Nicci Arentsen: Staying Positive Through an Injury
Hey! My name is Nicci Arentsen and I am so excited to represent Spotlight again this year as an ambassador! Today I am going to write on the topic of how to stay positive through an injury.
This topic may never bring the happiest of memories, but we can always try to be as optimistic as we can. This past May I had surgery for a complete reconstruction in my knee because I tore my ACL. This injury tore me apart mentally and physically. I am just now getting back to dance and still recovering so, almost 9 months to a year! Yet, I have chosen to learn from this experience and to be as positive as I could throughout my recovery.
To start off, I would suggest to people to take a deep breath and realize that in the moment this seems like your whole life is crumpling, yet this will only affect a small portion of it. Also, as dancers, our lives are always busy and we are always juggling multiple things at once from choreography, dance team, studio, school work, and auditions or intensives coming up. So, if you are hit with the news that you are going to have to take a break to rest your body and recover from an injury then enjoy the calmness in your life. As humans we involve ourselves in too much at a time and this break with feel uncomfortable at first but with fuel your soul and passion when you get back to it.
I would also add to journal throughout your adventure of recovery. For some people this may seem strange or some people do this on a regular basis but it was for sure new to me when I started this new habit. In the end, it helped me express my feelings. My emotions were sometimes hard to explain to someone so writing them all out helped me process better. I always ended with a list of five things I was thankful for so I would close off with a grateful heart.
For this next suggestion it may work for some and not for others. As for me and my journey every time I went to my studio it would bring me back flashbacks and I would always leave crying because of how much I wanted to be back dancing my heart out with my friends. So, I gave myself a break from visiting my studio the first couple weeks probably until I had my emotions under control and was starting to make progress at physical therapy where I was feeling inspired. Then when I would watch classes and rehearsals at this time I was able to encourage my friends with a supportive heart and become inspired by them as well. It was still difficult to watch but I had my emotions more under control. When it became competition season and even this year I contribute to my team by always being there for them and leading the team chants and prayers before they headed on stage.
I hope these tips help anyone of you if you are out for a small injury or one as big as mine. Just know that everyone and especially me supports you and wishes you the best recovery. Take a deep breath, count your blessings, and cherish supporting your friends.