering is tremendously better than pushing through it and not being able to have a long, healthy career.
USE YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM. Honestly though, my mental state wouldn’t be nearly to the point where it is today if I didn’t have the awesome support that I’ve received from my family. With them, I truly feel confident that my hip will recover 100% and be better than ever. It may take some time, more than I was expecting, but I KNOW that I will be back on the stage dancing and doing what I love most.”