from that moment I was determined to get to where I am today.
When, on that dreadful day – February 5th 2013- I ended up in the ER with a torn achilles tendon, I knew I was on the beginning of a verrryyyyy long journey. The first ten days felt the longest. By far. I had to see a doctor and find out exactly what the course of treatment was. I was faced with two options: surgery or no surgery basically. Either way I was told that my tendon would be repaired and I would be in a boot for a while and have extensive physical therapy.
I was in Boston at college. My family was in New Jersey. I was scared. I wanted to go home. I just wanted to be around people who could take care of me. But at the same time I was stubborn. I felt like I could do this by myself. I felt like I was challenged in this life to do lots of important things by myself up to this point so why not this one as well? I wasn’t completely alone anyway, I was with my friends. So why not get surgery in Boston?
Well my parents were NOT having that. They insisted, along with the rest of my family, that I come home and get it taken care of at home where I belonged. On the other hand, what they insisted even further was that I opt out of the surgery and let it heal on its own. They INSISTED on this one. It really stressed me out. I had a gut feeling like I needed to just get the surgery. For my peace of mind. Of course I was scared out of my mind. Of course I was. But I knew it was right. Because of how my family felt, I just wanted to stay in Boston and get it done and call it a day.
It was that one phone call with an old friend that changed it all around for me. She said to me, Bianca… get your a** home and be home. You need to be home. And you will see my doctor, she is the best and you will get through this. I knew she was the right person to call. I will always be grateful to her and her father for that. I saw the best of the best and 10 days later I was to have my surgery in NYC.
That was my decision and everyone had to respect it. Everyone did. And they helped me. Thank goodness. Because it was not easy in the slightest. No one ever tells you the reality of surgery. When you regain feeling of wherever it is that got operated on … it is possibly the most torturous thing ever. SO PAINFUL. NOBODY TOLD ME THAT!
Those ten days felt like a journey in and of itself. But the journey was just beginning- I went from a cast and crutches to a boot and crutches, to a boot and a wheelchair, to a boot and finally after 3 months I was able to start walking again. Just in time for Graduation day.
That’s right- Graduation day. I missed a month of classes because of the surgery, but I kept up with my work and I realized I had to finish college. There was no way I wouldn’t. I didn’t want to post pone it any further and I knew I could do it so I did. I went to therapy up at school and by May 2nd I had taken the boot off, just in time for our May 3rd graduation. I was a beautiful thing. I was so proud of my skinny little leg, walking me down the aisles to grab my diploma.
I spent the summer in and out of PT and Ireland lol. It was a great summer and I had grand plans for my return to the states. Too bad nothing at all went to plan… at all. My leg wasn’t right. So I made the smartest decision of my life and I went back to PT. I decided that I had to believe in myself and I deserved the best of the best. So that is where I went. To the best of the best in PT for Irish Dancers. I had found my saviors. From that point onwards I picked up 3 jobs, worked my butt off to save money and woke up multiple times a week at 6 am to get to PT for 7 am. That is dedication. I had no choice because I needed to see the day that I would dance again.
Not only did I want to dance again, but I wanted to be amazing like I used to be. I wanted to be in a show and do whatever I wanted. Those four months were some of the hardest of my life. But by the end of it I was putting my shoes back on slowly and I had also secured myself a 1 year stay in Ireland. A trip that has changed my life completely.
As I’ve lived through my months here in the Emerald Isle, I have gone from barely being able to put my shoes on to flying around the floor. I don’t even THINK about my injury anymore. It is truly a thing of the past. My thoughts have been replaced with those of my next audition, gig and now competition. I am obsessed now with increasing my fitness and perfecting my steps and jumps. The days of being obsessed with pain levels and calf raises, with trying to cultivate happy thoughts and keep the faith are gone. Long gone.
I was told I’d be dancing again after 6 months. That date was August 2013. I danced again for the first time in an Irish Dancing class on March 8th 2014. I performed again for the first time on April 15th 2014. I filmed my first audition video on April 21st 2014. I performed in my first show on August 7th 2014. I will compete again in my first championship on October 25th 2014.
There is a sense of security in a project that you know will take a while. A tangible project that is. And once you have started it, it feels secure to know that you will be working on this thing for a while, until it’s finished. I am still working away. My goals have changed as my body and mind have gotten stronger but that is the beauty in working towards a goal. I am not there yet, but I won’t stop till I get there and am satisfied with that. I will take my time.