Working Towards Normal

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Crossing the border

I was ready to MOVE by the time we made it back to Texas. I know some people enjoy road trips, but I can honestly say, I’m not one of them. I get restless. I also have always been anxious in cars, regardless of whether I’m the driver or a passenger. Luckily, the drive home was mostly uneventful. We hit a bit of snow in the mountains day 1, but day 2 brought nice weather and light traffic.

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New stools, folded up

Shortly after we reached home, a late Christmas present arrived for me! My parents ordered me two GYROTONIC® stools, so I can teach them a few exercises. It will be nice for me to be able to practice teaching again, and will be extremely beneficial for their physical health! The stools are stable, an appropriate height, have comfortable seats, and fold up when they are not in use!

Since my return, I’ve hit the ground running, trying to build up my strength so I can get back to my version of “normal”. I resumed physical therapy 3 times a week, adding more exercises to strengthen my ankle and prepare me for jumping. Most mornings, I’ve attended ballet class. Towards the end of the first week of January, I started turning, focusing on how I rise and lower and where my weight is over my leg, rather than the number of rotations I am doing. My releve still feels a little low, but it is getting better. This week, I made my first attempt at jumps. I just did small jumps landing on two feet, and really paid attention to my alignment and landings. I’ve also continued with my weekly GYROTONIC® sessions, where I’ve especially been focusing on my abdominals, hips, and hamstrings, and how larger muscle groups can help me relieve some of the pressure on my ankles.

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Throwback to when I was Clara

At the house, I worked to clear out the upstairs study. In doing so, I found a number of old scrapbooks and photos. Some unlabeled photo CDs contained some real gems! I found a disc full of photos of my dad when he was a kid, as well as pictures from my “Nutcracker” production as Clara. There were a few other pictures from high school that made me question how I turned out to be such a sane adult. I was a strange teenager! It took a lot of time to go through everything, but provided quite a bit of entertainment. Another nostalgic but enjoyable activity at home took place last Sunday, when my parents and I had a brunch of pancakes and mimosas while listening to David Bowie’s Greatest Hits.

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Coffee and sausage roll at Kindred Coffee

Socially, I’ve been surprisingly busy, given the fact that I only have about 3 friends in the area. I had Skype dates with a couple ship friends, that each lasted about an hour longer than expected. I’ve had some nice coffee and lunch outings, as well as the occasional dinner. The most exciting event was the “13 Hours” premiere at AT&T Stadium. My buddy had heard there was a free showing and thought a movie at the stadium would be neat. We reserved our tickets, and learned just the day before the showing that it was the actual premiere. Some of the actors, including John Krasinski, the director, Michael Bay, and some of the soldiers from Benghazi were in attendance. Regardless of the political opinions of audience members, there was not a dry eye in the house when the soldiers came back out after the movie. It was a very intense movie, and a unique event.

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John Krasinski on the red carpet

I saw my orthopedist this week, and have been granted 4 more weeks of physical therapy. We are scaling it down to just one session a week for maintenance as I continue working towards full force dancing. I believe the end is in sight! Normalcy… here I come!

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